1994 US Tour

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Moritz
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1994 US Tour

Post by Moritz » 03 Dec 2020, 22:19

One of the biggest mysteries of Blur's touring history is the 1994 US tour to promote Parklife. After the bad experiences in 1992, they only did a brief, but quite well documented promo tour over there in late 1993. But it's just a little bit known about the short tour in September 1994. The tour schedule only covered big cities on both west and east coast. This is no suprise after the album charted poor at No. 6 on the Billboard's Heatseeker Charts after it's US release in June. At least Girls & Boys used to be (tell me if I'm wrong) a moderate club hit in the States. But the band still had propably anti-American sentiments and no real interest to support the album for the not so loved SBK label.

So here is my reconstruction of the tour so far:

8/9/ ?, Toronto, Canada (Cancelled)
9/9/ Phoenix, Toronto, Canada (Cancelled)
10/9/ Academy, New York, New York (Cancelled)
12/9/ Trocadero, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Cancelled)
13/9/ Avalon Ballroom, Boston, Massachusetts (Cancelled)
14/9/ ?, Washington D.C. (Cancelled/No recordings)
14/9/ ?, Baltimore, Maryland (Cancelled/No recordings)

15/9/ Venus de Milo, Boston, Massachusetts (First real gig)
16/9/ ?, Detroit, Michigan (Maybe cancelled/No recordings)
17/9/ Vic Theater, Chicago, Illinois
18/9/ Live X radio show, Atlanta, Georgia
19/9/ Masquerade, Atlanta, Georgia
21/9/ ?, Dallas, Texas (Cancelled)
21/9/ WDRE radio show, New York, New York
21 or 22/9/ Last Call TV show, New York, New York
24/9/ The Palace, Los Angeles, California
24/9/ KROQ radio interview, Los Angeles, California
25/9/ The Fillmore, San Francisco, California
26/9/ Live 105 radio interview, California

28/9/ Phoenix, Toronto, Canada
28/9/ Much Music TV program, Toronto, Canada
28/9/ CFNY radio show, Toronto, Canada
29/9/ Academy, New York, New York
29/9/ MTV 120 Minutes TV show, New York, New York
30/9/ Trocadero, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

It seems that the first full half of the tour was cancelled and only a few gigs were rescheduled. And as the shows in Detroit and Dallas have no records it seems likely that they were cancelled, too. A few funny things happened during the tour like the on air radio show on Live 105 radio with Oasis, after Blur visited their gig at the Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco. I also read that the group only travelled by plane to avoid stress.

Does anybody know or remember anything?

idreamofpikas
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Re: 1994 US Tour

Post by idreamofpikas » 04 Dec 2020, 02:07

Moritz wrote:
03 Dec 2020, 22:19
This is no suprise after the album charted poor at No. 6 on the Billboard's Heatseeker Charts after it's US release in June. At least Girls & Boys used to be (tell me if I'm wrong) a moderate club hit in the States.
Peaked at 59 in the Billboard 100. Which was pretty great. Song 2 and Coffee and TV, which got a lot of promotion did not even crack the top 100. Blur could have put the work in and been a bigger splash in the US. It would have laid the groundwork for future tours.


Moritz wrote:
03 Dec 2020, 22:19
But the band still had propably anti-American sentiments and no real interest to support the album for the not so loved SBK label.
Maybe. My own theory why Blur and so many other Britpop bands did not take America seriously was because of how successful they were in the UK and Europe. Why would a band waste their time barely breaking even touring in the US, to a nation who did not know who they were, when they were stars back home and could play stadiums.

It is pretty well documented just how competitive Damon was as a young man (I think he's probably chilled with age), we may never have got an American centric album and tour if it was not for Oasis breaking the US and completely overshadowing them in the UK. Without Oasis Blur may have coasted on being the kings of the UK.

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stephen
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Re: 1994 US Tour

Post by stephen » 04 Dec 2020, 09:07

Drew will have a good answer I imagine

dparrott
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Re: 1994 US Tour

Post by dparrott » 09 Dec 2020, 22:07

I remember being pissed off that I read about their US tour in NME and never heard a word about it locally. :evil: I wasn't "in the know" I guess.

Moritz
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Re: 1994 US Tour

Post by Moritz » 10 Dec 2020, 17:26

I remember being pissed off that I read about their US tour in NME and never heard a word about it locally. :evil: I wasn't "in the know" I guess.
I fully understand you. Blur were below the big public recognition at this time since MLIR just sold about 20.000 issues in the US and had bad promotion. Parklife was the last album on SBK before they switched to Virgin. And this would explain why they only visited a few big cities with it's indie scenes.

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Mallard No. 22
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Re: 1994 US Tour

Post by Mallard No. 22 » 17 Dec 2020, 20:46

I think that Blur had plenty to be going on with in the UK in autumn 1994, and a prolonged north American tour would have been a distraction.
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MrMagpie
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Re: 1994 US Tour

Post by MrMagpie » 20 Dec 2020, 21:42

stephen wrote:
04 Dec 2020, 09:07
Drew will have a good answer I imagine
Holy cow it's been forever since I've been here...and I've missed it!

It's been my understanding that after the misery of the '92 US tour and the failure of their records to do anything here, they probably decided to cut their losses and make it a short tour in '94. Given how huge their star grew in early '94 with Parklife and how massive they were in the UK, Europe, and Japan, it made sense. They basically stuck to the same strategy in '95 and '96, doing short (4-6 week) tours of the US and only hitting the major cities on the coasts (NYC, Boston, DC, LA, San Fran, etc) and the few major cities in between (Chicago, Dallas, etc). With the success of "Song 2" and the self-titled album in 1997, though, they did their heaviest touring in the US, making one leg in the spring, another in the summer, and a third one in autumn. This time they hit the major cities on the coasts as well as more out of the way spots like North Carolina, Oregon, Seattle, Utah, Arizona, Denver, etc. After that, though, they only made on more proper tour of the US in the summer of 2003. Otherwise, in 1999 and everything since 2003, it's just been the occasional festival appearance.
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