Smash Mouth Played For Hordes Of Maskless Bikers At Sturgis
Concerts have been happening during the pandemic. We knew this. Great White have played. DaBaby has played. The Chainsmokers have played. Pictureplane has DJed at a Brooklyn rave. This past weekend, as TMZ reports, Tech N9ne played a show for upwards of a thousand people at Lake Of The Ozarks, Missouri. And then there was the 80th annual Sturgis biker rally.
Every year, crowds of bikers descend upon the small town of Sturgis, South Dakota for an annual biker rally. Last week, it happened again, with no real alterations for the pandemic. South Dakota has had a low rate of COVID-19 infections, presumably because it’s so remote and sparsely populated, and governor Kristi Noem has given no mandates about lockdowns, masks, or shutting down large gatherings. The Rapid City Journal reports that Noem supported this year’s rally happening as planned.
The Buffalo Chip, a large music venue in Sturgis, hosted nine days of shows during the rally. Performers included Smash Mouth, Trapt, Lita Ford, Lit, the Rev. Horton Heat, the Guess Who, Molly Hatchet, Night Ranger, Saving Abel, Buckcherry, Quiet Riot, 38 Special, Drowning Pool, and Fozzy, the band led by wrestler Chris Jericho. All available evidence suggests that these bands played to crowds where virtually nobody wore masks or socially distanced. “We’re all here together tonight! Fuck that COVID shit,” Smash Mouth frontman Steve Harwell said at one point.
“The promoter did a fantastic job with their Covid protocol. They had a very strict social distancing and mask policy in place for all workers,” Smash Mouth’s manager told Billboard. “Everything backstage was sanitized, etc. The band has their own Covid addendum to their rider as well and the promoter and venue adhered to all of our requests. We spent endless hours advancing this event to make sure that it was pulled off as safely as possible and we are very happy with the outcome.” He added, “That said most all of them were on their motorcycles which eliminated a lot of physical contact between attendees and actually created a forced social distance. The Smash Mouth organization is taking this pandemic very seriously and has taken measures to keep our band, crew and fans as safe as possible during this time.”
Here are some more videos from what appears to be a notably low-energy Smash Mouth performance:
And here’s the Guess Who:
It appears that the crowd for Trapt, however, was relatively small: