2019: The year of reunions


Thomas Tedesco, Staff Writer

Band reunions are not a rare occurrence in the music business, but when they do happen, they are very unique and celebrated events. In recent years, bands such as Guns ‘N Roses and Black Sabbath embarked on extensive reunion tours that saw the return of original members to the bands’ lineups after long periods of hiatus. Over the span of two days, 90’s rockers Rage Against the Machine and 2000’s alternative/pop-punk band, My Chemical Romance, both announced they would be reuniting for shows.

On October 31, My Chemical Romance started teasing fans with cryptic messages on their social media. The band first confirmed their comeback when they posted a show announcement on their Instagram account. This concert will take place on December 20th in Los Angeles, marking their first live performance since 2012.

When My Chemical Romance had initially broken up in 2013, it came as a shocking and unwelcome surprise to their fans. In the ensuing years, the members would pursue various solo projects. There had been previous rumors in the previous six years that the band would reform, but ultimately nothing came of them.

According to Kerrang magazine, “Between the well-documented fact that all four members are still great friends, and Gerard [Way], Frank [Iero], Mikey [Way], and Ray [Toro]’s individual musical creativity never dwindling in the years following their parting of ways, it was only a matter of time before they decided to properly regroup as a band.”
Since the strain that was responsible for the band’s initial demise was more attributed to musical direction rather than personal animosity, it is not surprising that My Chemical Romance could at least regroup for some shows. In addition to the show in Los Angeles, they will be performing twice in Australia in March 2020.

For Rage Against the Machine, this is not the first time that the band has broken up and subsequently reformed, unlike My Chemical Romance. The group first disbanded in 2000 following some conflicts between singer Zack de la Rocha and the rest of the group. The group would then reunite for reunion shows from 2007 until 2011. Shortly after, they went on hiatus again. The other three members, Tom Morello, Tim Commerford, and Brad Wilk would stick together during the intermittent periods and form the critically acclaimed bands Audioslave and Prophets of Rage.

Similar to My Chemical Romance, Rage Against the Machine announced on November 1 through their social media platforms that they would be regrouping to perform a series of shows in 2020. In addition to a couple of performances at the Coachella festival in Indio, California in April, three additional shows were announced. These shows will take place in March in El Paso, Texas, Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Phoenix, Arizona.

Rage Against the Machine has been largely known to be vocal about political issues. While it is not confirmed, the reasons for the band reconvening for shows may be politically motivated due to the locations and timing of their reunion. Forbes Senior Contributor, Steve Baltin said, “So it is surely no coincidence that Rage, who first reunited in 2007, a year before the 2008 election, are coming back for a series of dates, starting in El Paso, Texas, March 26, 2020, eight months before the 2020 election.”

Aside from these shows, not much is known about the future for the group. There has been no mention from any members as to whether this reunion will lead to new music for the first time in nearly two decades or if they will embark on an extensive tour. While it is a pleasant sight for fans of both bands to see them reunite, there are still several questions about both groups’ intentions going forward.