I'm Your Baby Tonight World Tour

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I'm Your Baby Tonight World Tour
WhitneyHouston YourBabyTonightTour.jpg
I'm Your Baby Tonight World Tour Book (USA)
Tour by Whitney Houston
Associated album I'm Your Baby Tonight
Start date March 14, 1991
End date October 2, 1991
Legs 3
Shows 73 in North America
28 in Europe
2 in Japan
103 in total
Whitney Houston concert chronology
Feels So Right Tour
(1990)
I'm Your Baby Tonight World Tour
(1991)
The Bodyguard World Tour
(1993-94)

The I'm Your Baby Tonight World Tour was a concert tour by American pop/R&B singer Whitney Houston, in support of her multi-platinum album I'm Your Baby Tonight. Prior to the official start of the tour, Houston performed concerts in Japan. The tour kicked off in North America on April 18, in Knoxville, Tennessee that included 101 concert dates throughout 1991 in North America and Europe.

History[edit]

Houston embarked on the world tour to support the four-times platinum selling album of the same name. After a successful series of concerts in Japan during March 1991, Houston returned to the United States to prepare for the world tour. Houston was initially planned to start the tour in the U.K. However, due to the Gulf War, the European leg was rescheduled until the fall.[1] Houston instead started the tour in the US. Houston kicked things off with her "Welcome Home Heroes Concert" on March 31 in Norfolk Virginia. The special, which aired on HBO, was dedicated to the troops who were fighting in the Gulf War. All proceeds went to the Red Cross.[2] The summer of 1991 was considered one of the worst touring seasons ever. Many big names were cancelling dates and playing to low capacities. Houston was no exception. The singer played to low attendances and even cancelled some dates due to poor ticket sales. Experts cited the ongoing recession and financial crisis as the main reason.[3][4] During the summer, Houston also developed a throat ailment. As a result, the singer was forced to cancel the end of her Canadian tour to rest her voice.[5]

The tour resumed in late August when Houston reached the U.K. She played 10 consecutive dates at Wembley Arena in London, surpassing her own record of 9 straight dates at the same arena during the Moment of Truth World Tour, in 1988.

The show[edit]

Unlike her previous tours, the shows had more focus on visuals. The stage was lit by 300 lights spinning and flashing in synch with the music. The state of the art system was designed by Mark Fisher and Jonathan Park. The system had only been used previously by Pink Floyd in his "The Wall" show in Berlin and the Rolling Stones' "Urban Jungle Tour".[6] Houston also incorporated costume changes during her sets for the first time. She often wore skin tight jump suits. Houston also took part in choreographed dancing with backup dancers. Unlike her previous tours, the stage was not in the round. She was backed by a seven piece band. After her previous musical director John Simmons died, bass player Rickey Minor became the tour's musical director. R&B group After 7 opened during the North American leg. Dance act Snap! supported her on the European leg.

Houston reworked most of the songs during the show with improvisations and spontaneity, adding funk to the uptempos while slowing down the ballads.[7] According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, "Saving All My Love for You" was "sultry, taking excursions through the church and jazz world that aren't heard on the recorded version."[8] She incorporated her popular love songs into a "Love Medley", giving her time to try out the newer uptempo/new jack swing numbers on her current album.[7] Midway through the shows, Houston introduced her band while singing the gospel "Revelation". This started the gospel set which included a cappella and solos from her backup singers. Her brother Gary Houston also performed a Marvin Gaye medley. With hip hop music becoming popular during the time, Houston incorporated rappers into the show. Rappers were given verses during "How Will I Know" while shouting "yo Whitney yo" throughout other songs.[7] During some of the shows, Houston incorporated her hit "All The Man That I Need" into a medley with the Billie Holiday classics "Lover Man (Oh Where Can You Be?)" and "My Man", which she dedicated to her own man at the time. At the time, Houston was rumored to be dating singer Bobby Brown. The rumor of course turned out to be true.[9] The Holliday cover earned praise from many critics. The Vancouver Sun said "her delivery was achingly soulful" and that the singer should continue towards that direction musically.[10] For some of the US dates, she performed her top ten pop hit "Miracle". Houston ended her show with "I'm Your Baby Tonight" before the encore, "Greatest Love of All", in Europe for some of the London, UK dates included the encore "I Belong to You".

Some criticized Houston for focusing on the MTV trend of relying on dancing and big production lighting. The Sun Sentinel noted that the singer should opt for smaller venues and theaters that are "far more suitable to her sophistication and talent."[11] USA Today praised the singer because she "shakes the confinements of her recordings' calculated productions and gets downright gutsy and soulful"[12]

Opening acts[edit]

Set list[edit]

  1. "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)"
  2. "So Emotional"
  3. "Saving All My Love for You"
  4. "How Will I Know"
  5. Love Medley:
  6. Billie Holiday Medley: 1
  7. "All the Man That I Need"
  8. Marvin Gaye Medley: (performed by Gary Houston)
  9. "My Name Is Not Susan"
  10. "Anymore" 1 2
  11. "Miracle" 1
  12. "Revelation" (contains elements of "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" and "He's All Right")
  13. "In Return" 2
  14. "This Day" 3
  15. "Who Do You Love"
  16. "I'm Your Baby Tonight"
  17. "I Belong to You"3
  18. "Greatest Love of All"

1performed only on select dates in North America and Europe
2only performed in Japan and select dates in North America
3performed on select dates in Europe

The band[edit]

  • Musical Director: Ricky Minor
  • Bass guitar, bass sythensizer: Ricky Minor
  • Guitar: Ray Fuller
  • Keyboard: Michael Bearden
  • Keyboard: Bette Sussman
  • Saxophone: Kirk Whalum
  • Drums: Ricky Lawson
  • Keyboard: Kevin Lee
  • Percussion: Bashiri Johnson
  • Background vocalists: Gary Houston, Vonchita Rawls, Carmen Rawls, Tiawana Rawls
  • Dancers: Diesko Boyland, Bryant Cash-Welch, Jonathan Webbe, Luca Tommassini

Tour dates[edit]

Date City Country Venue
Asia
March 14, 1991 Yokohama Japan Yokohama Arena
March 15, 1991
North America
March 31, 1991 Norfolk United States Naval Station Norfolk
April 18, 1991 Knoxville Thompson–Boling Arena
April 20, 1991 Lexington Rupp Arena
April 21, 1991 Champaign Assembly Hall
April 23, 1991 Columbia Hearnes Center
April 24, 1991 Ames Hilton Coliseum
April 26, 1991 Iowa City Carver–Hawkeye Arena
April 27, 1991 Minneapolis Target Center
April 29, 1991 Winnipeg Canada Winnipeg Arena
May 1, 1991 Saskatoon Saskatchewan Place
May 3, 1991 Edmonton Northlands Coliseum
May 5, 1991 Calgary Saddledome
May 7, 1991 Vancouver Pacific National Exhibition
May 8, 1991 Portland United States Memorial Coliseum
May 9, 1991 Seattle Seattle Center Coliseum
May 11, 1991 Oakland Oakland Coliseum
May 12, 1991 Sacramento Arco Arena
May 13, 1991 Mountain View Shoreline Amphitheatre (cancelled due to laryngitis)[13]
May 16, 1991 Inglewood Los Angeles Forum
May 17, 1991 Costa Mesa Pacific Amphitheatre
May 19, 1991 Phoenix Desert Sky Amphitheater
May 21, 1991 Paradise Thomas & Mack Center
May 23, 1991 Albuquerque Tingley Coliseum
May 24, 1991 Greenwood Village Fiddler's Green Amphitheater
May 25, 1991 Salt Lake City Salt Palace
May 28, 1991 New Orleans UNO Lakefront Arena
May 30, 1991 Oklahoma City Myriad Convention Center
May 31, 1991 Dallas Starplex Amphitheatre
June 2, 1991 The Woodlands Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
June 4, 1991 San Antonio HemisFair Arena
June 5, 1991 Austin Frank Erwin Center
June 7, 1991 Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center
June 9, 1991 Pensacola Pensacola Civic Center
June 10, 1991 Orlando Orlando Arena
June 11, 1991 Miami Miami Arena
June 13, 1991 Columbia Carolina Coliseum
June 15, 1991 Atlanta Fulton County Stadium
June 16, 1991 Greensboro Greensboro Coliseum
June 19, 1991 Chattanooga McKenzie Arena
June 20, 1991 Antioch Starwood Amphitheatre
June 22, 1991 Maryland Heights Riverport Amphitheatre (cancelled due to laryngitis)[14]
June 23, 1991 Kansas City Starlight Amphitheatre (cancelled due to laryngitis)[14]
June 25, 1991 Omaha Omaha Civic Auditorium (cancelled due to laryngitis)[14]
June 27, 1991 Milwaukee Marcus Amphitheater
June 28, 1991 Noblesville Deer Creek Music Center
June 30, 1991 Tinley Park World Music Theater
July 3, 1991 Detroit Joe Louis Arena
July 5, 1991 Hampton Hampton Coliseum (cancelled due to low ticket sales)[15]
July 6, 1991 Charlotte Blockbuster Pavilion
July 7, 1991 Raleigh Walnut Creek Amphitheatre
July 10, 1991 Cuyahoga Falls Blossom Music Center
July 11, 1991 Columbus Capitol Music Center
July 13, 1991 Burgettstown Star Lake Amphitheatre
July 14, 1991 Richmond Richmond Coliseum
July 16, 1991 Columbia Merriweather Post Pavilion
July 17, 1991 Providence Providence Civic Center
July 19, 1991 Philadelphia The Spectrum
July 20, 1991 Hershey Hersheypark Stadium
July 21, 1991 Saratoga Springs Saratoga Performing Arts Center
July 23, 1991 New York City Madison Square Garden
July 26, 1991 East Rutherford Meadowlands Arena
July 27, 1991 Cincinnati Riverfront Stadium
July 29, 1991 Lenox Tanglewood
July 30, 1991 Canandaigua Finger Lakes Performing Arts Center
August 1, 1991 Buffalo Buffalo Memorial Auditorium
August 3, 1991 Hartford Civic Center
August 4, 1991 Killington Performing Arts Center
August 6, 1991 Mansfield Great Woods Performing Arts Center
August 7, 1991
August 9, 1991 Old Orchard Beach Seashore Performing Arts Center
August 10, 1991 Nashua Holman Stadium
August 11, 1991 Moncton Canada Magnetic Hill Concert Site (cancelled due to laryngitis)[16]
August 13, 1991 Halifax Metro Center (cancelled due to laryngitis)[16]
August 15, 1991 Montreal Montreal Forum (cancelled due to laryngitis)[16]
August 16, 1991 Ottawa Frank Clair Stadium (cancelled due to laryngitis)[16]
August 17, 1991 Toronto CNE Stadium (cancelled due to laryngitis)[16]
Europe
August 27, 1991 Birmingham United Kingdom National Exhibition Centre
August 28, 1991
August 29, 1991
August 30, 1991
August 31, 1991
September 1, 1991
September 3, 1991 London Wembley Arena
September 4, 1991
September 6, 1991
September 7, 1991
September 9, 1991
September 10, 1991
September 11, 1991
September 13, 1991
September 14, 1991
September 15, 1991
September 17, 1991 Glasgow Scotland SECC
September 18, 1991
September 19, 1991
September 21, 1991 Rotterdam Netherlands Ahoy Rotterdam
September 22, 1991
September 23, 1991
September 25, 1991
September 26, 1991
September 27, 1991
September 29, 1991 A Coruña Spain Instituto Municipal Coruña Espectáculos
October 1, 1991 Paris France Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy
October 2, 1991

References[edit]

  1. ^ AllWhitney.com
  2. ^ Smith, Patricia. "Mom, apple pie and Whitney Houston in concert for troops". Boston Globe April 1, 1991.
  3. ^ Watrous, Peter. "Pop Life". The New York Times. August 7, 1991. Page C15.
  4. ^ Dafoe, Christopher M. "Rock 'n' Ruin Not just the recession is to blame for the small crowds at rock concerts this summer" The Globe and Mail. August 17, 1991. Page C1.
  5. ^ "Houston cancels rest of tour". The Globe and Mail. August 10, 1991. Page C3.
  6. ^ Stout, Gene. "Whitney Houston will be Impossible to Ignore when she comes to Seattle." Seattle Post. May 3, 1991. Page 5.
  7. ^ a b c Considine, JD. "Houston gives her hits a new spin, and her fans applaud at every turn". The Baltimore Sun. July 17, 1991. Page 1E.
  8. ^ Bream, Jon. "Whitney (Hit Woman) Houston's concert packs quite a punch." Minneapolis Star Tribune. April 28, 1991. Page 07.B
  9. ^ Racine, Mary. "Whitney love songs". Houston Chronicle. June 4, 1991. Page 1.
  10. ^ Mackie, John. "Houston strikes up the bland: Voice can thrill, but lyrics shallow." The Vancouver Sun. May 8, 1991. Page B5.
  11. ^ Wilker, Deborah. "Whitney Houston: Bigger - but better?" Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel. June 13, 1991. Page 3E.
  12. ^ Jones, James T. "Whitney is so emotional, soulful in concert". USA Today. April 19, 1991. Page 01D.
  13. ^ Selvin, Joel. "Whitney Houston Strands fans at Shoreline." The San Francisco Chronicle. May 15, 1991. Page E1.
  14. ^ a b c "Whitney Houston Cancels Omaha Date". Omaha World - Herald. June 26, 1991. Page 47.
  15. ^ Chastain, Sue. "The Latest." The Philadelphia Inquirer. July 4, 1991. Page C2
  16. ^ a b c d e Howell, Peter. "Whitney Houston hits Ex with second major no-show". The Toronto Star. August 9, 1991. Page A1.

External links[edit]