Phil Labonte of All That Remains talks to News 8 about returning to the road


(WTNH) — “When I am on stage singing and someone’s there pointing and I can see them singing the song back to me–that’s it–that’s the best part of any day. Any day that that happens, the best part of the day is when I see someone that has connected with something I wrote, because that means they connected with me because they connected with something I felt something that mattered to me.”

But it’s been almost one year since Phil Labonte and his band, All That Remains, have been able to see their fans and connect with them through live shows.  Their first show is scheduled for May 3, but it’s hard to remain optimistic with so much uncertainty.

“And now we hear of new strains of COVID and people are starting to get worked up about that.  And there are shows we’re supposed to play this summer–we’ll be there if they happen–but I’m not so confident they’re going to happen.  I don’t know what’s going to happen and it’s frustrating.”

It’s a new year and new rules. Concert venues may require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test.

“We will be requiring it.  For us, it’s critical.  It’s critical that all of our customers feel safe and we’ll require either a COVID vaccination or a test, whether it be a rapid test or a 24 to 48-hour test.”

Masks will be required. According to Howard Saffan, Principal of the new Hartford Healthcare Ampitheater in Bridgeport, having this new venue should appeal to those who want entertainment as well as the comfort of being outdoors.

“Being an outdoor facility is a tremendous benefit to us.  We don’t have the issues with the HVAC and all the germs that are sitting in an arena for example.”

While there is still some apprehension and uncertainty on upcoming live shows, one positive thing to come out of the pandemic is a way to connect with fans on a personal level, through apps like, Twitch and Cameo.

“Cameo is a really neat option… If you can reach out to your favorite actor, favorite artist, and say, ‘Hey can you do a shoutout to my friend because they love you,’ or ‘Can you do this for me,’ that’s an option that didn’t exist when I was a kid.”

Pending state approval, the first shows are scheduled for June at the new Hartford Healthcare amphitheater. Seats will be available, but they will discuss what to do with the general admission area and whether there is a safe way to social distance.

Smaller venues will likely have to do the same.

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