Metal Insider wraps every year with a list of Top Ten Shocking moments. However, this is 2020. The biggest shock was something barely on our radar last year, which is, of course, the worldwide pandemic of COVID-19. We’ve exceeded eighty-one million cases and nearing two million deaths worldwide as the coronavirus has affected everyone in more ways than one. Concerts and events turned into distant memories, while artists having Livestream events from their living room became our new normal.
As the spread of the virus appeared more contained in different parts of the world, venues, bands, and staff experimented with socially distant concerts. Unfortunately, others, such as Steel Panther’s three-trek run in Florida and the Sturgis Rally, put safety regulations into the back-burner despite the growing number of COVID cases and deaths in the surrounding areas.
To top off the catastrophic year, we’ve lost many musicians, which feels like more than previous years. 2020 began with losing iconic drummers including, Neil Peart and Reed Mullin, to Power Trip’s Riley Gale, and moving onto losing the legendary Eddie Van Halen, which only added to the exasperating 2020 waking nightmare. We can summarize 2020 as Murphy’s Law with, what can go wrong will go wrong. The entire year was a shocking disaster, leaving little wiggle room for hope. The only light inside this dark truculent tunnel was the exceptional amount of new music released, which we can only expect to see a continuation in 2021 (check out Jeff, Matt, Zach, Chris, Bram, and Zenae’s top lists).
Towards the beginning, the shocking moment was seeing Insomnium cancel their tour after just arriving in the United States. All bands eventually had their touring plans scrapped or were forced to abruptly cancel half-way through their scheduled run, making it one heartbreaking story after the next. Spreadsheets were created to support bands by tracking everything down, including where to get merchandise. However, after seeing over 900 cancellations, it was nearly impossible to keep up. We usually write a list of tours we’re looking forward to seeing during our year-end wrap-ups, but 2020 made us realize; anything can happen. We faced challenges that guided us to discover new solutions during troubling times, such as donating to Save Our Stages and Bandcamp‘s waived fees to support artists.
Metal Insider launched a new Home Quarantine column to spread positivity, asking bands for advice during these unprecedented times. Despite the darkness, this year has proven we can unite and rebuild. Instead of listing out nine other “shocking” moments, we want to thank the artists who took the time to share advice on what we can do during a time of uncertainty and isolation. Hopefully, we will see you at a show sometime in 2021!
Thank you to the artists who participated in the Metal Inside(r)’s Home Quarantine: