The return of live music in 2021 was a cause for celebration, and in the early summer months, artists announced plans for and began embarking on massive tours that felt both like homecomings and long-awaited returns to form for fans across the globe. But the pernicious effects of the coronavirus continue to pose a threat to the live-music industry, causing a lot of these tours to be either amended, shortened, or re-canceled altogether.
This furthers the strain on the industry, which began in 2020 as the pandemic set in and has only worsened with time. A lot of people beyond just the artists rely on those shows for their livelihoods, particularly road crews and venue staff. To help ease this strain, Nick Lachey, who has been back touring this summer with his group 98 Degrees, had an idea.
"Food and security in this country has always been an issue, and never more so than right now, coming out of this pandemic," the singer recently said on MTV's Fresh Out Live. "So I thought, what better way to rally and try to do something about that than to create this fundraiser."
What he came up with — alongside MTV, Live Nation, Larry Rudolph, and Johnny Wright — is a live concert event called Total Relief Live, set to benefit Feeding America and Crew Nation, a fund set up to provide assistance for live-music crews. Its very name plays on the legacy of Total Request Live, aka TRL, MTV's flagship countdown show on which his group appeared.
The show promises to harken back to that TRL era, which ran in its initial form from 1998 until 2008, by bringing together some of the biggest artists of that time. It's set to go down in January 2022 at The Forum in Los Angeles.
To celebrate that era, Lachey recalled one of his fondest TRL memories, which involved him and fellow 98 Degrees member Jeff Timmons co-hosting the show on a day when the booked guests were Mariah Carey, LL Cool J, and Christina Aguilera. "We were thrown into the fire, trying to interview these three iconic artists, and I think we pretty much blew the whole thing," he said. "But still, I look back on that like, wow, that was a really cool moment."
More info on Total Relief Live is to come. Stay tuned.