It really seemed like things were on the right path, didn’t it? Sure, we were all still wearing masks in the bars, clubs, and theaters. At least, when we weren’t furtively pulling them down to take a quick swig of beer, or glaring at the inconsiderate asshats who kept their masks permanently under their chins while packed in close quarters in front of the stage. But shows were back! We could finally see our favorite musicians once more plying their trade for appreciative crowds.
And then: omicron. One step forward, one giant round Greek letter back. By the time you read these words, the surge from this latest variant may have subsided. But for now, there’s a tough moral calculus at work in deciding to go see a live band or artist. Staying safe should be everyone’s top priority—and logic dictates that means staying home again, for now anyway—but for a lot of musicians, touring is their livelihood. And many are locked into tours they can’t afford not to continue. So you have to balance wanting to support artists with wanting to do your part to keep COVID in check. If you do go, please abide by the strictest of COVID protocols.
But this wave won’t last forever. And there are a bunch of great artists hitting the road in 2022, ready to remind you of the (clichéd but true) power of live music. Here is a partial list of the acts we’re most excited to see in coming months; we’d include every band we want to check out, but a list 200 names long is pretty unwieldy. So consider this our must-see checklist; feel free to add your own unmissable acts in the comments. Hopefully, we’ll all be out soon, safely head-banging the night away.
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