During the gig, at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota on Sunday 9 August, lead singer Steve Harwell was heard saying: “F*** that Covid s***. Now we’re all here together tonight.”
Smash Mouth were one of several acts on a bill that originally included Willie Nelson, ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd, all of whom withdrew from performing at the 10-day gathering.
Quiet Riot, Bone Thugs N Harmony and Night Ranger are among the bands who have refused to cancel. ZZ Top’s appearance was replaced with that of tribute band ZZ3.
Smash Mouth’s manager, Robert Hayes, provided a statement to Billboard which noted that the event had “very strict social distancing and mask policy in place for all workers”.
“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.
Many people used social media to voice their criticism of the concert, with many reworking the band’s lyrics into jokes about the event.
“This is one more reason we will not see shows in the near future, or any future if it keeps happening,” wrote on Twitter user. ”Sets the whole business back every time it does. Every time this happens it messes it up for those who want to do it right.”
“Smash Mouth has lost all credibility with me,” wrote another.
The band had previously posted about the challenges facing the live music industry during the Covid-19 pandemic, writing: “If concerts don’t resume in 2020, 90 per cent of independent venues across America will most likely not open again. Ever. Including the venues in your community.”
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