Yes!!! After over a decade of false starts and best laid plans gone awry, Scot Post-Punk gods Simple Minds are hitting these shores for a handful of North American dates! Let’s get right down to it:
Simple Minds North American Tour | 2013
October 15th 2013 | Los Angeles | Orpheum
October 17th 2013 | Redbank, NJ | Count Basie Theatre
October 18th 2013 | Washington | 9:30 Club
October 20th 2013 | Boston | Wilbur Theatre
October 21st 2013 | Montreal | Metropolis
October 22nd 2013 | Toronto | Massey Hall
October 24th 2013 | New York | Roseland Ballroom
Ironically, they will once again be playing at the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C. at the same venue where I had a transcendent experience at their 2002 “Cry” tour performance. It’s hard to believe that in that span of time, the group have only laid down two studio albums; the fair “Black + White 050505” and the excellent “Graffiti Soul.” Still, I was beyond elated that I saw them on the “Cry” tour, since that is my favorite of their post ’83 albums. They did five tracks from that one and I could have stood for more.
I really thought that I’d have a chance to see them on the “Black + White 050505” tour. That album was set to get a US release, but was dropped from Sanctuary’s roster after promos were released. They toured the UK with the reformed OMD [!] as an opening act and they duetted on Kraftwerk’s “Neon Lights,” a song that both bands covered in their respective careers. I thought for certain that pairing had enough firepower to cross the pond, but I was terribly mistaken.
Adding insult to injury, OMD later made a small career in hopping the pond for US tours to some success. In the last three years, they have toured North America three times and this is a band that while equally valued by me as a core collection foundation band, the fact remains that OMD probably have an almost identical level of success to that of Simple Minds on these shores. Five top 40 hits over a three year period with blood money going to John Hughes for that all important top ten single. Number one in Simple Minds’ case!
Their last album was a corker. But that was four years ago already! When the group released plans of their brain-melting “5×5” tours where they played 25 songs from their perfect first five albums, I went into cataleptic fits waiting for the US tour that never materialized. That arc of development is my favorite ever in all of music, but realistically, these cult album shows* may have all to do with why I and many others love the band, they were never going to be the vehicle for a hop across The Pond.
* …in the US, at least
When this year brought the “Celebrate” boxed set of all of their singles and more, I thought that if this didn’t drive a tour here, nothing would. The 2/3 import disc sets got eventually pared down to a single disc Stateside, but the timing seemed right. If they couldn’t tour on the back of this, it would never happen. And this has been borne out by the tour dates released yesterday. Even so, Jim Kerr has candidly written in his online diary that these shows are make or break for any subsequent US tour dates for the band. So if you value the group like I have, consider making the move now or there might not be any follow-up on these shores.
The October 18th date has my name on it. I’m heading to the 9:30 Club for another rematch with this band who continue to beguile me like few others over the decades. And this in spite of their bad decade of ’85-’94 that was one of the worst dry periods that a band I loved had ever endured. This time, my wife is coming along since she probably appreciates Simple Minds even more that she did in 2002. I plan on meeting #1 commenter on these pages Echorich there, so we’ll have to weigh in on the experience together, I’m sure. This Fall is shaping up to be a cornucopia of fantastic music. Be there. Aloha.
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