The comeback tour that Twin Cities-based modern rock quintet Motion City Soundtrack was supposed to tear through two years ago has sadly been delayed again, this time due to the impact of COVID's omicron variant.
All of the band's gigs through late February were postponed last week by the band, including a Jan. 27-28 return to First Avenue and concerts on both the East and West Coasts. No makeup dates have been set yet.
Motion City performed in Grand Rapids on Dec. 29 and was headed to Chicago to play the House of Blues on New Year's Eve, but then it apparently got stuck in "a holding pattern" there. The Chicago show and several more got scrapped on short-notice. Then finally the whole shebang had to be postponed as the band reported that "COVID has unfortunately hit our touring family."
"We took every precaution that we could before, during, and even as we have been stuck in a holding pattern in sunny Chicago since this tour (almost) got started about a week ago," the band said in a statement last week.
"We have been weighing the pros and cons of whether or not to proceed as initially planned, but due to the severity of the situation out there, we have ultimately decided to postpone the entire tour. We are completely devastated to have to do this, as we've looked forward to this tour for SO long."
The poster for their tour billed it as the 17th anniversary of their best-loved album "Commit This to Memory" — but with "15th" and "16th" humorously crossed out. Here's hoping it doesn't take another year.
A favorite on the Warped Tour and Epitaph Records through much of the 2000s and early-2010s, MCS had returned from a five-year hiatus at the start of 2020 with an initial quick run of well-received shows, including a sold-out three-night stand at the new Fillmore in Minneapolis in February 2020. COVID hit just a few weeks later, spoiling the rest of their 2020 tour plans. The group only played a handful of shows in 2021, including another hometown set at the Basilica Block Party.
MCS has gone ahead and put T-shirts, posters and other merchandise from the current tour on sale online, with some of the money going directly to members of their road crew: "They have endured so many setbacks during this pandemic, and it breaks our hearts to have to see them go home (again)," the band said in a post.
Motion City is actually in the minority among bands with winter tours so far opting to cancel or delay due to omicron. Some other tours crossed off First Ave's list of upcoming shows include Best Coast (due next week), Diet Cig, the Staves and the twofer with Jonathan Richman and Bonnie Prince Billy.