By Nolan Siegler
After The Stone Roses announced three reunion concerts that will take place in summer 2012, fans quickly snapped up all available tickets, setting a new record for the fastest-selling rock gigs in the United Kingdom.
According to the band’s website, 220,000 tickets were sold in 68 minutes after going on sale. The first two shows sold out in fewer than 14 minutes.
The shows, which will be at Heaton Park in the Roses’ hometown of Manchester, were quickly announced after a spark of rumors that the Stone Roses would reunite after being defunct for more than 15 years – prompting a strong reaction from other artists.
“The Stone Roses came at a time when the world was still mourning the loss of The Smiths and then proceeded to release one of the most timeless debut albums in pop history,” said musician Ronnie Martin of Joy Electric.
“Not since the song writing perfection of Morrissey and Johnny Marr has there been anything as melodic, artful and vital as what The Stone Roses delivered to the masses. They are a stunning band with a heartbreaking story that needs redemption and closure. I’ll be anxiously awaiting their return.”
Rumors of a Stone Roses reunion began earlier this year after vocalist Ian Brown and guitarist John Squire had an emotional meeting at the funeral of bassist Gary Mounfield’s mother. Mounfield quickly dismissed any rumors, which left some fans disappointed.
“I’d say the reason why the tickets sold so fast has something to do with people not getting a live connection with the band, which has a huge impact on music,” said Anthony Fantano of The Needle Drop, an online music blog. “It’s because fans haven’t been getting what they want for such a long time. The same thing happened when Jeff Mangum and Godspeed You! Black Emperor went on tour. The Death From Above 1979 reunion show at SXSW earlier this year caused quite a stir as well.”
In 1996, The Stone Roses officially broke up after releasing two studio albums. Their self-titled debut was critically praised by the music press and is often attributed with spawning both the Brit-pop and “Madchester” music scenes. Despite their early success, their sophomore album “Second Coming” was tainted with the legal and relationship troubles of the band, which ultimately led to their break.
“I think the appeal of the Stone Roses’ reunion is in the way they showed such brilliance and promise with their first album in 1989 then proceeded to squander it all by taking so long to follow it up,” said Matt Sebastian of ‘80s college rock blog Slicing Up Eyeballs. “Second Coming was such a disappointment to so many of us that I think fans are hoping for a true second coming, another shot at reliving those ‘Madchester’ days. It’s not going to happen, but we can certainly hope for the best.”