After Over A Decade, Simple Minds Return to the US

Simpel Minds © 2013 Paola Marocca

Simpel Minds © 2013 Paola Marocca

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.

– 30 –

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13 Responses to After Over A Decade, Simple Minds Return to the US

  1. Taffy says:

    def gonna see them in my town (Boston) – it’ll be my first time ever! pre-sale tomorrow, tickets go onsale to general public friday.

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  2. zoo says:

    Kerr is saying that if the fans in the US want a bigger tour, then they’ll have to come out for this limited run of shows. I can’t make it the current tour, so hopefully the shows will be a success and they will make it to FL next time. That’s all I can hope for at this point.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Zoo – I can’t say no to Simple Minds. I’ll definitely be there. They weren’t my absolute fave in 1981, like others I could name. I was late to the game, sadly. I picked up “Sweat In Bullet” 2×7″ and rode the bus hard from that point on. Working backwards by the mid 80s I had most of the vitals I needed for the collection. By the late 90s, continued exposure to their best work made me a bigger fan than I was when arguably, they were at their peak [’80-’83]. That their contemporary albums post ’91 made great strides to correcting the errors of judgement that plagued the band during their stadium years didn’t hurt either. But those first six albums were like a musical tarpit that I couldn’t get unstuck from. They seemed to embody all I valued in modern music. What clinched the deal was exposure to bootlegs that just killed me, of their jaw-dropping ’81-’84 shows. Then, I realized that there was a God Of Bass, and his name was Derek Forbes. Of course, Forbes is long gone, but the old beast can still show its fangs reasonably well to this day, and now that they don’t neglect their impressive legacy, there’s still a lot the band has to give. And they always had huge impact live. There’s no other band [save for perhaps Japan – but how much of that was backing tapes?] I’d rather hear live.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      zoo – Duh! After a year of your comments, I just realized that you are the “zoo” who also comments on the Trouser Press forum! Sonnuva…! If it were a snake, it would have bit me! And you being a top blog commenter and everything! I feel so thick.

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  3. Echorich says:

    I will happily enjoy whatever Jim & Co decide to play on this tour. I am hoping, with the nature of smaller venues and the fact that they have honed the older material into shape that the first 7 albums will be the focus of the evening. They can play all they like from Cry, Black & White and Grafitti Soul as I enjoyed all three, but I want tons from SAF/SFC, Empires & Dance and R2R Cacophony as by tours in the mid 80’s they had begun to drop those tracks in favor of the latest albums. I already have my dream setlist – which includes tracks from albums most would not include, but I doubt they will play for 3 hrs…

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Echorich – In the nearly dozen years since their last appearance on these shores, one thing that’s manifested itself in regard to Simple Minds is their respect for their artistic legacy as they no longer have a command on the charts. Kerr, in particular, has come to see that material as vital today. Even in 2002 they delivered:
      “I Travel,” “Love Song,” “Promised You A Miracle,” “Glittering Prize,” and “Theme For Great Cities.” I would not be surprised by more today.

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  4. I hope my fellow Canadians will come out for the two Canuckistan dates on this limited tour, but I’m hoping to catch them in Washington DC — exactly where I saw them with PPM just over a decade ago (yikes!!). It’s a lot of logistics for me, but as PPM says — this is one of a relatively few bands where the expense and trouble is justified.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Chasinvictoria – Ghasp!!! Well, work that action, sir! With you and Echorich attending, we could have an Anomaly on our hands!

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      • Echorich says:

        Well I hope it wouldn’t cause the Earth to rotate off it’s axis, but if it happend while they were playing 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall, I would fall off the face of the earth happy!.

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