So far, in the States, there was only rock band to play a show after the quarantine began, and that was Great White last weekend in North Dakota. The band issued an apology a few days later saying they were "far from perfect." Dokken saw this happening, and I guess they thought it would still be a good idea to go ahead with their "socially distanced" show which happened last night, Friday, July 17. at Dr. Pepper Park in Roanoke, Virginia.
The initial footage that surfaced on Blabbermouth did not clearly show if the fans in attendance were actually socially distancing:
But, newly posted footage clearly shows not only was there no social distancing, but nobody in the crowd wore any masks. Thankfully, the venue is an outdoor field, but it's not clear how much social distancing was enforced. Virginia has seen an uptick in coronavirus cases, with as many as 1,084 cases on July 15th. Roanoke itself has so far only reported just over 600 cases. But it only takes one person at an event like this to become a super spreader. Events like this could set everybody back weeks.
At least one member of Dokken knew this was not a safe event and didn't attend. Longtime guitarist Jon Levin chose to sit out the show because he's a caretaker for his 90-year-old father and Winger and Whitesnake guitarist Reb Beach filled instead.
Frontman Don Dokken explained the guitarist switch in an interview with Songfacts: "Reb is coming to fill in because Jon can't go on the road right now — he doesn't feel comfortable with the COVID because his father is 90 years old and he's the primary caregiver. He said, 'Man, if I get COVID and give it to my dad, he'll die.' And I said, 'I get it, Jon. I respect you and your father.' So, I got Reb coming in to fill in for these two shows, and I just told Jon, 'Let's hope for the best. Let's hope the COVID thing gets better and they come out with a vaccine. Until then, if you don't feel comfortable getting on a plane, then don't.'"
He continued: "I'm taking a risk doing these shows [in July]. I know that. But what are you going to do? My girlfriend makes me put the gloves on, the mask on, the spray — we constantly spray our hands. I try not to wipe my mouth. I'll go to Home Depot and buy supplies for the house, but mostly I'm just staying home. So, she's not happy about me going on a plane. I have five or six plane flights in two days, so that's pretty high chances.
"My son is a pilot, and I talked to him — he flies for JetBlue. My son flies an A300. He's young to be a captain — he's only 33. I said, 'What's going on with the flying?' And he said, 'They're just going to try and space people out.' But it's kind of a joke, because he told me all the air in an airplane is just recirculated. They just send it to the scrubbers — to the engine filters, and they send it right back to the cockpit. So, all this '20 feet away, 10 feet away,' it's all kind of bullshit.
"But I've got to go out and work. I want to play."
Last week, hundreds of musicians from Metallica, Pantera, Judas Priest, Anthrax and many more implored metal fans to wear masks, arguing no masks, no shows – and stuff like this is only going to delay "getting back to normal."
Recently, a major talent agent predicted with the way things are going regular touring and concerts will not return in 2022.