There are few announcements that are better to wake up to than the news that one of your favorite bands is reuniting. For fans of Blur, this morning was a good one — after months (years?) of speculation, the British boys (men?) have announced they will be playing a huge Hyde Park show next July.
But before we all get too psyched for more Blur in our future, it’s worth remembering that the notion of a “reunion” has been so devalued lately that it’s better to not expect much at all.
Last year’s big reunion saw The Police gear up for a world tour that fueled off of the nostalgia of middle-aged couples with cash to spare. But no new music came out of it, unless you count the collector’s edition Certifiable: Live in Buenos Aires album with two DVDs, 1 Blue Ray Disc, and 3 premium LPs — available only at Best Buy!
Next year, Phish will be playing three “reunion” shows in Virginia, and, understandably, Phisheads are already counting down the days. No Doubt recently announced that they’d be reuniting to tour soon, getting unabashed “I’m Just a Girl”-era Gwen worshipers all hot and bothered. Unfortunately, neither band has announced plans to go back to the studio — in these tour or go hungry times, just going back on stage and selling out a few arenas seems to be enough.
But is it fair to toy with fans like that? Maura at Idolator points out that other than Damon Albarn’s romantic notion of “we’ve got a reason to exist” included in his announcement, Blur might have another reason for the big reunion: cash. The show is being organized by Live Nation, and we all know what that means. We get the need for bands to find sponsorship in the era of the free download. But when a “reunion” is just code word for “going on tour for a while in because we know it’s a surefire way to make some money off of our old fans,” maybe they need a new word for it.