Woo-hoo, prepare to throw your devil horns up in the air, y’all. Live concerts could be making a comeback by the end of 2021. At least, that’s what Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, is predicting. What that might mean for El Paso’s live music scene in a bit, but let’s put a pin in that for now.

Speaking at a virtual conference for the Association of Performing Arts Professionals, Fauci said he was optimistic concerts could make a comeback this fall. And not that virtual crap, either.

He’s talking live, in person, band on the stage and you in attendance sitting behind that annoying person standing in front of you the whole time filming the entire show on his smart phone. Good times, man, good times.

This is what Fauci told the moderator regarding the eminent return of live concerts and events:

If everything goes right, this is will occur sometime in the fall of 2021, so that by the time we get to the early to mid-fall, you can have people feeling safe performing on stage, as well as people in the audience.

Fauci’s optimistic outlook, however, does come with a one, big, unpredictable caveat: he’s assuming "everything goes right" with the vaccine rollout.

By that he means 70- to 85-percent of the U.S. population being vaccinated by then. He also thinks you would most likely have to still wear masks, but if the vaccination goal is met events held at venues with good ventilation and proper air filters could operate without social distance seating.

Okay, let’s circle back to the local concert scene. Like the rest of the world, it’s currently non-existent, and while there are a handful of socially distanced shows and events scheduled in the spring and summer, such as ZZ Top in June, the situation remains fluid and the artists and venues may or may not go through with them.

But even if we succeed locally in getting more coronavirus vaccinations into the arms of more El Pasoans leading to an acceptable infection rate by this fall, the situation would have to be much better across the U.S. for artists to begin booking nationwide tours.

As of this writing, there are only a small amount of rescheduled shows currently on the books for the last quarter of the year; Ricky Martin/Enrique Iglesias at the Don on September 24 and REO Speedwagon at the Abraham Chavez Theater on November 10 among them. While I would really love to see Dr. Fauci's prediction come true, I personally don't think the majority of artists, promoters, and live music fans will feel comfortable enough until 2022.

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