Rock Titans Unite for 2020 “Hella Mega” Tour

Oscar Kim Bauman, Living Arts Editor

For fans of pop-punk, 2020 will be a year to remember. Three legends of the scene, Green Day, Fall Out Boy, and Weezer announced last week that they will be embarking on a joint worldwide stadium tour, dubbed the Hella Mega Tour. In addition, all three bands have announced new music to accompany the tour. 

In announcing the tour, the frontmen of the three bands made comparisons to massive rock tours they remember from their childhood. Speaking to Rolling Stone, Green Day singer Billie Joe Armstrong said he wanted to make a modern version of the Monsters of Rock tours of the late 80s and early 90s, which featured Bon Jovi, Iron Maiden, Aerosmith, KISS, and more. In the same interview, Fall Out Boy bassist and lyricist Pete Wentz compared the Hella Mega Tour to the 1992 co-headlining tour with Metallica and Guns n’ Roses.

Each of the three bands featured on the Hella Mega Tour has had a unique career trajectory, and influenced music in their own ways. Green Day, who began its career as a scrappy upstart ushering in a modern punk revival back in the early 1990s, has aged into the role of older statesmen of the genre. Between a career revival with 2004’s American Idiot and a popular Broadway musical based on that album, the band managed to extend their career across three decades, and are going for a fourth.

Now Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, the band’s last album, Revolution Radio, came out in late 2016. Their next, Father of All… (the parentheses taking the place of an expletive), is scheduled for release in February 2020. The first single from the album, a song by the same name, is a two-and-a-half minute garage rock track, proving that 30 years after they started, Green Day hasn’t stopped experimenting.

Fall Out Boy, the youngest band on the tour by a decade, got their start at the forefront of mainstream emo in the early 2000s, and spent the decade putting out hit after hit. After a brief hiatus, the band returned with a pop-focused sound in 2013, and have since become one of the music world’s most reliable suppliers of jock jams.

After the relative underperformance of the band’s last album MANIA, compared to its two predecessors, Save Rock and Roll and American Beauty/American Psycho, Fall Out Boy looks to be slowing things down a little. While they released a new song to promote the upcoming tour, the surf-rock inspired “Dear Future Self (Hands Up),” featuring Wyclef Jean, this song will accompany a greatest hits album, Believers Never Die- Volume Two, rather than a new album. As the first volume of Believers Never Die marked the beginning of Fall Out Boy’s hiatus, this may be the last opportunity for fans of the band to catch them for a while. 

Weezer have had the most unusual career arc of any of the Hella Mega Tour’s three headliners. Too nerdy to be punks, but too rock-heavy to be pop, they have carved out their own niche of hooky, tongue-in-cheek power pop. Starting their career with a smash hit self-titled album, colloquially known as the Blue Album, in 1994, they followed it up with the more abrasive, darkly personal Pinkerton two years later, alienating fans and initiating a five-year hiatus.

The band re-emerged in the early 2000s as regulars of Top 40 radio, before slumping once more, and finally reaching their highest pop success since their debut last year with an unexpected hit — a cover of Toto’s Africa. Weezer’s upcoming album, titled Van Weezer, is scheduled for release in May 2020, and if lead single “The End of the Game” is any indication, will feature big, 80’s-style, Van Halen-inspired guitar licks.

This upcoming tour will not be the first time the three bands have connected. Fall Out Boy inducted Green Day into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015, and Green Day and Weezer played rock festivals together in the aftermath of their respective 1994 breakthroughs. 

Nevertheless, this tour will mark many firsts for the bands involved. For Weezer, it will mark their first stadium tour, for Fall Out Boy, it will mark a tour spent playing alongside bands they once looked up to, and for Weezer and Fall Out Boy, it will mark their first time in many years being an opening act. The Hella Mega Tour begins in Paris, France on June 13, 2020, before kicking off its American leg in Seattle on July 17, coming to Boston on August 27.