Tours that go on for decades
Never can say goodbye
Nick Mason in the glory days of Pink Floyd
Photo courtesy of Albright-Knox Art Gallery
Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets
Shea’s Performing Arts Center
I’m not usually the world’s biggest fan of “bands” consisting of a single member of a long-dormant group rehashing decades-old hits with a bunch of hired guns, but here’s a tour that rejiggers that formula into something potentially fascinating. For starters, the frontman of this particular outfit happens to be the only person to have played on every Pink Floyd album and tour from its early days in the underground clubs of Swinging London in 1965 through its final surprise reunion at the globally broadcast Live 8 charity concert in 2005. Reasoning that perpetually feuding former collaborators Roger Waters and David Gilmour—and even the popular Australian Floyd tribute band—have cornered the market on arena tours built around Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall, the multiplatinum concept albums that generations of joint-wielding teenagers know by heart, drummer Nick Mason has hit on a fairly brilliant concept of his own. He and his new group (featuring guitarist Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet) will only be playing music released by the original band before 1973. If that sounds a limited set list, guess again: There are seven albums to choose from, beginning with the gloriously trippy Piper at the Gates of Dawn from the days when the whimsical ditties of future acid casualty Syd Barrett set the tone and moving into the era of side-long suites and mind-melting experimentation on Atom Heart Mother, Meddle, and Ummagumma. If you’re just dying to hear “Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2” for the thousandth time, you’ll go home disappointed—but if you fancy a deeper dive into vintage psychedelia under the direction of someone present at its creation, Shea’s is the place to be.
Secrets Of The Setlist
Songs that Mason and company are playing on the tour include:
“See Emily Play”
“Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun”
– Source: jambase.com
Rock and roll “retirements” that didn’t last
Cher’s stop on April 26 at the KeyBank Center during her ABBA-centric “Here We Go Again Tour” arrives seventeen years after she began her widely publicized “Farewell Tour” in 2002 and five years after her second “final tour” in 2014. That’s impressive, but the Who—playing the same venue on May 9—have her beat; the quartet-turned-duo have broken up and/or retired from the road at least four times, beginning in 1976. (This one is simply called “Moving On,” which can be taken as a goodbye but also leaves the door open for an infinite number of followup visits.) These are only the latest in a long line of high-profile broken promises by beloved acts. Not that anyone’s complaining, mind you.
1970: Frank Sinatra announces his retirement from show business.
1973: Sinatra launches a comeback tour; David Bowie announces his retirement (as Ziggy Stardust).
1974: Bowie mounts a comeback tour less than a year later.
1976: The Who announce they are breaking up and begin their (first) final tour.
1980: The Eagles announce they are breaking up, swearing they will only reunite “when hell freezes over.”
1982: The Who begins its (second) final tour.
1994: The Eagles announce their (first) reunion, the “Hell Freezes Over” tour.
2000: Tina Turner launches her farewell tour.
2002: Cher announces “Living Proof: The Farewell Tour,” with forty-nine stops planned.
2005: Cher’s “Farewell Tour” finally ends, after 326 performances.
2008: Tina Turner kicks off her (first) comeback tour; the Eagles begin a (second) reunion tour.
2014: Cher begins her (second) farewell tour.
2015: The Who launch their (third) final tour.
2018: Paul Simon, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Neil Diamond, and Elton John all announce their retirement from touring; Elton’s farewell tour is slated to last three years.
2023 (projected; actual date may vary): Simon, Diamond, Elton, and the roadies for Skynyrd set off on a 542-city world tour together, under the title “We Really, Really Mean It This Time.”