The world didn't end in an apocalyptic blast of dubstep womp and sub-bass drops, and you've lived another day to listen to that fun. song again. Yay! What can you expect from 2013, based on the events and trends of 2012? My predictions as follows, some in earnest, others not so much…
This year saw a rise in artists and bands commemorating the anniversary release of a seminal album by presenting the album live, in its entirety. Full album tours will only increase in 2013, since they're an ingenious way to spur renewed interest in records that probably aren't moving, or generate brand new interest with special re-mastered re-releases of the albums in question preceding the tours. They also give bands an excuse to hit the road despite lacking fresh material to promote.
We saw a "performance" by a Tupac hologram at last year's Coachella. The company responsible for the technological resuscitation, Digital Domain Media Group, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy shortly after. But they'll return in 2013 with wealthy investors and permission from Michael Jackson's estate to produce an MJ hologram to "perform" a duet with Beyoncé at the Super Bowl 47 halftime show. Pepsi pays $40 million for the rights to re-purpose the hologram for a 30-second commercial that becomes an instant viral sensation, second that week only to a viral video of the actual halftime show.
In 2012, Justin Bieber turned 18, issued his third multi-platinum studio album, Believe, single-handedly launched the career of "Call Me Maybe" pop star Carly Rae Jepsen, more than doubled his Twitter followers (from 15 to 31.7 million), grossed $30.6 million in concert ticket sales, and experienced his first-ever Phish show. Bieber's Phish-loving guitarist and musical director Dan Kanter — who regularly slips segments of Phish songs into Bieber's live setlists — introduced Bieber and girlfriend Selena Gomez to the band at a show that August, which prompted Bieber to enlist Phish lighting maestro Chris Kuroda to work the boards for his "Believe" tour when the dates didn't conflict with Phish tour. Phish frontman Trey Anastasio stopped by Madison Square Garden to see Bieber in action three months later, and 2013 sees scheduling conflicts morph into sit-in opportunities — Anastasio takes Kanter's place for a song at a Bieber date, while Bieber makes a surprise appearance during the second set of a Phish show. Tweens crash Phish.com the next day in their eagerness to download copies of the show.
Who's going to be the big indie rock winners at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards? Do you really need to ask after the complete and utter oversaturation of fun. anthems "Some Nights" and "We Are Young" all over the airwaves, in commercials, TV shows and films, at sporting events, high school graduations, the supermarket … Seems likely fun. will take home all the trophies in their seven nominated categories. But who will turn out to be darkhorse Grammy winner of 2013, the Bon Iver or Arcade Fire or Esperanza Spaulding of the ceremonies, the winner that comes from far left field? My money is on Alabama Shakes. "Who?" you ask. "Exactly my point," I reply. Bonus Benjamins if they beat fun. for the Best New Artist award.
Dubstep won't jump the shark. However, Skrillex will release a hit single about a great white shark, "Hunting and Crunching (I Think We're Gonna Need a Bigger Beat)," that samples the Jaws theme and becomes the new anthem of Discovery Channel's Shark Week.
Axl Rose spearheads another Guns N' Roses reunion in honor of Appetite for Destruction's 26-year anniversary. Halfway through, Rose fires all the musicians backing him, hits the studio, and re-records Appetite as a pedal steel-laced country album. Much like Staind's Aaron Lewis, he goes on a solo acoustic country music tour, just him and a few guitars, but cancels three dates deep because "too many people are staring at me."
Rumors resurface about a Talking Heads reunion. It doesn't happen. Pink Floyd doesn't reunite, either. Led Zeppelin does, but only to play the Super Bowl 47 halftime show. (They couldn't pass up the opportunity to share the stage with holographic MJ.)
MTV revives Celebrity Deathmatch but via Twitter only, renaming it ‘Star vs. Star’ (@starvstar) and forcing celebs to duke it out in five rounds of 140 characters or less.
You think public interest in zombies reached a fever pitch this year? Wait until 2013, when zombies and reunion tours collide in a new trend of gross nostalgia that starts when organizers of Bonnaroo, not to be outdone by the Coachella holograms, team up with the scientist-necromancers of Frankenstein’s Lab, Inc. to deliver the ultimate Allmans Brothers Band reunion, with Gregg Allman and all present members of the band joined by Zombie Duane Allman and Zombie Barry Oakley. Everything's going great until Zombie Duane tries to take a bite out of Warren Haynes during a particularly intense guitar duel, and gets his jaw knocked off in the brawl that ensues. Led Zeppelin soon follows suit with a two-date stand featuring Zombie John Bonham, who proves he's still better than most living drummers out there even after he loses an arm and a few toes during the "Moby Dick" drum solo.