Lollapalooza and the MTV VMAs Clearly Show that Live Music is Finally Back

The pandemic dealt a “catastrophic blow” to the music industry in 2020, with musicians having to abruptly cancel their concerts and tours. Starting in the middle of March 2020, the music industry suffered a big hiatus, with mostly every concert being cancelled for the rest of the year. 

While artists turned to livestreams, social media, and even zoom to stay connected with their fans, at least last year gave them plenty of time to create new music which fans have been waiting excitingly for.

Rapper Post Malone said it best to The Wall Street Journal, “This has been a perfect time to make music, and to write songs about what’s going on currently. I’m working on an album now. Honestly, for a songwriter to be in the house all day is a blessing and a curse. In the darkest of times, I’m just trying to make something beautiful out of it.”

Many people expected for 2021 to be the year that the music industry comes back at full speed and, in some ways, it has. 

Earlier this year Green Day, Weezer and Fall Out Boy performed in front of 35,000 people in Arlington, Texas, to kick off their Hella Mega Tour. 

Only weeks ago, thousands of attendees celebrated the return of live music at Lollapalooza, one of the largest music festivals in the world. Lollapalooza took place in Chicago with testing/vaccination protocols and welcomed about 400,000 people throughout one weekend.

The MTV Video Music Awards 2021, commonly abbreviated as the VMAs, aired this past weekend in NYC. With the lineup of how many stars showed up, it was a great testament to live music being reawakened.

Hosted by Doja Cat, the 40th VMAs had performances from Camila Cabello, Kacey Musgraves, Justin Bieber, Olivia Rodrigo, Lil Nas X and more.

Pop icon Madonna opened the show and told the screaming crowd: “They said we wouldn’t last. But we’re still here.”

The event also had surprise appearances by many well knowns including Olympic star Simone Biles and Jennifer Lopez, who presented an award to upcoming singer Olivia Rodrigo.

“I feel so grateful that I get to write music, make stuff that I love and call it my job,” said Rodrigo, who was nominated for the first time. The artist said this was the “most magical year” of her life.

Machine Gun Kelly was one of the major attractions on Sunday night, wowing the red carpet with girlfriend Meghan Fox, who wore a see-through dress. The rapper/rockstar also got into a heated argument ahead of the show with UFC fighter Conner McGregor. 

Billy Eilish won the fan-voted video for “Your Power” and spoke about women empowerment in her acceptance speech while the Foo Fighters performed and accepted the Global Icon Award, an honor handed out for the very first time at the VMAs. 

“Thank you very much for this award, we’ll see you in another 26 years,” said band member Dave Grohl.

Justin Bieber had also triumphantly returned to the stage as a performer and even was the winner of the artist of the year, an award presented to him by ‘80’s music star Cyndi Lauper.

“As we know, there’s so much going on in the world as we speak,” Bieber said during his acceptance speech after winning artist of the year. “I know you guys have probably heard it a lot. We are in unprecedented times with this COVID thing that’s happening right now. It’s a big deal. Music is such an amazing outlet to be able to reach people and bring us all together. That’s why we are here right now. We’re all here together.”

While the delta variant has caused some artists such as Maroon 5, Halsey, and the Backstreet Boys to postpone their concert plants, there are still many musicians who are scheduled to perform in front of live audiences again before the year ends.

This includes John Legend, who is scheduled to play in Hollywood at the end of the month and System of a Down and Bon Iver, who will play separate shows in Los Angeles in October. 

While the world may not be completely out of the woods yet from the pandemic, it’s nice to see that the music industry is coming back to life.