What does the Hella Mega Tour mean in 2019?

Peter O'Neill

030825-N-4943L-002 Manama, Bahrain (Aug. 25, 2003) -- Members of the rock band Blink-182 sit at the shipÕs controls pier-side aboard the nuclear-powered attack submarine USS Memphis (SSN 691). Morale Welfare and Recreation, Naval Personnel Command Millington, Tenn. and MWR, NSA Bahrain brought Blink-182 to Bahrain to perform for Sailors, Marines and their families. U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 2nd Class Denny Lester. (RELEASED)

Fans of Green Day, Fall Out Boy and Weezer were elated to find out that all three bands were to tour together next year all over the world.

Although all of the bands had the biggest moments in popularity at least, they still carry a lot of sway for fans of alternative rock. Ultimately, however, this feels like a final battle as opposed to the renewal of life into the genre.

The musical landscape today is completely different even from when Fall Out Boy first burst into public consciousness in 2005. People beyond a niche of album loyalists, do not want an entire album to listen to as a whole piece front to back, but instead one or two catchy songs to add to a playlist. There isn’t anything right or wrong with this, it’s just simply the way things are now.

These are three acts, particularly Green Day who put a lot of thought into the way their albums are structured. One of the reasons “American Idiot” was a smash hit, was that it was a brilliantly structured album that highlighted the alienation experienced by many during the George W Bush administration.

It also contained four huge singles that dominated the radio for the following two years. If you look at the charts today, it’s dominated by pop and hip-hop music. This shows it would take a massive cross-over song that transcended genre for them to have a massive song today.

Another aspect that makes it harder for these bands to have a massive hit is that music is ultimately a young people’s game. The success of Billie Eilish last year who’s still a child highlights this.

However, this is all assuming that these bands care. Most of the members of all three bands have children and are married, and are pretty settled in their lives. They also still have massive, although somewhat aging fanbases that still listen to every new album and will pay to go see them when they come around.

The decision to tour together is also a shrewd move when you have to assume that their popularity has dwindled. Lead singer and guitarist for Green Day, Billie Joe Armstrong, said that one of the reasons for touring together was that he wanted to play stadiums, with the subtext being, that Green Day can’t quite do it themselves together.

By putting Fall Out Boy and Weezer on the bill, two other bands with a lot of overlapping fanbases, it’s creating a similar spectacle similar to the 1988 Monsters of Rock tour, featuring Metallica and Van Halen. It’s creating a massive event, which is a time of alienation and segmentation is what people want more and more of.

The internet and neo-liberalism in Western society have created what could ultimately be one of the loneliest in civilisation. Felix Biederman highlights this excellently in his UFC documentary “Fighting in the Age of Loneliness”.

Religion, TV, and societal events no longer have quite the same pull that they even did ten years ago. We can create our echo chamber and news feed every day without even knowing what the cultural event is for that time.

Concerts, which are essentially the musical expression of togetherness and love for fans of the act as well as performance help to bridge that gap. By creating this massive touring event, hopefully, it’ll make the world at least a little less lonely.

Peter O’Neill

Image Credit: Wikimedia