Three bands past their prime, but still capable of garnering mainstream excitement, have found a way to capitalize on their similarly-nostalgic fanbases.
Green Day, Weezer and Fall Out Boy announced a joint arena tour dubbed the “Hella Mega Tour,” kicking off in June 2020. The announcement was coupled with new music from each of the bands, and even brand new album announcements from Green Day and Weezer.
Promotion for the “Hella Mega Tour” shows these three bands aren’t taking themselves too seriously anymore, much like everyone else. A self-aware approach is probably the best way to market a tour of three bands whose best music was released in the 1990s and early 2000s.
The tour came about through management at Crush Music, the management team behind all three acts. It’s a move to make these bands relevant by creating one of the biggest rock events of the year, likening it to the “Monsters of Rock Tour,” which featured Metallica, Scorpions and Van Halen.
Each band uploaded their own announcement of the tour, with Green Day’s featuring frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, Rivers Cuomo and Pete Wentz deep-faked onto Ron Burgundy in various scenes from “Anchorman.” Weezer’s video featured a beanie-wearing talking alien. Fall Out Boy employed the hype of pro-wrestler Ric Flair.
New singles from Green Day and Fall Out Boy will most likely satisfy die hard fans, but in truth are overproduced, generic and predictable.
However, Green Day seems to think they’re making a statement with their Jack White rip-off, “Father of All…” The description of the song posted to YouTube includes what seems to be drugged up rambling signed by Armstrong.
“The lyrics are like a party and lifestyle of not giving a fuck. The life AND death of the party. Not political. Surviving in chaos. The real shit.” He continues to claim “rock has lost its balls,” while simultaneously continuing to suck out any elements of what made Green Day cool over 20 years ago.
Weezer makes the most valiant effort with their single, “The End of the Game.” It’s the lead single for their new album “Van Weezer,” the cover of which almost reads as an elaborate troll with its low effort design. But the song is incredibly catchy and creative.
Clearly the album title implies a 1980s rock influence, and shredding guitars and arena rock effects on the single confirm Weezer’s creative approach for the album. At the core of the song is Weezer’s pop rock formula working at its best. Seeing what else Weezer does by incorporating a classic rock style will be interesting.
While the “Hella Mega Tour” is nostalgically enticing, it also feels like another blow to the state of rock music, even though it’s meant to be the opposite. There’s something sad about packaging aging rock bands together for marketing purposes and as a move to maintain relevancy.
Die-hard fans have something to be hyped for, but those who have moved past their pop rock and pop punk phase will be the ones the “Hella Mega Tour” is hoping to win back. However, the chance to garner popularity at the level of these bands' primes is slim.