The List: Bands that have postponed or canceled shows due to COVID

Mandates might be ending, but in order to keep the music scene going folks should continue to mask up at concerts

Andy Downing
Columbus Alive
Matt Rolin and Jen Powers of the Powers/Rolin Duo at Dirty Dungarees. (Photo by Tim Johnson)

Earlier this week, a federal judge in Florida struck down a national mask mandate, which led to some incredibly bizarre scenes, including a pilot interrupting one flight to tell passengers they could remove their masks, which he termed "the most important announcement I've ever made," and a flight attendant on a different plane walking the aisle with a trash bag while singing, "Throw away your masks."

At the same time that chunks of America appear intent on ignoring the coronavirus into oblivion (let's see how that pans out), one of the industries hit hardest by COVID-19 — the live music industry — continues to be ravaged by the virus, with bands and artists canceling and postponing tours at a staggering clip.

Here in Columbus, Jen Powers of Powers/Rolin Duo recently took to Twitter to share that the band had called off a planned cross-country tour set to start next month, noting the potential risk to both their health and wallet.

Chicago recording engineer and musician Steve Albini posted a similarly themed thread on Twitter this past week, in which he relayed the challenges currently facing touring bands, whose finances can be completely upended by a single positive test from within the ranks.

"I saw the footage of people on planes cheering that they didn't have to wear masks anymore and it made my blood run cold. Yay we don't have to care about other people any more yay. Let's pretend breathing on each other isn't precisely the way the disease spreads and mutates. Yay," Albini wrote. "I want you, potential gig goers, to appreciate how definitely *not* over it we are, and how we will not get to over it without commitment from everybody to a few basic things, done as a matter of human decency out of consideration of other people."

Chief among these, Albini, wrote, was for anyone attending a concert to continue to wear a mask, regardless of the venue's stated policy. (He also noted that things like post-show meet-and-greets should be viewed as a thing of the past, citing the need for band members to protect their health in the current landscape.)

"We're all adapting to this, like losing a limb. Bands have to behave differently now," he wrote. "As audience, the people we're doing it for, all we ask is that you care about each other when you come see us. We're all at the same gig and we all want it to be awesome. Some of that is on you."

He's not wrong, either. While many local venues have dropped masking and/or vaccine requirements, a number of artists have continued to ask audience members to mask up, including Sasami, Waxahatchee, Snail Mail and Mitski, among others.

And it's with good reason. Here's a list of just some of the bands that have made public posts about positive COVID tests just this month.

Bartees Strange

Car Seat Headrest

Low

Circuit des Yeux

Superchunk

Circle Jerks

Brian Jonestown Massacre

Spoon

Jon Spencer

Bob Mould

Sea Power

Crowded House