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The 9 Most Anticipated Reunions of 2020

Often a pipe-dream of many music fans, the frequent call for a reunion has been heeded by some of the biggest groups in the world in recent months.

2019 undoubtedly served as the year of the reunion, with some of music's biggest names ensuring that 2020 would be a hive of activity after many years away.

Jimmy Hubbard/Press; Paul Brown/Press

It’s the natural life cycle for any musical act to form, flower, and then flounder. Although countless bands have continued on for decades after common sense dictates they should, many of the greats have cut it short before their time, leaving us to wonder what the future holds. Once this inevitability occurs, the sought-after reunion may eventually come into play years down the line, with fans once again getting the chance to see their favourite acts live, and – hopefully – receive new music.

While the best of these are usually a rare occurrence that come after years of pleading from a vocal majority, 2019 has managed to bear witness to a number of famed acts announcing they’re getting back together. Now, with 2020 serving as the year these reunions are set to bear fruit, let’s take a look at a round-up of the biggest reformations of the past year and just what’s in store for their dedicated fans.

Press

6

Pavement

Why They Split: It was during the recording of their final album – 1999’s Terror Twilight – that Pavement began to really fall apart. From the high standards of producer Nigel Godrich, to arguing over a recording location and eventual tracklist, the entire situation was a recipe for disaster.

Though the record was critically acclaimed, it was the ensuing tour that proved to be the death knell for the group, with Stephen Malkmus’ approach to the shows becoming disruptive to the point where he explicitly told his bandmates he didn’t “want to do this anymore” in a band meeting.

While a press release circulated to confirm the band were parting ways in order to – amongst other things – “sail around the world” and “get more attention”, members would embark upon various projects, with a reunion eventually taking place in 2010, though it was unfortunately short-lived.

Last Performance: Just over a year on from the announcement of their reunion, Pavement took to the stage one last time in Buenos Aires, Argentina on November 22, 2010. Described as their last show for the foreseeable future, the 25-song set showcased the group at their musical best, and undoubtedly left fans hoping that a new album might have resulted from their time together.

Years Off: Ten

2020 Plans: Though their final shows were marred by a few all-too-familiar frustrations between members, it was revealed just last year that Pavement’s failed attempts at a 2015 reunion were now being realised thanks to a pair of shows set to take place in 2020.

Reportedly the band’s only shows for the year, these performances will take place at the Primavera Sound festivals in Barcelona and Porto. While their 2010 reunion was preceded by word of it being a one-off affair, it soon expanded around the world. Here’s hoping history repeats.

Josh Cheuse/Press

5

The Black Crowes

Why They Split: Having first formed in 1984, The Black Crowes lasted almost two decades before they took a hiatus in 2002. Despite tensions between brothers Chris and Rich Robinson remaining high, the group reconvened in 2005, only to break up – seemingly for good – after one more decade, and another brief hiatus.

In an interview, Rich explained that the split had occurred due to disagreements with his brother over a proposal regarding the ownership of the band. Rather than sticking it out for the planned 25th anniversary tour of their Shake Your Moneymaker debut, the band packed it in, with members going on to other projects.

Last Performance: Taking place almost a full year before they announced their demise, The Black Crowes’ last appearance before an audience kicked off at Boston’s House of Blues in February 2014, and served as a benefit concert for the Big Brothers and Big Sisters House of Boston. A charitable way to say goodbye in hindsight, the set was preceded by a the Robinson brothers doing a brief acoustic set, ostensibly showing a group that would be around for some time to come.

Years Off: Five

2020 Plans: News of The Black Crowes’ reunion was hinted at by a number of sources last year, including former manager Pete Angelus, and founding drummer Steve Gorman, who noted he’d not been asked to join the lineup.

Eventually, it was revealed that the group would indeed be hitting the road in 2020 for the 30th anniversary of their debut album. Kicking things off with a handful of shows in 2019, the tour is set to begin in earnest in June, though there’s no word yet as to when they might return to Australia.

Jimmy Hubbard/Press

4

Faith No More

Why They Split: To be fair, Faith No More haven’t really broken up since they officially reunited back in 2009, though they’ve not exactly served as a bustling hive of activity. Having first split back in 1998 after 19 years in the game, the announcement came following rumours of vocalist Mike Patton having left the group to work on side projects. Though they reconvened over a decade later, it wasn’t until 2015 that fans received a new record, with Sol Invictus remaining the only new material released by the band this century.

Last Performance: It’s a little difficult to say when Faith No More’s last performance was exactly, though their last performance with frontman Mike Patton occurred back on October 25, 2015, with the group wrapping up touring in support of their latest album. In August of 2016 though, the group swapped Patton out for former vocalist Chuck Mosley for gigs in support of the reissue of 1985’s We Care A Lot. Sadly, this performance was the last time Mosley would perform with the group, passing away in November of 2017.

Years Off: Four

2020 Plans: While members had been busy in other projects for some time, Faith No More took to social media in November to announce their return to the live stage. “Five years, four colonoscopies, two root canals and a handful of prostate exams tell us that it’s time to carpe diem our asses back to Europe asap,” the group wrote, sharing a number of European dates in the process, and continually adding more in the weeks since.

Just a matter of days ago, Australian fans received the news they’ve been waiting for, with the group announcing their first local headline tour in 23 years. Though it’s long-awaited news for their diehard supports, considering keyboardist Roddy Bottum noted no new music was on the way, it’s something of a small victory.

Paul Brown/Press

3

Mötley Crüe

Why They Split: Despite all the hedonistic tales of debauchery that precede them, the way in which Mötley Crüe split was surprisingly admirable. Having spent years on the road, the group held a press conference to announce their fittingly-titled Final Tour in 2014, even going so far as to sign a “cessation of touring agreement” that would prevent the announcement of any further shows under the Mötley Crüe name past 2015.

Last Performance: After 158 shows around the world, it all wrapped up for the Crüe at Los Angeles’ Staples Centre on December 31, 2015. Kicking things off with Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “So Long, Farewell” welcoming the band to the stage, the 18-song set was seen by many as a fitting way to close the lid on the outfit, with the performance even being recorded for a live DVD release soon afterwards. Surely, with a performance of this calibre, there’d be no need to ever follow it up with anything, right?

Years Off: Four

2020 Plans: Though members of Mötley Crüe had reunited in 2018 to record new material for the soundtrack to their own biopic, The Dirt, memories of that “cessation of touring agreement” meant that the chances of a new tour to accompany this announcement would be slim to none. Finding a loophole though, November saw the group reveal that they would once again be saddling up to hit the road, announcing a tour alongside the likes of Def Leppard, Poison, and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts.

Though there’s no word yet if the tour will extend outside of the continental US, dedicated fans are likely looking towards this tour with either excitement or betrayal, depending on how much they paid to see the band “one last time” on their last tour.

My Chemical Romance pictured rehearsing for their 2019 reunion show.

My Chemical Romance/Instagram

2

My Chemical Romance

Why They Split: Like many breakups, few reasons were given as to why My Chemical Romance called it quits in 2013. Given they had reportedly been in the process of recording a new album at the start of 2012, the release of unheard tracks from 2009 as Conventional Weapons prior to their breakup seemed to indicate that perhaps sessions for a new record hadn’t gone well, or that in-fighting had occurred.

Despite a diplomatic message heralding this unfortunate news, frontman Gerard Way later confirmed that there were “many reasons” for their split, reiterating that “there was no divorce, argument, failure, accident, villain, or knife in the back that caused this”.

Last Performance: Fittingly, the last performance for My Chemical Romance was a hometown show on May 19, 2012 at New Jersey’s Bamboozle Festival. Unfortunately, this show appears to have given the band something of a warning sign that the end was near, with Way having described their performance as “good. Not great, not bad, just good”, and noting that it was during this gig that he began to realise things were feeling different for him within the band than they had previously.

Years Off: Six

2020 Plans: Though their reunion was somewhat spoiled by Joe Jonas, of all people, My Chemical Romance made their live return with a special headline show in Los Angeles in December. With reports claiming they’re in fine a form as ever, it has made fans even more excited to see what their upcoming performances in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan are set to be like. A cryptic announcement on their social media preceded the reveal of a UK show, while new music appears to have been teased ahead of their recent US tour announcement. Stay tuned for big things from the emo icons.

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1

Rage Against The Machine

Why They Split: For a group whose history is as volatile as the topics they approach, the details surrounding Rage Against the Machine’s split is not widely documented. Though their original break-up in 2000 was due to vocalist Zack de la Rocha’s departure due to his opinion that their “decision-making process has completely failed” and that it has “undermined our artistic and political ideal”, their four-year reformation ended in 2011 under unknown circumstances, with members giving conflicting responses to the topic of new material at the time.

Last Performance: After close to a year between gigs, Rage Against the Machine played their last live show to date at their own L.A. Rising festival on July 30, 2011. Performing as part of a lineup that featured the likes of Lauryn Hill, Muse, Immortal Technique, and Rise Against, the band were in fine company, closing out their second period of activity with the one-two punch of “Freedom” and “Killing in the Name” as their encore.

Years Off: Eight

2020 Plans: It was to the surprise of everyone that Rage Against the Machine announced a new reunion back in November, sharing plans for a number of dates in 2020. Set to take place at a trio of US border states throughout March, the crown jewel of this reunion tour will occur in April when the group headline Coachella for the third time. Appearing at the first festival in 1999 and playing the first show of their 2007 reunion at Coachella, it’s undoubtedly on track to be one of the year’s biggest shows.

Since their initial announcement, the group have slowly added a few US festivals to their itinerary, though news of a potential Australian return is yet to be revealed. Despite an apparently fake tour poster making the rounds recently, it appears that fans might be witnessing the gradual return of the musical icons. Whatever the case, you can be sure Rage Against the Machine will be the voice of reason the world needs ahead of the 2020 US election.