Couldn't Stand the Weather Tour

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Couldn't Stand the Weather Tour
World tour by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble
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.
Location North America, Europe, Australasia, Japan
Associated album Couldn't Stand the Weather
Start date March 10, 1984
End date May 4, 1985
Legs 7
No. of shows 148
Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble concert chronology

The Couldn't Stand the Weather Tour was a worldwide concert tour by blues rock band Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble. Launched in support of their second album Couldn't Stand the Weather, the band visited various indoor and outdoor venues from 1984 to 1985. To recreate the additional instrumentation that the group utilized on Couldn't Stand the Weather, they featured guest musicians on select dates of the tour. Among several other shows on the tour, the band's performance at Carnegie Hall in New York City deviated from their established power trio format. In contrast to Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble's basic stage setup from previous shows, the Carnegie Hall performance was an elaborately-staged concert event; it utilized custom tailored suits and an expanded stage set.

With eleven legs and 148 shows, the Couldn't Stand the Weather Tour began in Nashville, Tennessee on February 4, 1984 and ended in San Antonio on May 4, 1985. Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble visited North America and Europe during the first six legs before ultimately visiting Australasia and Japan. After performing in mostly smaller venues for the first two legs, the tour's production was expanded for larger venues during the second North American leg. Although the tour received a range of reactions from music critics, it was generally well received. The band's 1985 album, Soul to Soul, which expanded on the band's additional instrumentation ideas, was recorded during breaks in the tour, and its songs were played for the subsequent tour.

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, I farted, 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]

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]

List of concerts, showing date, city, country, venue, tickets sold, amount of available tickets and gross revenue
Date City Country Venue Opening Act(s) Attendance Revenue
Leg 1: United States and Europe[27][28][29]
March 10, 1984 Southampton United States Southampton College N/A N/A
March 11, 1984 Sunderland Rusty Nail
March 13, 1984 Poughkeepsie The Chance Steve Bassett
March 14, 1984 Union Wilkins Theatre
March 15, 1984 Scotia Radio City 1,000 / 1,000 $8,000
March 16, 1984 Providence Rhode Island College Duke Robillard, Steve Bassett N/A N/A
March 17, 1984 New Haven Twilight Zone
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 University of Technology The Run Runs
March 29, 1984 Oulu Urheilutalo
March 30, 1984 Stockholm Sweden The Ritz
March 31, 1984 Lund Pub Sparta
Leg 2: United States[30][31][32]
April 15, 1984 Austin United States Austin Opera House
(Celebrate Austin Music Festival)
Angela Strehli, Robert Shaw N/A N/A
April 19, 1984 Greenville Greenleaf Theater Steve Bassett
April 20, 1984 Williamsburg William & Mary Hall
April 22, 1984 Roslyn My Father's Place Rocket 88
April 25, 1984 North Brunswick The Metro
April 27, 1984 Plattsburgh Hawkins Hall Auditorium
April 28, 1984 New Paltz SUNY New Paltz
(Springfest)
Frank Marino
Poughkeepsie The Chance
April 29, 1984 Buffalo SUNY Buffalo
(Springfest)
May 2, 1984 Garden City Nassau Community College
May 4, 1984 Bristol Roger Williams College
(Spring Weekend)
David Johansen
May 6, 1984 Oneonta Hartwick College Artie Traum
May 7, 1984 Geneva Smith Opera House
May 12, 1984 Oklahoma City Zoo Amphitheatre 9,002 / 9,002 $108,024
May 13, 1984 Tulsa Mohawk Park Jim Sweeney & the Jumpshots 15,404 / 15,404 $151,932
May 15, 1984 Little Rock Barton Coliseum 7,381 / 10,025 $84,881
May 16, 1984 St. Louis Kiel Auditorium N/A N/A
May 17, 1984 Davenport Palmer Alumni Auditorium 4,500 / 4,500 $55,875
May 18, 1984 Dubuque Five Flags Arena 5,200 / 5,200 $64,287
May 19, 1984 Kansas City Starlight Theatre 8,341 / 8,341 $101,654
May 20, 1984 Wichita Kansas Coliseum 7,233 / 7,233 $92,220
May 23, 1984 Austin Austin Opera House The Fabulous Thunderbirds N/A N/A
May 28, 1984 Memphis Mid-South Fairgrounds
(Memphis Cotton Carnival)
Danny Tate
Leg 3: North America and Europe[33][34][35]
June 15, 1984 Irvine United States Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre 14,615 / 14,615 $204,570
June 16, 1984 Los Angeles Hollywood Palladium Billy Rankin N/A N/A
June 17, 1984 San Francisco Kabuki Theatre Philip Wellford
June 19, 1984 Portland Portland Civic Auditorium Widow
June 20, 1984 Seattle Paramount Theatre Dwight Twilley, Widow
June 21, 1984 Vancouver Canada Commodore Ballroom The Dice
June 22, 1984 Victoria Royal Theatre
June 24, 1984 Calgary Max Bell Arena
June 25, 1984 Edmonton Convention Inn Ballroom
June 26, 1984 Saskatoon Centennial Auditorium Colin Munn
June 28, 1984 Regina Centre of the Arts
June 29, 1984 McCreary Beaver Dam Lake
(Country Rock Festival)
Gregg Allman Band, Murray McLauchlan
July 2, 1984 Saint Paul United States Prom Ballroom Raggs
July 3, 1984 Milwaukee Marcus Amphitheater
(Summerfest)
Duke Jupiter, Piranha Brothers
July 5, 1984 Rockford Coronado Theatre Duke Tumatoe
July 6, 1984 Peoria Peoria Civic Center
July 8, 1984 Morrison Red Rocks Amphitheatre Talk Talk
July 10, 1984 Amarillo Amarillo Civic Center Duke Jupiter
July 11, 1984 Lubbock Lubbock Municipal Auditorium
July 12, 1984 Dallas Fair Park Band Shell Duke Jupiter, Angela Strehli 4,500 / 4,500
July 13, 1984 San Antonio Majestic Theatre Duke Jupiter N/A
July 15, 1984 Temple Mayborn Civic Center
July 18, 1984 Houston Houston Music Hall Duke Jupiter, Angela Strehli
July 19, 1984
July 20, 1984 Corpus Christi Bayfront Plaza Auditorium Duke Jupiter
July 21, 1984 Austin Palmer Auditorium Duke Jupiter, Angela Strehli
July 27, 1984 New Britain Willowbrook Park
(Summer Jam)
Charlie Daniels 9,652 / (unlimited) $144,780
July 28, 1984 Boston The Channel Donny B. Waugh & the Forgiven Sinners N/A N/A
July 29, 1984 Salem Winter Island
August 1, 1984 New York City Pier 84 Gregg Allman Band
August 3, 1984 Tampa USF Sun Dome 11,468 / 11,468 $143,350
August 4, 1984 Jacksonville Jacksonville Coliseum 11,676 / 11,676 $145,075
August 5, 1984 Columbia Carolina Coliseum 8,285 / 12,352 $103,567
August 6, 1984 Charlotte Charlotte Coliseum 7,009 / 12,900 $87,612
August 8, 1984 Atlanta Omni Coliseum 11,581 / 17,129 $144,762
August 9, 1984 Greensboro Greensboro Coliseum 11,774 / 15,887 $147,175
August 10, 1984 Roanoke Roanoke Civic Center 10,853 / 10,853 $137,292
August 11, 1984 Norfolk Norfolk Scope 12,910 / 13,800 $161,375
August 12, 1984 Harrisburg City Island 2,918 / 12,000 $97,273
August 14, 1984 Toronto Canada Massey Hall N/A N/A
August 16, 1984 Ottawa National Arts Centre Saints and Sinners
August 17, 1984 Montreal The Spectrum Jimmy James
August 25, 1984 St. Goarshausen Germany Freilichtbühne Loreley
(Loreley Open Air Festival)
Paul Brady, Greg Kihn Band
August 27, 1984 Munich Alabama-Halle
September 2, 1984 Shreveport United States Veterans Park Amphitheatre
(Labor Day Music Festival)
"A" Train, Danny Johnson & the Bandits
September 7, 1984 Chicago Aragon Ballroom Albert Collins
September 8, 1984 Royal Oak Royal Oak Music Theatre
September 9, 1984 Dayton Hara Arena Albert Collins
September 10, 1984 Indianapolis Clowes Memorial Hall Rods 'n' Cones
September 13, 1984 Nashville Memorial Gymnasium Will Rambeaux & the Delta Hurricanes
September 14, 1984 Memphis Orpheum Theatre Koko Taylor
September 15, 1984 Greenville Freedom Village
(Mississippi Delta Blues Festival)
Bo Diddley, Robert Cray Band
September 16, 1984 Fort Worth Will Rogers Coliseum Van Wilks
Leg 4: United States ("Fall Foliage")[36][37][38]
September 29, 1984 Fort Worth United States Caravan of Dreams N/A N/A
October 4, 1984 New York City Carnegie Hall 2,200 / 2,200
October 6, 1984 Boston Orpheum Theatre Jason & the Scorchers N/A
October 7, 1984 West Hartford Agora Ballroom
October 9, 1984 Hempstead Adams Playhouse
October 10, 1984 Philadelphia Irvine Auditorium Spinning Infant
October 11, 1984 Washington, D.C. Constitution Hall Jason & the Scorchers
October 12, 1984 Pittsburgh Syria Mosque
October 14, 1984 Cleveland Variety Theatre
October 19, 1984 Phoenix Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum
(Arizona State Fair)
October 20, 1984 El Paso El Paso County Coliseum
Leg 5: Australia, New Zealand and United States[39][40]
October 26, 1984 Melbourne Australia Melbourne Concert Hall Tinsley Waterhouse Band N/A N/A
October 28, 1984 Bachelors from Prague
October 31, 1984 Tinsley Waterhouse Band
November 1, 1984 Adelaide Adelaide Festival Theatre
November 3, 1984 Brisbane Brisbane Festival Hall
November 5, 1984 Sydney Sydney Opera House
November 9, 1984 The Champions
November 11, 1984 Palmerston North New Zealand Manawatu Stadium Chris Thompson
November 12, 1984 Wellington Wellington Town Hall
November 13, 1984 Christchurch Christchurch Town Hall
November 14, 1984 Auckland Logan Campbell Centre
November 20, 1984 Santa Barbara United States Arlington Theater James Harman Band
November 21, 1984 Universal City Universal Amphitheatre Joe Ely
November 22, 1984 Los Angeles Pauley Pavilion
November 23, 1984 Fresno Warnors Theatre
November 24, 1984 San Francisco Warfield Theatre Dr. Gonzo
November 25, 1984
November 27, 1984 Santa Cruz Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
November 28, 1984 Davis Freeborn Hall Bourgeois Tagg
November 29, 1984 Oroville Butte College Gym Ralph Shine Blues Band
November 30, 1984 Arcata HSU East Gym
December 31, 1984 Houston Astroarena The Fabulous Thunderbirds
Leg 6: Japan[26]
January 20, 1985 Osaka Japan Osaka Kōsei Nenkin Kaikan N/A N/A
January 21, 1985 Nagoya Unryu Hall
January 23, 1985 Tokyo Yubin Chokin Kaikan
January 24, 1985
January 25, 1985
Leg 7: North America[41][42]
March 10, 1985 South Padre Island United States Isla Blanca Park Joe King Carrasco and the Crowns N/A N/A
March 21, 1985 Manor Manor Downs
(Spring Music Festival)
Delbert McClinton, Jerry Jeff Walker
March 23, 1985 Boston Boston Opera House Albert King
March 24, 1985 Worcester E.M. Loew's Center Luther 'Guitar Junior' Johnson
March 27, 1985 Hamilton Canada Hamilton Place Great Hall
March 28, 1985 Waterloo Super Skate Seven
March 29, 1985 Toronto Massey Hall Johnny MacLeod & the Young Pioneers
March 30, 1985 Oshawa Oshawa Civic Auditorium
April 21, 1985 Dallas United States Dallas Convention Center Arena Lonnie Mack
April 24, 1985 Omaha Omaha Music Hall Tim Kugel & the Strokers 2,476 / 2,608 $26,306
April 25, 1985 Wichita Cotillion Ballroom Lonnie Mack N/A N/A
April 26, 1985 Tulsa Cain's Ballroom
April 27, 1985 Oklahoma City Zoo Amphitheatre Gregg Allman Band, Lonnie Mack
April 28, 1985 Tulsa Mohawk Park
April 30, 1985 Corpus Christi Bayfront Plaza Auditorium Eric Johnson
May 2, 1985 New Orleans Riverboat President
(New Orleans Jazz Festival)
Albert King, Gatemouth Brown
May 4, 1985 San Antonio Majestic Theatre Emerald

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. ^ a b Hopkins 2011, pp. 85-88.
  27. ^ Hopkins 2011, pp. 53–55
  28. ^ First leg boxscore data:
  29. ^ First leg opening act references:
  30. ^ Hopkins 2011, pp. 56–61
  31. ^ Second leg boxscore data:
  32. ^ Second leg opening act references:
  33. ^ Hopkins 2011, pp. 61–68
  34. ^ Third leg boxscore data:
  35. ^ Third leg opening act references:
  36. ^ Hopkins 2011, pp. 71–72, 76.
  37. ^ Fourth leg boxscore data:
  38. ^ Fourth leg opening act references:
  39. ^ Hopkins 2011, pp. 77-78.
  40. ^ Fifth leg opening act information:
    • November 9, 1984: "Concerts". The Sydney Morning Herald. November 9, 1984. p. 40. 
    • November 11–14, 1984: Reid, Graham (January 17, 2011). "Chris Thompson: Chris Thompson (Sunbeam)". Elsewhere. ...he opened for Stevie Ray Vaughan in '84... 
    • November 20, 1984: Washburn, Jim (December 14, 1984). "Critic's choice: Pop". Orange County Register. 80 (37). Santa Ana, CA. p. 97. At the White House Saturday, OC's own James Harman Band plays its first local gig since they received a standing ovation opening for Stevie Ray Vaughan in Santa Barbara last month. 
    • November 21, 1984: "Openings". Los Angeles Times. November 21, 1984. p. 81. 
    • November 24–25, 1984: "Listing of Bill Graham Presents Shows 1965-1989". SugarMegs Audio. n.d. 
    • November 27, 1984: Conner, J.A. (November 30, 1984). "Stevie Ray came to play". Santa Cruz Sentinel. p. 9. Produced by Bill Graham Presents, the evening's show got off to a light-hearted start courtesy of rock comedian Dr. Gonzo. 
    • December 31, 1984: Hopkins 2011, p. 83: "Astro Arena, Houston, TX, with The Fabulous Thunderbirds..."
  41. ^ Hopkins 2011, pp. 92-98.
  42. ^ Seventh leg opening act references:

References[edit]