By: Andrew Bansal
In what has increasingly become a trend over the years, veteran rock bands that have existed for the past three decades announce their farewell tour, advertise it as the very last one they would ever do, and promise to deliver their best for fans one final time. But this entire ideology is flawed and wrong, for several reasons. Let's delve
As an automatic consequence of the farewell tag, promoters and venues have a field day with such a tour announcement and in most cases, ticket prices skyrocket. While a majority of fans are content with meeting these exorbitant prices to see their favorite band's supposed final performance in their town, it's wrong mainly because as we've seen time and again, nearly every band has lied about it. Classic examples from rock history are Ozzy Osbourne's No More Tours tour followed by the Retirement Sucks tour and KISS' 1998 farewell tour after which they've done several tours and still continue to do so. More recent examples of false farewells are Judas Priest's 2011 Epitaph tour and Scorpions' 2010-12 Final Sting. A lot of these bands still put on great shows and the issue is not that they're still touring, but the fact that they either blatantly lied about the farewell in the first place or made a U-turn afterwards.
It's certainly categorized as false advertising, and for a genuine fan, the delusional experience of seeing a band for the last possible time is rendered as a whole lot of wasted investment, both financially and emotionally. And then there's the other side of the coin wherein the retiring band is simply no longer capable of putting on good live performances and the farewell ticket price comes across as even more unjust in these cases with the band only succeeding in ruining their legacy, Mötley Crüe's horrendous shows on their ongoing 'Final' tour being the freshest example of it.
The only exception in recent times has been Steel Panther, who ended their two-decade long Hollywood residency with three final shows at the House of Blues Sunset Strip last April without ever saying so and only said goodbye to their hometown fans on stage at the end of the third show. The other one worth mentioning is Black Sabbath, whose recent headline appearance at the British Summer Time festival in Hyde Park, England was apparently their final gig according to guitarist Tony Iommi, who only hinted at it two months prior to the show and even so, wasn't completely rigid about the band's farewell possibility.
Farewell tours are nothing but a glorified cash grab, and even though thankfully there's a growing section of people that are smart enough to understand that, it's really up to the bands to put an end to this practice by not attaching such tours to their retirements. The modern world still awaits the first rock band with the integrity and the abstinence to announce retirement after their real final tour rather than before a possibly false one.