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Summer festivals are always rich with reunions and resurrections. What better way to jump-start a sagging reputation, cap a triumphant return or herald a new chapter in an artist’s career?

Summer Sonic

News photoMC5

The Damned: It’s just Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible from the original lineup, but given the havoc that even one member of The Damned is capable of, maybe two are more than enough.

MC5: Both guitarist Fred “Sonic” Smith and vocalist Rob Tyner are dead, but the remaining members have hit on the neat idea of featuring a revolving door of guest vocalists (expect Pelle from The Hives in Japan) and occasional guest guitarist (who knows who will show up). Hopefully this makeshift MC5 as their most famous song declared will really kick out the jams.

The Go-Go’s: They haven’t recorded since 1984 and look like suburban soccer moms, but in their day, The Go-Go’s rocked live.

Beastie Boys: At 40, the Beastie Boys are no longer the post-punk hip-hop tricksters that they used to be. Or at least not completely. Returning from a long hiatus, their new album has its share of predictable Beastie hijinks, but is leavened with a more direct political message. The boys are grown-ups too.

Fuji Rock

Morrissey: Oops. He could been a highlight of Fuji Rock, but due to “miscommunication between him and his agent,” Morrissey has cancelled his appearance. Cranky bastard strikes again?

The Pixies: After their strange, tumultuous breakup, who would have ever expected Black Francis, Kim Deal et al. to mend fences? Yet nearly two decades later, their records still sound absolutely essential. The Pixies are the band to see at Fuji, hands down.

Zazen Boys: After the breakup of Number Girl, Shutaku Mukai has returned with a new unit. This project sees him mixing snippets of hip-hop, even soul, with his signature trebly angular guitar playing. Mukai still writes noise-laden songs that drip with ironic depression. At least this time around, he tempers his sardonic delivery with an occasional smile.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

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