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2013: The Year of the Reunion

Chicago is just one city seeing a reunion spike this year.

Fall Out Boy
Fall Out Boy is just one of the many reunions so far this year.
 

Two weeks ago it was Soundgarden, who awoke from a long slumber to commandeer two sold-out shows at the Riv. Then Chicago’s own Fall Out Boy ended their four-year hiatus with a surprise announcement of their impending comeback and a warmup show at Subterranean. Thrown in the middle was the super Superbowl reunion of Destiny’s Child and Dublin’s My Bloody Valentine, who unceremoniously released their brand-new album (the first in 12 years) on their website. Now it’s the Postal Service, out with a new song today.

Did we miss something—when did everyone start reuniting?

Although some might argue reunions are a convenient marketing ploy (see Billy Corgan’s comments about his long-time rivals Soundgarden), in the case of the Seattle vets, their time apart literally preserved them. In the first ten years, from the ’87 Screaming Life EP to a boiling point breakup during the ’97 Down on the Upside tour, there was nary an album that wasn’t considered a critic’s pick; 16 years later, the onslaught of mighty beast King Animal has had a replica reception. It’s rather incredulous to fathom a band could whip up an album of such merit so late into their career unless there was some common motivator; and much to Corgan’s chagrin, it doesn’t appear to be financial. While tickets to the recent pair of shows were a hefty $60, what was offered in return was a sweaty three-hour night—sans opener—that was all for the fans.

The reaction to Fall Out Boy’s unexpected return was just as riotous, prompting many an admirer to admit just how much they’d “kill” to have had a chance at scoring tickets to the impossible show (everyone relax, they’re returning to the Riviera on May 16). As Stump relayed to the crowd, “Let me clarify the definition of ‘hiatus’, we always said we were coming back, and now we are.”

If the first two months are any indication, this could be a very good year for music fans.

So, who’s next? Here’s 12 other reunions for 2013:

The Strokes – the lo-fi New Yorkers just released new single “One Way Trigger,” from forthcoming Comedown Machine (March)

Black Sabbath – coming this June, 13 is the metal gods’ first studio album since 1978

The Smiths – never say never; although Morrissey has said, uh, never, the rumor mill is swirling the brooding Brits will be back this year

Fleetwood Mac – the 2013 Reunion World Tour hits United Center this April and June

The Breeders – 20 years after Last Splash, the Deal sisters are taking another dip with a lineup of anniversary shows

Black Flag – look for TWO reunions this year; guitarist Ginn using the original name and other members reforming as Flag

Violent Femmes – what originally made Milwaukee famous is set to reunite at Coachella

Blur – Coachella seems to be the breeding ground of reunions this year; the Brits, The Stone Roses and The Postal Service reform at the fest, too

Nine Inch Nails – Although he is busy with How to Destroy Angels, Reznor has alleged he is working on new NIN tracks

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Grinderman be gone; the original band produces their first album and first tour in five years
 

Selena Fragassi is a contributing music critic for Chicago.

 

Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

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