“Is This it?” – The Shows That Would Have Been

Video courtesy The Strokes, Cult Records/RCA Records.


Photo courtesy Stubhub.

The Strokes were one of the many top-tier acts who were forced to cancel their Chicago concert due to Covid-19.

Jacob Martinez, Staff Writer

Concerts, music festivals, venues, and house shows. No matter the place, live performances of a group or singular artist is an invigorating experience that many across the world wish to go through. But unfortunately, in the trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic, live music performances were canceled until further notice from the government.

Many artists and groups were distraught at the occurrence and would only wish that such a situation had never happened, and audiences wish that they could only have a chance to attend their favorite bands’ live shows. The shows that would have been.

Fans across the country who purchased tickets in advance were thrown into a confusing seas of credits, refunds, and lost plans for what would have been their highlight of the summer.

Shows starting from “The Weeknd” to “The Strokes,” events that long-time fans have hoped to attend to were shut down or cancelled. Even house-shows where local bands or groups perform in basements or garages, especially the punk scene.

“I was going to see The Weeknd with my best friend back in June [until] COVID had canceled almost every event.” Kayla Del Valle, student at Morton West High School, explains once asked about what concerts she would have attended. “I had gone to three other concerts last year and planned on going to more this year.”

Del Valle noted that the concert is tentatively rescheduled for June 2021, adding that she plans to buy tickets and attend the show with a friend.

That seems to be the case for many of those who have anticipated on going to live events throughout the many nations of the world. Events started to cancel and be whittled down around May 2020, or in early 2020 summer.

“We were expecting a lot of shows for [the] summer of 2020, not any one specific show, you know?” Gerardo Godinez, a guitarist for the band “The Wicked Wed”, responds once asked about what shows he was expecting to see or thinking about going before COVID struck. “But I know for a fact if [Corona] wasn’t the case, my band and I would be playing even more shows than the summer of 2019. I just know the band would have a hell of a lot more busy this year if things were normal.” Godinez states.

Fortunately, some musicians and groups do decide to do live performances, but virtually or at a more secluded area, where little to no physical contact could be made while performing. For example, The Strokes performed live Nov. 9 on SNL (Saturday Night Live). The American Music Awards also featured virtual performances of some of the top acts of 2020.

“I feel like, at a concert, especially if you get REALLY good seats, which is what my intention was, it’s basically like you’re in the same room as the artist,” Del Valle said. “It’s a better experience.”

So, while the 2020 concert season may have been a lost cause for avid music fans and big-time musicians alike, a vaccine scheduled for distribution in the spring opens the possibility of a big return to Chicago for some of the best names in the business.