Rock band reunion tours a win-win for musicians and fans alike

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Reported by Alyse Kotyk

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Buskers play Sum 41 songs outside the Commodore Ballroom in before the band’s reunion concert in Vancouver, B.C. on Friday, Oct. 28. Photo: Alyse Kotyk

Sum 41, Simple Plan and Guns N’ Roses are just a few of the biggest musical acts attempting a comeback with new music or a tour this year.

On Friday Oct. 28, Vancouver’s Sum 41 fans lined up outside the Commodore Ballroom to be reunited with the punk rock band during its 2016 reunion tour, which also features music from their latest album, 13 Voices.

Deborah Holland, program coordinator for Langara’s digital music production and singer-songwriter programs said that while reunion tours elicit nostalgia for fans, there’s usually a one-track motive behind them.

“The number one reason bands do reunion tours is money,” Holland said. “That’s it, that’s mainly why they almost all do it.”

Fans wait in line outside the Commodore Ballroom for Sum 41‘s reunion concert in Vancouver, B.C. on Friday, Oct. 28. Photo: Alyse Kotyk
Fans wait in line outside the Commodore Ballroom for Sum 41‘s reunion concert in Vancouver, B.C. on Friday, Oct. 28. Photo: Alyse Kotyk

Reliving nostalgic memories

Even so, Sum 41 fans were excited to see the band return to Vancouver.

Emily Chin, 19, was one fan waiting in line outside the Commodore Ballroom on Friday night.

“I grew up listening to them,” Chin said. “They’ve been gone for a really long time and just kind of disappeared so it’s nice to see that they’re coming back with a new album and everything.”

Katherine Law, an engineering student at Langara, said reunion tours are about the sentimental value.

“It’s more about bringing back the memories,” Law said. “Listening to them and hearing that they’re coming back together would really bring back memories and also connect the community as a whole again for that kind of music.”

Holland echoed this and said that whether or not a band’s motivation is the money, comebacks are effective because they remind fans of their teenage years.

“In a certain period in everyone’s life usually from teenager through college, let’s say, the music that you get attached to during that period of time is kind of like the soundtrack of your life,” she said. “People usually continue to like the music that they liked during those formative years of their life.”

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