This year marks the 20th anniversary of JamBase. Part of the yearlong celebration includes the 20 For 20 series featuring 20 lists focusing on 20 notable topics and events of the JamBase era. The lists were compiled by current and former JamBase staff members and contributors, music industry professionals and other experts. Stay tuned for more, as the series continues throughout the year and we look back at two decades of encouraging fans to Go See Live Music!
Reunions have become big business over the past 20 years thanks to the resurgence of music festivals whose organizers are always looking to differentiate their event from others. While some of the reunions listed below were motivated by money, others came after a creative spark or when band members put past personal issues behind them. In order to qualify, key surviving members needed to take part in the concert and/or tour and the reunion needs to have spanned at least one full headlining performance (Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame sets don’t count, sorry Talking Heads). Read on for profiles of 20 memorable reunions of the JamBase era.
Grateful Dead | 2002 – 2004 & 2008 – 2009 & 2015
[Video Credit: Grateful Dead]
The post-Jerry Garcia history of the Grateful Dead is a complicated one. While the band retired the name the “Grateful Dead” after Garcia’s passing, the surviving members played in various incarnations since 1995.
The “core four” of Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann reunited for their first full concerts together under the moniker “The Other Ones” on August 3 and 4, 2002 at Alpine Valley in East Troy, Wisconsin as part of an event dubbed “Terrapin Station.” The Other Ones embarked on their debut tour in November of 2002 with Jimmy Herring, Rob Barraco, Jeff Chimenti and Susan Tedeschi.
The Other Ones changed their name to The Dead in 2003 for dates featuring the core four as well as Herring, Chimenti, Barraco and Joan Osborne. In 2004, The Dead toured with Warren Haynes, Herring and Chimenti accompanying Mickey, Phil, Bob and Billy.
Five years went by before the core four teamed with Warren and Jeff for a concert to raise funds for the Obama Campaign and the same lineup played one of President Barack Obama’s inaugural balls on January 20, 2009, toured in the spring and headlined the Rothbury Festival.
Then, six years past before Lesh, Hart, Kreutzmann and Weir performed a series of five Fare Thee Well – Celebrating 50 Years Of The Grateful Dead concerts in 2015 that were billed as their final shows together and have remained so through press time. Jeff Chimenti, Bruce Hornsby and Trey Anastasio rounded out the lineup for two nights in Santa Clara, California and three nights in Chicago.
Simon & Garfunkel | 2003 – 2005 & 2009 – 2010
[Video Credit: fritz51300]
While Simon & Garfunkel‘s Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel parted ways in 1970 after a run as one of the top-selling artists of the ’60s, the pair have reunited a number of times since. Two periods of Simon & Garfunkel reunions took place over the last 20 years.
In 2003, Paul and Art embarked on the Old Friends Tour and performed multiple legs through July 31, 2004. The next year, the pair sang three songs together at a benefit for victims of Hurricane Katrina that was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Paul Simon was tapped to re-open the renovated Beacon Theatre in New York City on February 13 and 14, 2009. Garfunkel joined Simon for “The Sound Of Silence,” “The Boxer” and “Old Friends/Bookends” to end each concert. The duo then toured Japan, New Zealand and Australia later that year and performed a handful of tunes together at MSG on October 29, 2009 in celebration of the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame’s 25th anniversary.
The final Simon & Garfunkel set was held at the 2010 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
Cream | 2005
[Video Credit: theeshrimpking]
Despite a run of just three years between 1966 and 1968, Cream was a highly-inventive and influential band that set the template for the legions of power trios that would follow in their footsteps. Guitarist Eric Clapton, drummer Ginger Baker and bassist Jack Bruce made such a powerful sound it was hard to believe there were only three members. However, the trio decided three years was enough and embarked on a final tour in 1968 that concluded with a pair of farewell concerts at Royal Albert Hall in London on November 25 and 26.
The next Cream performance was a three-song set played on the night they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1993. Clapton still hadn’t fully scratched his Cream itch and reunited the group for a series of four concerts at Royal Albert Hall on May 2, 3, 5 and 6, 2005. Fans across the Atlantic had their turn to see the reformed Cream five months later when the three-piece played Madison Square Garden in New York City October 24 – 26. Talk of additional dates was squashed by Clapton.
“We did it and it was fun,” the guitarist told The Times in a 2006 interview. “But life is too short. I’ve got lots of other things I would rather do, including staying at home with my kids.”
Jack Bruce died on October 25, 2014, at the age of 71.
Pink Floyd | 2005
[Video Credit: michele matraia]
The classic Pink Floyd lineup of David Gilmour, Nick Mason, David Gilmour and Richard Wright only performed live together one time after 1981. Bob Geldof was able to convince Waters and Gilmour to put decades of bad blood that followed Waters leaving the band in 1985 and the others touring without him in the late ’80s and in 1994 behind them in the name of charity.
Pink Floyd came together for one night and one set only on July 2, 2005 as part of the Live 8 benefit concerts. Geldof organized the multi-city concerts to raise funds for the Make Poverty History campaign and for the Global Call Of Action Against Poverty.
Pink Floyd’s only performance with Waters in 24 years and first of any sort in over a decade took place at London’s Hyde Park. The quartet and a few additional musicians played classics “Speak To Me,” “Breathe / Breathe (Reprise),” “Money,” “Wish You Were Here” and “Comfortably Numb.”
Wright died three years later at the age of 65.
Van Halen | 2007 – 2008 & 2012 – 2015
[Video Credit: The Mobile MP3 Show]
In 1985, Van Halen was one of the most commercially successful rock bands in the world. However, personal problems led guitarist Eddie Van Halen, drummer Alex Van Halen and bassist Michael Anthony to part ways with vocalist David Lee Roth. Van Halen continued on with new frontman Sammy Hagar, while David Lee Roth focused on his solo career.
After a few false starts that included an ill-fated appearance at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards, Van Halen finally reunited with David Lee Roth for a 76-concert tour of North America that spanned September 27, 2007 – July 3, 2008. The Van Halen Brothers participated but replaced Michael Anthony with Eddie’s son, Wolfgang Van Halen.
The tour was only supposed to last for 50 dates yet demand led Van Halen to keep extending the run. In 2012, Van Halen released A Different Kind Of Truth, the group’s first studio album featuring David Lee Roth since 1984. The quartet supported the LP with a 60-date world tour that included performances in North America, Australia and Japan. Eddie, Alex, Wolfgang and David came together once more for a 41-show North American tour in 2015.
A 2019 tour featuring the return of Michael Anthony to the fold was discussed but never came together.
The Police | 2007 – 2008
[Video Credit: Rock Concerts]
In 1986, The Police parted ways at the top of their game so that bassist Sting could focus on his solo career. Sting was at a crossroads following the 2006 release of Songs From The Labyrinth, a studio album featuring music composed by John Dowland.
“I was thinking: ‘Well, what do I do? What’s going to surprise people?’ I just had this instinct, this desire to call the guys up and say: ‘Let’s give this a go,’” the bassist told the Daily Mail about his decision to reunite with guitarist Andy Summers and drummer Stewart Copeland.
The Police Reunion Tour came just in time for the 30th anniversary of the trio’s formation and wound up including 151 total concerts. From May 28, 2007 through August 7, 2008 The Police hit five different continents and grossed over $360 million.
While there was talk of new music, and The Police did rework some old songs, the three-piece focused on classic material over the course of the jaunt. The tour concluded at Madison Square Garden after which the three members went their separate ways once again.
Rage Against The Machine | 2007 – 2011
[Video Credit: RATMVEVO]
Creative differences led Rage Against The Machine vocalist Zack de la Rocha to part ways with Tom Commerford, Brad Wilk and Tom Morello in October 2000 following the release of the cover album, Renegades. Commerford, Wilk and Morello decided to move forward and enlisted Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell for a project they dubbed Audioslave./p>
de la Rocha resolved his issues with his old band mates and in 2007 Rage Against The Machine reunited to headline that year’s Coachella. The reunited band continued to play sporadically through 2011.
All told, Rage Against The Machine performed 50 concerts between April 29, 2007 and July 30, 2011. The final show was a set at the 2011 L.A. Rising festival.
Pespite rumors of additional gigs in the years that followed, Rage has yet to share the stage again since.
Genesis | 2007
[Video Credit: Genesis]
The classic post-Peter Gabriel lineup of Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame band Genesis features Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks. Genesis embarked on the highly successful We Can’t Dance tour in 1992 and then Collins parted ways with his mates in 1996.
Fourteen years later, Phil, Mike and Tony called a press conference in November 2006 to announce they would reunite for the “Turn It On Again: The Tour.” The tour was originally supposed to include co-founding member Peter Gabriel and longtime guitarist Steve Hackett for performances of Genesis’ iconic 1974 concept album The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. Gabriel wouldn’t commit and the trio went forward without Peter and Steve and instead enlisted multi-instrumentalist Daryl Stuermer and drummer Chester Thompson to round out the touring lineup.
“Turn It On Again: The Tour” featured 48 concerts over two legs spanning June 11 – October 13, 2007. Genesis played massive arenas and stadiums, utilized high-tech production elements and delivered a setlist incorporating material from 1973 – 1992.
Led Zeppelin | 2007
[Video Credit: Led Zeppelin]
When drummer John Bonham died on September 24, 1980 it didn’t take long for the rest of Led Zeppelin to decide not to continue without him. While Bonham’s fellow co-founding members — vocalist Robert Plant, multi-instrumentalist John Paul Jones and guitarist Jimmy Page — reunited for short sets at Live Aid in 1985 and at Atlantic Records’ 40th Anniversary concert in 1988, Led Zeppelin has only played one full performance since Bonzo’s death.
On December 10, 2007 Page, Plant and John Paul Jones teamed up with John Bonham’s son, Jason Bonham to headline the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert at London’s 02 Arena. Ahmet Ertegün co-founded and was president of Led Zeppelin’s first label, Atlantic Records. Over 20 million requests for tickets were entered into a lottery making the show the world record holder for “Highest Demand For Tickets For One Music Concert.”
Led Zeppelin played a two-hour set chock full of the band’s most-beloved material. Included within were live debuts of “Ramble On” and “For Your Life” and the evening concluded with encores of “Whole Lotta Love” and “Rock & Roll.”
Phish | 2009 – Present
[Video Credit: Phish]
On May 25, 2004 Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio issued a letter effectively breaking up the band following their 2004 Summer Tour. The letter came a mere 17 months after the Vermont-birthed quartet returned from a hiatus that spanned October 7, 2000 – December 31, 2002.
Anastasio was arrested on drug charges toward the end of 2006 and given time to reflect and the subsequent support of band mates Mike Gordon, Page McConnell and Jon Fishman, the four-piece decided to reunite starting with a run of three concerts at Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia on March 6 – 8, 2009. Over a decade later the band is still going strong.
Phish fit one new original into the Hampton run and issued a studio album filled with new material on September 8, 2009. They have gone on to release two more studio albums in addition to creating material for their storied Chilling, Thrilling Sounds Of The Haunted House and Kasvot Växt musical costumes on Halloween 2014 and 2018, respectively.
As part of their Summer Tour 2017, Phish added to their already incredible resume by performing a repeat-less 13-show Baker’s Dozen residency at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Pavement | 2010 & 2020
[Video Credit: Lenin Vieiera]
After a decade-long run that spanned 1989 – 1999 and included the release of five LPs and nine EPs, Pavement broke up. Word of the band’s split came from a rep for Pavement’s label, Domino, who informed NME, “Pavement are retiring for the foreseeable future to: 1. Start families 2. Sail around the world 3. Get into the computer industry 4. Dance 5. Get some attention.”
Pavement’s website was still operational and didn’t mention the breakup until Stephen Malkmus forced the issue the following summer and reportedly left band mate/webmaster Scott Kannberg to tell the other members.
The day Pavement fans had been waiting nearly a decade for came on September 15, 2009, when Brooklyn Vegan revealed the group would be “reuniting for dates around the world in 2010.” The announcement ended with an ominous statement that turned out to be true, “Please be advised this tour is not a prelude to additional jaunts and/or a permanent reunion.”
Pavement’s 2010 tour began in Auckland, New Zealand on March 1, 2010. The lineup of Malkmus, Kannberg, Steve West, Mark Ibold and Bob Nastanovich played over 60 shows in Australia, Asia, North America, Europe and South America before bringing the run to a close in Buenos Aires on November 22, 2010. Pavement will celebrate their 30th anniversary in 2020 with appearances at Primavera Sound festivals in Barcelona and Porto. The announcement from Primavera Sound noted these would be the band’s “only two worldwide shows in 2020.”
God Street Wine | 2001, 2010 – Present
[Video Credit: God Street Wine]
After their mid-1990s heyday, God Street Wine withstood a number of lineup changes at the end of the 1990s before disbanding in 1999. The original lineup of guitarists Lo Faber and Aaron Maxwell, keyboardist Jon Bevo, bassist Dan Pifer and drummer Tom “Tomo” Osander reunited on September 3, 2001 to help close out the New York City nightclub Wetlands Preserve before returning to dormancy.
One of the band’s earliest fans and tapers, Paul DuCharme, died in 2009. The five original members came together once again to play a private concert in 2009 in honor of DuCharme.
After fans nicknamed “Winos” started a movement to “Bring Back God Street Wine” that included a Facebook group, the band reunited for four sold-out concerts in their hometown of New York City during Summer 2010 and then performed aboard Jam Cruise the following January. While the plan was for GSW to return to inactivity, Faber and Maxwell reconnected to play acoustic shows later in 2011.
“Both of us had a musical itch to scratch, triggered by the GSW reunion shows, that wouldn’t go away,” Faber told Rolling Stone when additional reunion concerts were announced in 2012. “And the acoustic shows . . . were actually new and fresh, musically, in exactly the way I was looking for. They showed us that there are still a lot more musical possibilities for GSW still yet to be explored. We still have things to say up on that stage.”
The quintet has continued to play sporadically ever since and earlier this year released This Fine Town, their first new studio album in 22 years.
Buffalo Springfield | 2010 – 2011
[Video Credit: Peter Van Leeuwen]
Buffalo Springfield may have only been together between 1966 and 1968, but the three-year tenure was enough to score the band a spot in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame and helped launch the careers of legendary musicians Stephen Stills and Neil Young. Drummer Dewey Martin attempted to continue the band after Stills, Young and Richie Furay departed under the moniker New Buffalo Springfield yet was fired from the group, who changed their name to Blue Mountain Eagle in 1969.
Martin reunited with bassist Bruce Palmer and additional musicians as Buffalo Springfield Revisited with consent from Stills and Young to use the name in 1984. BSR went on to tour until the end of the ’80s.
An attempt to reunite the lineup of Martin, Palmer, Furay, Stills and Young took place in 1986 but ended when Neil didn’t appear at the third in a series of rehearsals planned to test the waters for a tour. While Palmer and Martin died in 2004 and 2009 respectively, Neil Young, Stephen Stills and Richie Furay assembled with bassist Rick Rosas and drummer Joe Vitale as Buffalo Springfield for performances on October 23 and 24, 2010 for the Bridge School Benefit concerts at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California.
Buffalo Springfield went on to play six concerts in California in June of 2011 leading up to the band’s appearance at Bonnaroo on June 11, 2011. Plans for an additional 30 dates in 2011 were torpedoed by Young, who decided to focus on work with Crazy Horse. The set at Bonnaroo in 2011 currently stands as the final Buffalo Springfield performance.
The Replacements | 2012 – 2015
[Video Credit: concertkid]
Influential Minneapolis-based rockers The Replacements followed a series of personnel changes with a farewell tour in 1991. The ‘Mats infamously disintegrated on-stage at their final concert on July 4, 1991 in Chicago as members of the road crew replaced members of the band one by one for the last song of the night.
Original members Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson reunited with drummer Chris Mars to record two songs for the 2006 compilation Don’t You Know Who I Think I Was?. Westerberg and Stinson assembled again in 2012 after former member Slim Dunlap suffered a stroke. Paul and Tommy and additional musicians, including Mars for one song, released the five-track Songs For Slim EP that year under The Replacements’ banner.
On August 25, 2013 The Replacements played their first show in 22 years when Westerberg, Stinson, guitarist Dave Minehan and drummer Josh Freese headlined the Riot Fest in Toronto. The reunited Replacements also headlined Riot Fest Chicago and Colorado in September 2013. A series of festival appearances and a few headlining gigs followed in 2014 as well as 20 gigs in 2015.
The Replacements ended their three-year reunion with a set at the Primavera Sound festival in Porto, Portugal on June 5, 2015. Westerberg proclaimed the show as the band’s last and smashed his guitar per Pitchfork’s account of the evening.
Neutral Milk Hotel | 2013 – 2015
[Video Credit: nosaintinla]
Masterminded by Jeff Mangum, Neutral Milk Hotel went on hiatus following the 1998 release of their critically-acclaimed In The Aeroplane Over The Sea album. While the LP wasn’t a big seller when issued, the record slowly turned into a massive commercial success. Fans waited for what seemed like an eternity for the band to reunite and the time finally came on April 29, 2013 when Neutral Milk Hotel announced a handful of dates with the promise of more to come.
The In The Aeroplane Over The Sea lineup of Mangum, Jeremy Barnes, Scott Spillane and Julian Koster returned to the stage on October 11, 2013 at 2640 in Baltimore. Neutral Milk Hotel would go on to play over 100 concerts across the world before ending the tour at the Phoenix Theatre in Petaluma, California on June 11, 2015.
“dear friends we love you but it’s time to say goodbye for the never ending now to announce that spring 2015 will be our last tour for the foreseeable future and so we extend our deepest gratitude to all the beautiful people who came to see us over the last year,” read a note posted on the band’s website on December 10, 2014 when the final leg was added.
The Slip | 2015
[Video Credit: Cleantones]
The core lineup of acclaimed jam act The Slip – guitarist Brad Barr, bassist Marc Friedman and drummer Andrew Barr – came together in the mid-1990s and released their debut album, From The Gecko, in 1996. After hundreds of live performances, 12 consecutive appearances at the High Sierra Music Festival and three more studio albums, the band was put on hiatus in 2012 so Brad and Andrew could focus on their own group, The Barr Brothers.
In 2015, The Slip reunited to play a set at High Sierra as part of a lineup that also featured The Barr Brothers and side project Surprise Me Mr. Davis. The performance stood as their first since December 31, 2011 and currently stands as their last public set.
Members of The Slip did take part in a 2018 Surprise Me Mr. Davis workshop at High Sierra. Additionally, The Slip performed a set at a private party in honor of JamBase’s 20th anniversary at Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley, California on June 2, 2019.
Temple Of The Dog | 2016
[Video Credit: mfc172]
Andrew Wood, who was best known for his work with Mother Love Bone, died on March 19, 1990 after overdosing on heroin. Shortly thereafter, Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell decided to put a band together to honor Wood. Cornell recruited Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron, Seattle guitarist Mike McCready and Wood’s Mother Love Bone band mates bassist Jeff Ament and guitarist Stone Gossard to form Temple Of The Dog. The new group played a handful of live performances surrounding the recording and release of a self-titled album that came out on April 16, 1991. Temple Of The Dog never actually toured until 25 years later, when the group hit the road for a short run to honor the anniversary.
McCready, Ament and Gossard formed Pearl Jam in 1990 with vocalist Eddie Vedder and what turned into a revolving chair of drummers until Cameron joined in 1998. Cornell would occasionally perform Temple Of The Dog songs with Pearl Jam at various points over the years.
On November 4, 2016 Temple Of The Dog started their lone tour with the first of two performances at the Tower Theatre in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. The quintet played songs from the LP as well as Mother Love Bone classics and a batch of choice covers. All told, the tour spanned just eight concerts.
Chris Cornell died on May 18, 2017 ending the chance for another tour. Members of the group took part in a tribute set to Cornell at The Forum in Inglewood, California on January 16, 2019 that included performances of four songs from Temple Of The Dog.
Ween | 2016 – Present
[Video Credit: Mickey Melchiondo]
Ween guitarist/vocalist Aaron “Gene Ween” Freeman shocked his band mates when he gave an interview to Rolling Stone in the Spring of 2012 declaring the band was done 25 years after he formed the group with Mickey “Dean Ween” Melchiondo.
“It’s time to move on,” Freeman told Rolling Stone and added, “I’m retiring Gene Ween.” When asked if this spelled the end of Ween, Freeman responded, “Pretty much, yeah. It’s been a long time, 25 years. It was a good run.”
In subsequent years, Freeman went on to pursue solo projects, while Melchiondo teamed with Ween band mates bassist Dave Dreiwitz, drummer Claude Coleman Jr. and keyboardist Glenn McClelland for a number of tours as The Dean Ween Group.
On November 16, 2015, Ween announced they would reunite for a pair of concerts at the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield, Colorado on February 12 and 13, 2016. Two shows turned into three and then additional runs were added. The quintet has continued to play sporadically ever since.
Ween has not written any new material since reuniting and 2007’s La Cucaracha still stands as the band’s last studio album.
LCD Soundsystem | 2016 – Present
[Video Credit: Simpo B]
On February 5, 2011 at the peak of their success, LCD Soundsystem announced they were calling it quits.
“good people of earth: lcd soundsystem are playing madison square garden on april 2nd, and it will be our last show ever,” read the start of a statement issued by the band. “we are retiring from the game. gettin’ out. movin’ on.”
After adding a handful of concerts before the April 2, 2011 finale LCD Soundsystem said farewell with a legendary three-and-a-half-hour, 29-song performance at MSG.
The breakup lasted for nearly five years. On Christmas Eve 2015, LCD Soundsystem released a single entitled “Christmas Will Break Your Heart” and then on January 4, 2016 the band appeared on the 2016 Coachella lineup. The next day, frontman James Murphy issued a statement explaining his decision to reunite the band to record a new album and perform live.
LCD Soundsystem returned to the stage at Webster Hall in New York City on March 27, 2016 for the first of three warmup shows ahead of Coachella. The group toured extensively in 2016 – 2018 and issued the album American Dream on September 1, 2017.
Guns N’ Roses | 2016 – Present
[Video Credit: Ledio Note]
Despite their stature as one of the top-grossing live acts and top-selling recording acts of their time, members of the Appetite For Destruction era Guns N’ Roses lineup departed over the course of the ’90s leaving just frontman Axl Rose. Bassist Duff McKagan and guitarist Slash played their final show with Rose on July 17, 1993 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Rose kept the band name and put together an all-new lineup that recorded the 1999 single “Oh My God” and embarked on a tour that spanned 2001 – 2002. More changes came as did additional GN’R tours, yet Rose remained the only member from the band’s glory days.
McKagan remained friends with Axl and performed with the group at select shows in 2010 and 2011 and even toured with GN’R in 2014. Yet, Slash was a different story.
Slash and Axl Rose reportedly never spoke between 1996 and 2015. Whatever animosity existed between the pair dissipated and the two finally got a phone call together in March of 2015. Once Slash revealed he spoke with Rose, rumors started circulating that the Appetite For Destruction lineup would reunite.
While a full reunion never took place, Slash and McKagan teamed with Rose as part of the lineup for the Not In This Lifetime… Tour. The run began on April 1, 2016 with a warmup show at the Troubadour in West Hollywood and continues at least through this fall. Over 150 concerts have been played thus far and the band has grossed over $500 million.
Appetite era drummer Steven Adler shared the stage for two songs with his old mates for the first time in 26 years on July 6, 2016 in Cincinnati and reprised his guest role four more times.