Couldn't Stand the Weather Tour

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Couldn't Stand the Weather Tour
A young guitarist with a black wide-brimmed hat is pictured in a sideways stance, playing a white electric guitar. A tornado is pictured in the background.
Official tour poster
World tour by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble
Location North America, Europe, Oceania
Associated album Couldn't Stand the Weather
Start date February 5, 1984 (1984-02-05)
End date December 31, 1984 (1984-12-31)
Legs 7
Shows 148
Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble concert chronology
Texas Flood Tour
(1983)
Couldn't Stand the Weather Tour
(1984)
Japan Tour
(1985)

The Couldn't Stand the Weather Tour was a worldwide concert tour by American blues rock band Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble. Staged in support of their second studio album Couldn't Stand the Weather, the tour visited venues in North America and Europe from February through December 1984. Comprising seven legs and 148 shows, the tour began in Knoxville, Tennessee on February 5, 1984 and finished in Houston, Texas on December 31, 1984. The second leg visited Scandinavia, before the final legs visited Oceania and the United States. In relation to many of the band's tours, each of the show's set lists differed, and featured songs from both Texas Flood and Couldn't Stand the Weather, as well as several covers.

The tour received mostly positive reviews and reactions from critics. In the summer of 1984, the group opened for Huey Lewis, who called Vaughan "absolutely the best guitarist I've ever heard". The band performed to sold-out audiences in venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House. The Carnegie Hall concert, on October 4, 1984, was a benefit for the T.J. Martell Foundation's work in leukemia and cancer research, garnering much critical acclaim. The show featured many special guests and marked the only time in which the band was expanded beyond a trio. A recording of the performance was released in 1997 as Live at Carnegie Hall and was ultimately certified gold. Subsequent to the Carnegie Hall performance, the group toured Australia and New Zealand, performing at the Sydney Opera House for two nights.

Background[edit]

Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble's 1983 album Texas Flood and the supporting Texas Flood Tour brought them to a new level of commercial and critical success. Consisting of three legs and 108 shows, it was the band's first tour as a full-time international act in Europe, and visited Germany for the first time. The group also visited venues throughout North America; they performed to a sold-out performance at The Palace in Hollywood and opened 29 shows for The Moody Blues. Alex Hodges, the band's agent, recalled The Moody Blues tour:

There were a lot of people who didn't want Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble to do The Moody Blues tour. This is an arena tour, an older band dating back to the sixties. But here's the common thread: a band like The Moody Blues was album-oriented rock as we knew it from radio perspective. It wasn't synthesized music or disco and may not have been Eric Clapton, but it came from the same basic music genre that we now call classic rock.

My view was they may be a little on the older side, but as far as his power trio or Stevie being able to command an audience, I just didn't have any doubt.[1]

Double Trouble bassist Tommy Shannon described the tour as "glorious", saying, "Our record hadn't become that successful yet, but we were playing in front of coliseums full of people. We just went out and played, and it fit like a glove. The sound rang through those big coliseums like a monster. People were going crazy, and they had no idea who we were!"[2]

Planning and itinerary[edit]

Like the previous Texas Flood Tour, the Couldn't Stand the Weather Tour started three months before Couldn't Stand the Weather was released, giving fans the opportunity to preview new songs. By the fourth North American leg, the album quickly outpaced the sales of Texas Flood and sold 50,000 copies in Canada.[3] The first two legs of the tour, 23 shows in North America and 10 in Europe, were mostly indoor venues. While the band had briefly toured Europe during the Texas Flood Tour, they visited new areas for the Couldn't Stand the Weather Tour such as Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Sweden.

In the middle of the tour, Vaughan found it increasingly challenging to perform guitar parts while singing at the same time. He hired Derek O'Brien as an additional guitarist, but the band's sentimental devotion to a trio prevailed. Bassist Tommy Shannon recalls: "Stevie invited Derek O'Brien and [vocalist] Angela Strehli to join us for a few weeks. It went over like a lead balloon. Stevie saw that it wasn't working, so he apologized and let them go. I think he really wanted to get Derek and Angela some recognition. He wanted to show people that there were other great musicians from Austin. He loved both of them."[2] Roadie Byron Barr said that much to the band's dismay, Vaughan hired O'Brien as a rhythm guitarist to "take the pressure off" and "allow him to sing more", saying that it was for only three to five shows. Barr recalled that Vaughan was "real excited" about the idea, and "he wanted everyone else to be excited, but nobody was."[4]

Carnegie Hall concert[edit]

On October 4, 1984, Double Trouble performed a sold-out benefit concert at New York City's Carnegie Hall. In celebration of Vaughan's thirtieth birthday, the show featured many special guests including the Roomful of Blues horn section, keyboardist Dr. John, Jimmie Vaughan, vocalist Angela Strehli, and drummer George Rains. The band wore custom velvet "mariachi" suits and designed a stage set of blue and gold.[5] Vaughan originally planned to film the performance for future video release, though Columbia Records declined. Strehli recalls: "...it was supposed to be videoed and at the last minute they pulled some kind of union thing: 'Well, this show is going to run past eleven, so that means we get double time.' So they had to cancel the video part, which is just a shame."[6]

The concert was sold-out with Vaughan's closest friends, and family in the audience;[5] the proceeds benefited the T.J. Martell Foundation's work in leukemia and cancer research.[7] Vaughan was extremely excited and nervous, saying: "The last time I was that nervous is when I got married, but I couldn't show that to anybody ... I calmed down about halfway through 'Voodoo Chile.' I looked over at Tommy [Shannon], and he was just sort of staring at me, and that's when I knew it was gonna be all right."[8] An afterparty was thrown by MTV for the band, record company, and other VIPs.[9] According to the Dallas Times Herald, it took Vaughan an hour just to walk from the bar to the table across the room where his parents were sitting; the article also said, "Stevie Ray found his father, a retired asbestos worker who hadn't taken a plane ride since the Korean War, and hugged him until they both cried." After the show, Jimmie recalled that he was worried that the crowd would have been "a little stiff", saying "[It] turned out they're just like any other beer joint."[10]

Broadcasts, recordings, and releases[edit]

On April 15, 1984, Vaughan and Double Trouble's performance in Austin, Texas was recorded for the King Biscuit Flower Hour. A portion of Vaughan and Double Trouble's performance at the Spectrum was broadcast live on Westwood One,[11] and released on the double CD legacy edition of Couldn't Stand the Weather in 2010; a March 6 performance at the CBS Records Convention in Hawaii was initially considered, though the recording contained technical issues that could not be fixed.[12] Two August 1984 German shows were filmed for television specials. The August 25 show was broadcast live on Rockpalast, with a television audience at an estimated forty-one million.[11] The August 27 show was broadcast live from Munich's Alabamahalle.[13] Although the Carnegie Hall concert was not filmed, a live CD of the show was released in 1997.[14] By 2000, the album sold over 500,000 copies.[15]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Many critics published favorable reviews about the tour; The Lakeland Ledger said that the band didn't disappoint, relying on "their music and themselves to entertain".[16] The News & Observer wrote, "The crowd was still shouting for more when Vaughan unstrapped his guitar and said good night."[17] Others praised the Carnegie Hall show; Stephen Holden of The New York Times acknowledged that Vaughan's talents were "handsomely displayed" and "filled with verve".[18] The Dallas Times Herald said that "it was on the slow, bluesy stuff that the Carnegie Hall sound really helped", despite the fact that the hall's "fabled acoustics [didn't] seem to work so well for rock 'n' roll".[8] The Age praised the Australian leg and assured readers that "none of the publicity is exaggerated". It observed that Vaughan was the "complete master of his instruments" and did it with a "minimum of fuss or flash".[19] The Press wrote about the show in Christchurch, "There must be something about coming from the Lone Star State. The Austin, Texas guitarist turned in a virtuoso performance. ...Vaughan and the band showed they could play with a vengeance, notably in 'Love Struck Baby' and 'Pride and Joy,' both highlights of the concert."[20]

Some critics indicated faults in the band's live mix. At a July 2 show in Saint Paul, Minnesota, the Dallas Times Herald noted that the acoustics in the room were awful, and the sound system provided was faulty. After the show, Vaughan said, "I'm sorry anybody had to see that. Those people out there deserved better."[21] The review went on to say that "the fans jammed as close to the stage as they could get, trying to get a better look at his hands, trying to figure out where the magic was coming from".[21] The Age said that Vaughan's voice was mixed back too far for much of it to be heard, "especially on the louder material".[22]

Impact and legacy[edit]

Following the conclusion of the Couldn't Stand the Weather Tour, Vaughan and Double Trouble went on a month-long break from touring as a band. Vaughan took a vacation with Lenny on the island of Saint Croix in the Virgin Islands.[23] He also spent most of the time at Cedar Creek Studios in Austin, where he co-produced and performed on Lonnie Mack's Strike Like Lightning,[24] which was released in April 1985.[25] The band's subsequent Japan Tour was their first and only visit to cities like Osaka, Nagoya, and Tokyo;[26] the following Soul to Soul Tour resulted with the addition of keyboardist Reese Wynans, who would remain a member of the band until Vaughan's death in 1990.

Tour dates[edit]

Date City Country Venue Opening act(s)
Leg 1: North America[27]
February 5, 1984 Knoxville United States Alumni Memorial Gym Tinsley Ellis
February 7, 1984 Charlotte P. B. Scott's Music Hall
February 8, 1984 Atlanta Moonshadow Saloon
February 10, 1984 Athens University of Georgia Tinsley Ellis
February 11, 1984 Carbondale Southern Illinois University
February 12, 1984 Kansas City Uptown Theater
February 15, 1984 Normal Illinois State University
February 16, 1984 Peoria Second Chance
February 17, 1984 Chicago Embassy Club Ballroom
February 18, 1984 University of Chicago
February 25, 1984 Honolulu Aloha Stadium
March 10, 1984 Southampton Southampton College
March 11, 1984 Sunderland Rusty Nail
March 13, 1984 Poughkeepsie The Chance
March 14, 1984 Union Kean College
March 15, 1984 Scotia Radio City
March 16, 1984 Providence Rhode Island College
March 17, 1984 New Haven Twilight Zone Club
Leg 2: Europe[28]
March 21, 1984 Copenhagen Denmark Alexandra Rock Theater
March 22, 1984 Oslo Norway Club 7
March 23, 1984 Voss Vossajazz
March 24, 1984 Bergen Hulen
March 25, 1984 Trondheim Skansen
March 27, 1984 Helsinki Finland Kulttuuritalo
March 28, 1984 Tampere Tampere University of Technology
March 29, 1984 Oulu Urheilutalo
March 30, 1984 Stockholm Sweden The Ritz
March 31, 1984 Lund Pub Sparta
Leg 3: North America[29]
April 15, 1984 Austin United States Austin Opera House Townes Van Zant, W. C. Clark, Robert Shaw, Angela Strehli
April 19, 1984 Greenville The Greenleaf
April 20, 1984 Williamsburg William & Mary Hall
April 22, 1984 Long Island My Father's Place
April 24, 1984 Memphis Memphis Blues Festival
April 25, 1984 North Brunswick The Metro
April 27, 1984 Plattsburgh Hawkins Hall
April 28, 1984 New Paltz SUNY New Paltz
Poughkeepsie The Chance
April 29, 1984 Buffalo SUNY Buffalo
May 2, 1984 Garden City Nassau Community College
May 4, 1984 Bristol Roger Williams College Artie Traum
May 6, 1984 Oneonta Hartwick College
May 7, 1984 Geneva Smith's Opera House
May 12, 1984 Oklahoma City Oklahoma City Zoo
May 13, 1984 Tulsa Mohawk Park Jim Sweeney & the Jumpshots
May 15, 1984 Little Rock Barton Coliseum
May 16, 1984 St. Louis Kiel Opera House
May 17, 1984 Davenport Palmer College of Chiropractic
May 18, 1984 Dubuque Five Flags Arena
May 19, 1984 Kansas City Starlight Theatre
May 20, 1984 Valley Center Britt Brown Arena
May 23, 1984 Austin Austin Opera House
June 15, 1984 Irvine Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre
June 16, 1984 Los Angeles Hollywood Palladium
June 17, 1984 San Francisco Kabuki Theatre
June 19, 1984 Portland Portland Civic Auditorium
June 20, 1984 Seattle Paramount Theatre
June 21, 1984 Vancouver Canada Commodore Ballroom
June 22, 1984 Victoria Royal Theatre
June 24, 1984 Calgary Max Bell Centre
June 25, 1984 Edmonton Edmonton Convention Centre
June 26, 1984 Saskatoon Saskatoon Centennial Auditorium
June 28, 1984 Regina Saskatchewan Centre of the Arts
June 29, 1984 McCreary Beaver Dam Lake Gregg Allman, Murray McLauchlan
July 2, 1984 St. Paul United States Prom Ballroom
July 3, 1984 Milwaukee Henry Maier Festival Park
July 5, 1984 Rockford Coronado Theatre
July 6, 1984 Peoria Peoria Civic Center
July 8, 1984 Morrison Red Rocks Amphitheatre
July 10, 1984 Amarillo Amarillo Civic Center
July 11, 1984 Lubbock Lubbock Municipal Coliseum
July 12, 1984 Dallas Fair Park Duke Jupiter
July 13, 1984 San Antonio Majestic Theatre
July 15, 1984 Temple Mayborn Civic Center
July 18, 1984 Houston Houston Music Hall
July 19, 1984
July 20, 1984 Corpus Christi Bayfront Plaza Auditorium
July 21, 1984 Austin Palmer Auditorium
July 27, 1984 New Britain Willow Brook Park Charlie Daniels
July 28, 1984 Boston The Channel
July 29, 1984 Salem Winter Island
July 30, 1984 New York City The Ritz
August 1, 1984 Hudson River Park
August 3, 1984 Tampa USF Sun Dome
August 4, 1984 Jacksonville Jacksonville Coliseum
August 5, 1984 Columbia Carolina Coliseum
August 6, 1984 Charlotte Park Center Coliseum
August 8, 1984 Atlanta Omni Coliseum
August 9, 1984 Greensboro Greensboro Coliseum
August 10, 1984 Roanoke Roanoke Civic Center
August 11, 1984 Norfolk Norfolk Scope
August 12, 1984 Harrisburg City Island
August 14, 1984 Toronto Canada Massey Hall
August 16, 1984 Ottawa National Arts Centre
August 17, 1984 Montreal Spectrum
Leg 4: Europe[30]
August 25, 1984 Sankt Goarshausen Germany Freilichtbühne Loreley Paul Brady, Greg Kihn
August 27, 1984 Munich Alabama-Halle
Leg 5: North America[31]
September 2, 1984 Shreveport United States Veterans Park Bicentennial Amphitheater
September 7, 1984 Chicago Aragon Ballroom Albert Collins
September 8, 1984 Royal Oak Royal Oak Music Theatre
September 9, 1984 Trotwood Hara Arena
September 10, 1984 Indianapolis Butler University
September 13, 1984 Nashville Memorial Gymnasium
September 14, 1984 Memphis Orpheum Theatre
September 15, 1984 Greenville Mississippi Delta Blues Festival Down Home Blues Band, Robert Cray
September 16, 1984 Fort Worth Will Rogers Auditorium
September 29, 1984 Caravan of Dreams
October 4, 1984 New York City Carnegie Hall
October 6, 1984 Boston Orpheum Theatre
October 7, 1984 Hartford Agora Ballroom
October 9, 1984 Hempstead Hofstra University
October 10, 1984 Philadelphia Irvine Auditorium
October 11, 1984 Washington, D.C. DAR Constitution Hall
October 12, 1984 Pittsburgh Syria Mosque
October 14, 1984 Cleveland Variety Theatre Jason & the Scorchers
October 19, 1984 Phoenix Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum
October 20, 1984 El Paso El Paso County Coliseum
October 21, 1984 Santa Fe Downs at Santa Fe
Leg 6: Australia and New Zealand[32]
October 26, 1984 Melbourne Australia Melbourne Concert Hall
October 28, 1984
October 31, 1984
November 1, 1984 Adelaide Adelaide Festival Theatre
November 3, 1984 Brisbane Brisbane Festival Hall
November 5, 1984 Sydney Sydney Opera House
November 9, 1984
November 11, 1984 Palmerston North New Zealand FMG Stadium
November 12, 1984 Wellington Wellington Town Hall
November 13, 1984 Christchurch Christchurch Town Hall
November 14, 1984 Auckland Logan Campbell Centre
Leg 7: North America[33]
November 20, 1984 Santa Barbara United States Arlington Theater
November 21, 1984 Universal City Universal Amphitheatre
November 22, 1984 Los Angeles Pauley Pavilion
November 23, 1984 Fresno Warnors Theatre
November 24, 1984 San Francisco The Warfield
November 25, 1984
November 27, 1984 Santa Cruz Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
November 28, 1984 Davis University of California
November 29, 1984 Oroville Butte College Ralph Shine Blues Band
November 30, 1984 Arcata Humboldt State University
December 31, 1984 Houston Astroarena
Leg 8: Japan
January 20, 1985 Osaka Japan Kōsei Nenkin Kaikan
January 21, 1985 Nagoya Unryū Hall
January 23, 1985 Tokyo Tokyo Yūbin Chokin Hall
January 24, 1985
January 25, 1985
Leg 9: North America
March 10, 1985 South Padre Island United States Isla Blanca Park Joe Carrasco
March 21, 1985 Manor Manor Downs Delbert McClinton, Jerry Jeff Walker
March 23, 1985 Boston Boston Opera House Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson, Albert King
March 24, 1985 Worcester E.M. Loew's Center for the Performing Arts
March 27, 1985 Hamilton Canada Hamilton Place Theatre
March 28, 1985 Waterloo Super Skate Seven
March 29, 1985 Toronto Massey Hall
March 30, 1985 Oshawa Oshawa Civic Auditorium
April 21, 1985 Dallas United States Dallas Convention Center Arena
April 24, 1985 Omaha Omaha Music Hall
April 25, 1985 Wichita Cotillion Ballroom Lonnie Mack
April 26, 1985 Tulsa Cain's Ballroom
April 27, 1985 Oklahoma City Oklahoma City Zoo
April 28, 1985 Tulsa Mohawk Park
April 30, 1985 Corpus Christi Bayfront Plaza Auditorium Eric Johnson
May 2, 1985 New Orleans SS President
May 4, 1985 San Antonio Majestic Theatre

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Hopkins 2011, p. 39.
  2. ^ a b Aledort 2000.
  3. ^ Music Canada 2012.
  4. ^ Hopkins 2011, p. 63.
  5. ^ a b Schwartz 1997.
  6. ^ Hopkins 2011, p. 72.
  7. ^ Hopkins 2011, p. 73.
  8. ^ a b Rhodes 1984a.
  9. ^ Hopkins 2011, p. 75.
  10. ^ Hopkins 2011, p. 74.
  11. ^ a b Hopkins 2011, p. 68.
  12. ^ Hopkins 2011, p. 317.
  13. ^ Hopkins 2011, p. 69.
  14. ^ Hopkins 2011, p. 298.
  15. ^ Hopkins 2011, p. 305.
  16. ^ Miranda 1984, p. 20.
  17. ^ Sill 1984.
  18. ^ Holden 1984.
  19. ^ Speelman 1984, p. 14.
  20. ^ Topp 1984.
  21. ^ a b Rhodes 1984b.
  22. ^ Speelman 1984.
  23. ^ Hopkins 2011, p. 83.
  24. ^ Hopkins 2011, p. 82.
  25. ^ Hopkins 2011, p. 96.
  26. ^ Hopkins 2011, pp. 85-88.
  27. ^ Hopkins 2011, pp. 47-53.
  28. ^ Hopkins 2011, pp. 53-55.
  29. ^ Hopkins 2011, pp. 56-68.
  30. ^ Hopkins 2011, pp. 68-69.
  31. ^ Hopkins 2011, pp. 69-76.
  32. ^ Hopkins 2011, pp. 77-78.
  33. ^ Hopkins 2011, pp. 80-83.

References[edit]

  • Aledort, Andy. The Lost Interviews. Guitar World. August 2000.
  • Holden, Stephen. Stevie Ray Vaughan, guitarist, at Carnegie Hall. The New York Times. October 8, 1984.
  • Hopkins, Craig. Stevie Ray Vaughan - Day by Day, Night After Night: His Final Years, 1983-1990. Backbeat Books; October 18, 2011. ISBN 978-1-61774-022-0. From Bowie to Carnegie Hall.
  • Rhodes, Joe. Stevie Ray still cares. Dallas Times Herald. July 12, 1984.
  • Speelman, Paul. Vaughan lives up to the ballyhoo. The Age. October 29, 1984.