Against All Odds…Simple Minds Trek Across North America in Their 40th Year

I sure didn’t see this one coming

A few weeks ago when I was reviewing the current Simple Minds album, “Walk Between Worlds,” I opined that in spite of its captivating vitality, we should not be holding our breath for a Simple Minds North American tour any time soon. Shame on me, because a week ago, after the first posting of Book Week,  the Monkopshere [not really a word] erupted into a frenzy scant hours after getting the email from commenter Jordan on the issue on Monday night. With it came the news that tickets for the rare event [just three tours in the last 24 years… including this one] were going on fan presale on the 25th of April. It took all of my self-discipline not to barge into the barely begun Book Week to trumpet the news.

Jordan had contacted me at 9:45 pm and the next three hours were spent in furious chat sessions with pals of mine who needed to know. Of course I was in communication with commenter Echorich [whom I met in D.C. at the last Simple Minds tour in 2013], but also with commenter and long time friend Mr.Ware. I have known Mr. Ware since 1985 and we were both huge Simple Minds fans together in that golden period in the scant months prior to the release of “Don’t You [Forget About Me].” This was yet another group we shared a bond over [see also: XTC, Ultravox, Icehouse et al.] but Mr.Ware was already an advanced student of the band. He owned all of the Arista UK 7″ singles via mail order catalogs. When Simple Minds appeared on tour in Florida in Tampa in 1986, he sat it out. Instead my friend Tom and I with a bevy of students/co-workers had a big adventure in Tom’s flat-tire-prone van in downtown Tampa together. We were rescued by a can of fix-a-flat which I had beseeched my only friend in Tampa, Elisa, to bring to us. A mere decade or so later, and E+T were a couple, long since married now.

But I digress. It was somehow wrong that Mr. Ware and I never managed to see Simple Minds together. When I went to D.C. in 2002 [and 2013] to see them rock the 9:30 Club, chasinvictoria was there with me both times, along with my wife and Echorich on the second occasion. Both shows obliterated the painful memories of the 1986 tour, but Mr. Ware’s missing Simple Minds when they were back on their game in a big way, still rankled me. It was gratifying to see that this time, he and his wife, Kenna, would finally be joining us following the strongest Simple Minds album by my reckoning since “Sparkle In The Rain.” And Echorich was also ready to trek up to Atlanta for the show. We began making hasty plans to lick up that weekend just prior to the Monday show for some quality time. I’ve not seen either parties in at least five years.

During all of this, my wife was away on a solo trip. Wheels were turning and she was a bit late to the game but once she found out, her response was “just do it!” so I sat, poised for the fan sale on TicketMonster for the fateful zero hour of 10:00 EST last Wednesday. Once I was in, I froze as the little blue dots representing seats began to disappear in bulk, 20-30 at a time. I needed a block of five seats, and was beginning to panic at less than a minute in. By 70 seconds, there were almost no seats left! This was insane! Ticket broker vermin seemed to have ‘bots that were far more efficient than this meat being was. Then I remembered my ace in the hole. When reviewing the facts that fateful Monday evening, of course Simple Minds were riding the new economy to touring. Given that this lot just barely capable of mounting a tour of seven dates the last time, their embrace of VIP seating was a little late in the game.

Larry Blackmon sez’ “Ow!”

Simple Minds were having two tiers of VIP seating, and had secured the first ten rows of seating for sales of a premium experience. The lower tier VIP experience [in Atlanta] was $160 per seat; twice the highest venue ticket prices. More than I was bargaining for. The upper VIP tier [in Atlanta] was $275, about $125 less than what I had expected, and included band meet-and-greet and autographs in addition to the lower tier tchatchkes. I was not going there, but I imagined that $160 in the hands of a broker would be a far cry from a orchestra pit seat that the band had withheld. I gritted my teeth and hit the buy button for five “Sense Of Discovery Soundcheck Experience” tickets. And had to try again. I was beaten to the punch. And I tried a second time… and was beaten to the punch a second time. Third time lucky saw me holding five perfect seats, third row back, center aisle. But I had just put $940 on my credit card [ow!] and my friends now had tickets at twice the price they were expecting.How would they react? It looked like this or nothing.

After five minutes in the hell of TicketMobster’s videogame-like experience of buying tickets, my nerves were shot to hell and I was quaking in the aftermath. I don’t think I can do this again, but the days where Simple Minds are staging a 24-date tour of North America don’t come along often at all. Here’s where they are playing.

Simple Minds | Walk Between Worlds North American Tour | 2018

24-Sep | Sands Casino | Bethlehem, PA
26-Sep | Count Basie Theatre | Red Bank, NJ
28-Sep | M Telus | Montreal, QC
29-Sep | Budweiser Gardens | London, ON
30-Sep | Sony Centre | Toronto, ON [SOLD OUT]
02-Oct | Beacon Theatre | New York, NY
03-Oct | Orpheum Theatre | Boston, MA
05-Oct | Tower Theater | Upper Darby, PA
06-Oct | 930 Club | Washington, DC
08-Oct | Tabernacle | Atlanta, GA
09-Oct | Ryman Auditorium | Nashville, TN
11-Oct | Hard Rock | Cleveland, OH
13-Oct | Pabst Theater | Milwaukee, WI
14-Oct | Fillmore | Detroit, MI
15-Oct | Chicago Theatre | Chicago, IL
18-Oct | Paramount Theatre | Denver, CO
20-Oct | Grand Sierra | Reno, NV
21-Oct | Pearl Theater | Las Vegas, NV
22-Oct | Humphrey’s Concerts | San Diego, CA
24-Oct | Orpheum Theatre | Los Angeles, CA [SOLD OUT]
25-Oct | Masonic Auditorium | San Francisco, CA
27-Oct | Roseland Theatre | Portland, OR
28-Oct | Moore Theatre | Seattle, WA
29-Oct | Orpheum | Vancouver, BC [SOLD OUT]

Fortunately, my friends turned out to be fine with the cost of tickets. Mr. Ware looked at it as a once-in-a-lifetime event, and in that light, what’s another $80? Just 45 minutes after the sale kickoff, I was seeing tickets on StubHub start at $222, and the seats were in no way a for block of five, nor were they in the third row. If you are interested, tickets can be found here. As you can see, after a few days, major metropoli are selling out already. What were those premium packages?

‘Sense of Discovery’ Soundcheck Experience

  • One (1) premium reserved ticket in the first (10) rows to watch Simple Minds live in concert
  • Invitation to a pre-show event in the venue, featuring a two-song soundcheck performance and a Q&A session with Simple Minds
  • One (1) exclusive Simple Minds soccer scarf
  • One (1) limited edition show-specific poster
  • One (1) Commemorative VIP laminate and lanyard
  • Early venue entry
  • Merchandise shopping before doors open to the general public
  • On-site host

‘Walk Between Worlds’ Meet + Greet Experience

  • One (1) premium reserved ticket in the first (2) rows to watch Simple Minds live in concert
  • Meet & greet / photo opportunity with Simple Minds
  • One (1) official show setlist signed by Simple Minds
  • Invitation to a pre-show event in the venue, featuring a two-song soundcheck performance and a Q&A session with Simple Minds
  • One (1) exclusive Simple Minds soccer scarf
  • One (1) limited edition show-specific poster, signed by Simple Minds
  • One (1) Commemorative VIP laminate and lanyard
  • Early venue entry
  • Merchandise shopping before doors open to the general public
  • On-site host

I was fine with the cheaper package. I just wanted five seats. I had only ever “gone VIP” for OMD in 2011, and that was a $150 premium that was the full monty with meet + greet. Attending the soundcheck was kind of nice, it’s true. Five years later and that kind of money is now lower tier VIP. With the shock of ticket buying behind me, thoughts then turned to the kind of show awaiting us.

The initial handful of dates for their UK/Euro 40th Anniversary Tour saw the band playing the full “Walk Between Worlds” album followed by a Q+A session with the audience and finally a second set of material from their entire history. I can only hope that the North American tour also features the new album in full since it is a high water mark for the band. Their last tour here was for a greatest hits package [and it featured the mind-blowing deep cut “This Fear Of Gods!”] so they need to re-write the rules for a 40th anniversary tour. I’d like to see the full album and less reliance on The American Hits. You know the kind. I’d also like to see covers relegated to the trash bin. The band say we’re to get two sets and no opening act [like the’ve had any in 25 years…]  so the potential is there. We shall see on October 8th. Join us on October 10th for the forensic analysis of this little soirée.

– 30 –

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | media design • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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13 Responses to Against All Odds…Simple Minds Trek Across North America in Their 40th Year

  1. Taffy says:

    as so often happens, I’m going solo, but that allowed me the opportunity for a much closer seat (4th row side orchestra) for the Boston date. loving the new album, this should be a really fun show.

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      Taffy – Yeah, the new album is a real winner. I thought much the same of the last album though “Walk Between World” easily aces it. I just hope that this tour has Jim Kerr singing lead on the songs, no covers, and no acoustic versions. We’ll see. You got a 4th row seat? Awesome.

      Like

  2. Steve says:

    I have my tix for their show in NYC at the wonderful Beacon Theatre!

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      Steve – Let’s see what the menu has in store for us in about five months. If we get another “This Fear Of Gods” style deep cut it will go a long way towards having to hear their biggest American hits. The thing is, now we’re so far down the road from that time, that maybe the band won’t give them that much power in their set. At a certain point, your excellent new stuff has to take precedence over “bill paying” hits the serious fans and the band themselves are probably sick of.

      Like

  3. Tim says:

    and now I have that Phil Collins song stuck in my head.

    Like

  4. zoo says:

    Most excellent, Monk! If this tour was coming down to central FL I would likely go. But it’s not one I want to travel for. Additionally, from the videos I’ve seen of the new band…I’m a bit non-plussed. The new album sounds great, but I’m just not a fan of the females, and I miss big Mel. Now if this was the 5×5 tour from a few years back…I’d be in Atlanta in a hot minute!

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      Zoo – I should have went into debt for those 5×5 tickets. That’s what I get for being prudent. Sure, it would have cost a good $5K but 5×5 was worth it! Now, they toss me a bone like “This Fear Of Gods” and I’m hooked! I heard from commenter Jordan that Charlie wants to dust off “Boys From Brazil” as the deep cut for this tour! All I can say is…”yes SIR! Please play my favorite song from “Sons + Fascination!!”
      I don’t miss Mel. I miss Brian McGee.

      Like

      • zoo says:

        Well, I miss McGee, too…but that is not recent history. I still don’t know why Mel is no longer with them. Do you? And like I said, I just don’t want to hear females singing back up to SM songs. I’m not moving on that.

        Like

        • postpunkmonk says:

          zoo – Mel no longer in the band is a mystery. And no one’s talking. I like Mel but he’s not the alpha and omega of SM for me. I’m ready for a less Bonham influenced drummer. I don’t mind the femme BVs. I just don’t want them singing lead while Kerr takes five. I really dislike Catherine AD’s solo work. I was pleased her BVs on the album didn’t stick out too much. One hopes she will be sticking to playing keys with the occasional BV live. Leaving the heavy lifting to Sarah Brown.

          Like

  5. Mr. Ware says:

    Well, since this year is also our 30th wedding anniversary, Kenna actually joked a couple of months ago about a trip to wherever Simple Minds might be playing, thinking of course it would be some exotic European destination. Atlanta is absolutely perfect and the extra splurging here and there will be so worth it. The stars and the planets truly aligned on this one!

    Like

  6. negative1ne says:

    they added some more tour dates to it.
    so now i get to see them, after seeing them once upon a time in 1986.
    should be fun.

    later
    -1

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      negative1ne – I also saw then in 1986. The last two shows [2002, 2013] were 1000 times more enjoyable for me. I’m looking forward to October. We got VIP [not that we had much choice…] seating and the soundcheck is supposed to have extra songs that had better come from their ’79-81 period. Fans who drop three figures for tickets don’t want to hear “Belfast Child!”

      Like

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