In Step Tour

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In Step Tour
North American concert tour by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble
Location United States, Canada
Associated album In Step
Start date May 4, 1989
End date August 26, 1990
Legs 6
Number of shows 137
Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble concert chronology

The In Step Tour was a North American concert tour by American blues rock band Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble. Launched in support of their fourth studio album In Step, the tour took the band to both indoor and outdoor venues in the United States and Canada from 1989 to 1990. It was also the third of which to include keyboardist Reese Wynans, who joined the band in 1985. Like all of the group's previous tours, the In Step Tour was a basic, minimalistic production. The stage featured a simple light show that changed according to the mood of certain songs performed. Although Vaughan and Double Trouble never followed a set list, all ten songs from In Step were played at least once during the tour, and as many as seven of them were included in each of the band's performances.

Comprising six legs and 137 shows, the In Step Tour began on May 4, 1989 in Vancouver, Canada and concluded on August 26, 1990 in East Troy, Wisconsin. After the first two legs, Vaughan and Double Trouble co-headlined with Jeff Beck and Joe Cocker during the third and fifth legs, which were branded as "The Fire Meets the Fury" and "Power and Passion", respectively. The group had planned to embark on a European leg in September 1990, but it was canceled after Vaughan died in a helicopter crash following the East Troy concert on August 27, 1990, during a return flight to Chicago. Although the tour elicited a variety of reactions from music critics, it was generally well-received and garnered mostly favorable reviews. Along with being one of the highest-grossing concert tours of 1989, the "Fire Meets the Fury" leg was awarded for being the most creative tour package of the year by Pollstar magazine.


Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble gained international fame after the release of their debut studio album Texas Flood in June 1983.[1] Their second studio album, Couldn't Stand the Weather, and the supporting tour brought them to further commercial and critical success during the following year.[2] After the addition of keyboardist Reese Wynans in 1985, the band released Soul to Soul and toured in support of the album, which was their first as a quartet.[3] In Europe, the schedule of performances were canceled after Vaughan suffered from a substance abuse related illness, due to a long-term drug and alcohol addiction. He checked into a rehabilitation facility in Atlanta, where he stayed for four weeks and achieved sobriety; bassist Tommy Shannon checked into rehab in Austin.[4]

Following their departure from rehab, Vaughan and Shannon reconvened with Double Trouble to begin the Live Alive Tour in November 1986, which supported the album that was released on November 17.[5] Although Vaughan was nervous about performing while being sober, he received positive reassurance. Wynans recalled: "[He] had a little bit of self doubt. We rehearsed and were very encouraging to him."[6] As the tour progressed, Vaughan was longing to work on material for the group's next LP, but in January 1987, he filed for a divorce from his wife Lenny, which restricted him of writing songs and recording an album for almost two years.[7] After the proceedings were finalized in 1988, the band started recording their fourth and final studio album, In Step, at Kiva Studios in Memphis, where they worked with producer Jim Gaines.[8]

Vaughan initially had doubts about his musical and creative abilities, but he gained more confidence as the sessions progressed. Shannon later recalled: "From my eyes, he went in scared to death ... In Step was, for him, a big growing experience."[9] On January 21, 1989, the band took a break from recording and performed at a presidential inaugural celebration for George H. W. Bush in Washington, D.C. When the sessions concluded, they participated in a concert organized by the Greenpeace organization, which took place on April 8, 1989 at the Mount Smart Supertop in Auckland, New Zealand.[10]

Planning, itinerary, and billing[edit]

A rehearsal for the In Step Tour took place on May 3, 1989 at York Theatre in Vancouver, before the opening show at the city's Orpheum Theatre on the following night.[11] Lighting designer Trey Hensley explained that Vaughan decided against lengthy rehearsals: "The band played all the time and didn't need rehearsal, and he didn't believe in spending money to rehearse."[12] Like many of the group's preceding tours, which began ahead of the release of a new album, the tour started a month before In Step was released, giving fans a preview of new songs from the album.[13] The first leg of the tour alternated between both indoor and outdoor venues, with 15 concerts that were mostly indoor arena and theatre shows in May.[14] After the release of In Step on June 13, the band performed 25 concerts throughout the United States and Canada from June to September.[15]

Two co-headlining legs in North America were subsequently planned—"Fire Meets the Fury" with Jeff Beck from October to December 1989, and "Power and Passion" with Joe Cocker from June to July 1990.[16] Rehearsals for "Fire Meets the Fury" began at Paisley Park Studios in Minneapolis on October 23 and 24, before the official leg-opening Northrup Auditorium show on the 25th.[17] Both Vaughan and Beck were advertised as headliners and received equal billing for the tour. Vaughan's manager Alex Hodges commented: "We were very careful to have equal billing and everything done in a way that it would be hard to say anyone was taking advantage of the other."[18]

During an extended break between the third and fourth legs of the tour, Vaughan recorded Family Style with his brother Jimmie Vaughan in March 1990. They worked with producer Nile Rodgers at Ardent Studios in Memphis, and it would be their first and only collaboration together. The album was ultimately released a month after Vaughan's death in September 1990. With the success of "Fire Meets the Fury", Hodges made arrangements for the "Power and Passion" leg with Cocker: "We weren't trying to repeat the magic of the tour with Beck, but we thought it was a way to have a strong summer tour and give the fans something different."[19]

Following the conclusion of "Power and Passion", Vaughan took a short break from touring with Double Trouble. In August 1990, he traveled to Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand, where he spent time vacationing with girlfriend Janna Lapidus. She later recalled the trip: "It was all one big barrel of laughs! We were goofballs."[20] Shortly after they had returned to their Manhattan apartment in New York City, Vaughan left for Kalamazoo, Michigan on August 24, where he reconvened with the band to perform at the county fair. They then moved on to East Troy, Wisconsin, where they were booked for two nights as the opening act for Eric Clapton at Alpine Valley Music Theatre. Both shows, on August 25 and 26, were sold out with an audience of 40,000 each.[21] On the 26th, the show concluded with an encore jam session featuring Vaughan, Clapton, Robert Cray, Buddy Guy and Vaughan's brother Jimmie Vaughan. In 1993, Clapton recalled Vaughan's performance: "[It was] beyond anything that I could even describe ... there was nothing missing. There was no room for improvement."[22]

After the show, Vaughan talked with Layton backstage, where he expressed his gratification of the band's performances and optimism for the future of their career. Layton recalled the conversation: "He was in great spirits ... We talked for, I guess, almost thirty minutes."[23] In the early morning of August 27, 1990, Vaughan and three members of Clapton's touring entourage boarded a Bell 206B, which was the third in a series of four helicopters to travel to Chicago's Midway Airport. The pilot, who was unqualified to operate a helicopter in foggy weather conditions, failed to gain enough altitude to fly the aircraft over a nearby ski hill, where it crashed shortly after takeoff. Vaughan and the four others on board were all killed instantly. The band had originally planned to visit England, France and Switzerland in September after being absent from the European touring circuit for over two years, but the rest of the tour was canceled. Vaughan was buried in his hometown of Dallas, Texas on August 31, 1990.[24]

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: North America[25][26][27]
May 4, 1989 Vancouver Canada Orpheum Theatre René Martinez N/A N/A
May 6, 1989 Everett United States Everett Civic Auditorium Roy Rogers & the Delta Rhythm Kings
May 8, 1989 Bozeman Brick Breeden Fieldhouse
May 9, 1989 Missoula Harry Adams Fieldhouse
May 10, 1989 Boise Morrison Center 1,983 / 2,000
May 12, 1989 Santa Barbara Arlington Theatre N/A
May 18, 1989 Phoenix Celebrity Theatre Robin Trower
May 20, 1989 San Diego Starlight Bowl Was (Not Was) 4,013 / 4,013 $86,624
May 21, 1989 Santa Clara California's Great America N/A N/A
May 22, 1989 Santa Rosa Luther Burbank Center Roy Rogers & the Delta Rhythm Kings
May 23, 1989 Sacramento Community Center Theatre
May 25, 1989 Eureka Eureka Municipal Auditorium
May 26, 1989 Salem L. B. Day Amphitheatre John Hiatt 4,253 / 8,868 $78,861
May 27, 1989 George Champs de Brionne Music Theatre 10,495 / 12,000 $188,103
May 29, 1989 El Paso Mountain Shadow Lakes
(Balloon Festival)
Piggybank, QID N/A N/A
Leg 2: North America[28][29][30]
June 14, 1989 Ottawa Canada Ottawa Civic Centre René Martinez N/A N/A
June 16, 1989 Toronto Kingswood Music Theatre Colin James
June 17, 1989 Montreal Centre Sportif
June 20, 1989 Saratoga Springs United States Saratoga Performing Arts Center Henry Lee Summer
June 21, 1989 Burlington Burlington Memorial Auditorium
June 24, 1989 Bristol Lake Compounce Festival Park
June 25, 1989 Mansfield Great Woods Center Ronnie Earl, John Mayall
June 27, 1989 Poughkeepsie Mid-Hudson Civic Center Henry Lee Summer
June 29, 1989 Pittsburgh Melody Amphitheatre Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers 3,739 / 4,000 $62,628
July 11, 1989 Wilkes-Barre F.M. Kirby Center The Fabulous Thunderbirds N/A N/A
July 12, 1989 Darien Lakeside Amphitheater Johnny Winter
July 14, 1989 Cleveland Nautica Stage Frankie Starr & Chill Factor
July 15, 1989 Columbus Veterans Memorial Auditorium
July 21, 1989 Toledo Toledo Zoo Stray Cats
July 22, 1989 Noblesville Deer Creek Music Center Stray Cats, Duke Tumatoe
July 23, 1989 Cincinnati Riverbend Music Center Stray Cats
July 25, 1989 Memphis Mud Island Amphitheatre
July 29, 1989 Hoffman Estates Poplar Creek Music Theater
July 30, 1989 Saint Paul Harriet Island Stray Cats, Dave Mason
August 1, 1989 Kansas City Starlight Theatre Stray Cats
August 2, 1989 Evansville Mesker Amphitheatre
August 4, 1989 Columbia Merriweather Post Pavilion
August 5, 1989 Syracuse New York State Fairgrounds
August 6, 1989 Old Orchard Beach Seashore Performing Arts Center
August 9, 1989 Halifax Canada Halifax Metro Centre
August 10, 1989 Moncton Moncton Coliseum
August 12, 1989 Quebec City Agora du Vieux-Port
August 13, 1989 Gardner United States Polish American Beach Club Southbound
August 17, 1989 Clarkston Pine Knob Music Theatre Stray Cats
August 18, 1989 Mears Val-Du-Lakes
August 19, 1989 East Troy Alpine Valley Music Theatre Little Feat, Jeff Healey Band
August 21, 1989 Morrison Red Rocks Amphitheatre
(Blues on the Rocks)
B.B. King, Taj Mahal
August 22, 1989 Park City Deer Valley B.B. King
August 25, 1989 Concord Concord Pavilion
August 26, 1989 Los Angeles Greek Theatre
August 27, 1989
August 29, 1989 Tucson Tucson Community Center
August 30, 1989 Santa Fe Paolo Soleri Amphitheater
September 2, 1989 Houston Astrodome The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Joe Ely 35,726 / 36,000 $803,835
September 3, 1989 Dallas Cotton Bowl 35,385 / 36,000 $796,163
Leg 3: North America ("The Fire Meets the Fury")[31][32][33]
October 25, 1989 Minneapolis United States Northrop Auditorium 4,835 / 4,835 $90,088
October 27, 1989 Milwaukee MECCA Arena Jeff Beck 4,651 / 5,500 $83,870
October 28, 1989 Chicago UIC Pavilion 8,407 / 8,407 $164,040
October 29, 1989 St. Louis Fox Theatre Jeff Beck N/A N/A
October 31, 1989 Columbus Ohio Center
November 2, 1989 Toronto Canada SkyDome Jeff Beck, Jeff Healey Band 11,778 / 15,000 $257,360
November 3, 1989 Detroit United States Cobo Hall 10,841 / 12,191 $195,027
November 4, 1989 Pittsburgh Palumbo Center Jeff Beck N/A N/A
November 6, 1989 Landover Capital Centre
November 7, 1989 Philadelphia The Spectrum Jeff Beck 9,926 / 12,000 $177,900
November 8, 1989 Worcester Centrum in Worcester 13,101 / 14,000 $237,281
November 11, 1989 New York City Madison Square Garden Jeff Beck 18,565 / 18,565 $417,713
November 12, 1989 Troy Houston Field House N/A N/A
November 14, 1989 Cleveland Public Hall Jeff Beck 7,995 / 7,995 $139,913
November 15, 1989 Dayton Hara Arena N/A N/A
November 16, 1989 Louisville Louisville Gardens Jeff Beck
November 18, 1989 Birmingham Boutwell Memorial Auditorium
November 19, 1989 Atlanta The Omni Jeff Beck 6,348 / 9,500 $111,090
November 21, 1989 Miami Miami Arena 7,783 / 8,500 $136,900
November 22, 1989 Tampa USF Sun Dome Jeff Beck N/A N/A
November 24, 1989 Houston Sam Houston Coliseum
November 25, 1989 Dallas Fair Park Coliseum Jeff Beck
November 26, 1989 Austin Frank Erwin Center
November 27, 1989 Amarillo Amarillo Civic Center Jeff Beck
November 28, 1989 Albuquerque Tingley Coliseum
November 29, 1989 Denver McNichols Sports Arena Jeff Beck
December 1, 1989 Los Angeles Los Angeles Sports Arena 13,734 / 16,511 $279,864
December 2, 1989 Sacramento ARCO Arena Jeff Beck 8,184 / 8,184 $153,311
December 3, 1989 Oakland Oakland Coliseum Arena 13,178 / 13,178 $258,759
December 6, 1989 Vancouver Canada Orpheum Theatre Jeff Beck N/A N/A
December 7, 1989 Seattle United States Paramount Theatre
December 8, 1989 Portland Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall Jeff Beck
Leg 4: North America[34][35]
April 13, 1990 Ann Arbor United States Michigan Theater Ernie Isley N/A N/A
April 14, 1990
April 17, 1990 Merrillville Star Plaza Theatre
April 18, 1990 Cedar Rapids Five Seasons Center
April 20, 1990 Fargo Fargo Civic Center
April 21, 1990 Sioux Falls Sioux Falls Arena
April 22, 1990 Omaha Omaha Music Hall
April 25, 1990 San Antonio HemisFair Park
(La Semana Alegre)
April 28, 1990 Memphis Tom Lee Park
(Beale Street Music Festival)
Albert King, Etta James
April 29, 1990 Tulsa River Parks Amphitheatre Ernie Isley
May 2, 1990 Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall
May 3, 1990 Abilene Taylor County Expo Center
May 4, 1990 Austin Auditorium Shores
(Rites of Spring)
Buddy Guy, Ernie Isley
May 6, 1990 New Orleans Fair Grounds Race Course
(New Orleans Jazz Festival)
Boz Scaggs, BeauSoleil
Leg 5: North America ("Power and Passion")[36][37][38]
June 8, 1990 Mountain View United States Shoreline Amphitheatre Joe Cocker N/A N/A
June 9, 1990 Costa Mesa Pacific Amphitheatre
(Benson & Hedges Blues Festival)
Dr. John, Irma Thomas 17,385 / 18,861 $371,371
June 10, 1990 San Diego San Diego Sports Arena Joe Cocker N/A N/A
June 13, 1990 The Woodlands Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
June 15, 1990 Atlanta Lakewood Amphitheatre Joe Cocker
June 16, 1990 Jackson Mississippi Coliseum
June 17, 1990 Dallas Starplex Amphitheatre
(Benson & Hedges Blues Festival)
Joe Cocker, B.B. King 14,960 / 20,000 $285,402
June 19, 1990 Pelham Oak Mountain Amphitheatre N/A N/A
June 20, 1990 Nashville Starwood Amphitheatre Joe Cocker
June 22, 1990 Cuyahoga Falls Blossom Music Center
June 23, 1990 Clarkston Pine Knob Music Theatre Joe Cocker
June 24, 1990 Cincinnati Riverbend Music Center
June 27, 1990 Noblesville Deer Creek Music Center Joe Cocker
June 28, 1990 Burgettstown Star Lake Amphitheatre 5,372 / 20,000
June 30, 1990 Philadelphia Mann Music Center Joe Cocker N/A
July 1, 1990 Manchester Veterans Memorial Park
July 3, 1990 Essex Junction Champlain Valley Expo Joe Cocker
July 4, 1990 Bristol Lake Compounce Festival Park
July 5, 1990 Stanhope Waterloo Village Joe Cocker
July 7, 1990 Holmdel Garden State Arts Center
July 8, 1990 Wantagh Jones Beach Marine Theater Joe Cocker
July 10, 1990 Hamilton Canada Copps Coliseum
July 11, 1990 Montreal Montreal Forum Joe Cocker
July 13, 1990 Canandaigua United States Finger Lakes Performing Arts Center
July 14, 1990 Columbus Capital Music Center Joe Cocker
July 15, 1990 St. Louis Fox Theatre
July 16, 1990 Kansas City Starlight Theatre Joe Cocker
July 17, 1990 Englewood Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre
July 20, 1990 Salem L. B. Day Amphitheatre Joe Cocker
July 21, 1990 George Champs de Brionne Music Theatre 12,000 / 12,000
July 22, 1990 Vancouver Canada Pacific Coliseum Joe Cocker N/A
July 24, 1990 Anchorage United States Sullivan Arena
July 25, 1990 Fairbanks Carlson Center Joe Cocker
Leg 6: North America[39][40][41]
August 24, 1990 Kalamazoo United States Kalamazoo County Fair N/A N/A
August 25, 1990 East Troy Alpine Valley Music Theatre Robert Cray Band, Janata 80,000 / 80,000 $2,026,630
August 26, 1990


  1. ^ Hopkins 2011, p. 21
  2. ^ Hopkins 2011, p. 85
  3. ^ Hopkins 2011, pp. 98-99
  4. ^ Patoski & Crawford 1993, pp. 212–14
  5. ^ Hopkins 2011, p. 152
  6. ^ Hopkins 2011, p. 154
  7. ^ Hopkins 2011, p. 161
  8. ^ Patoski & Crawford 1993, pp. 231, 239
  9. ^ Aledort, Andy (August 2000). "Stevie Ray Vaughan: The Lost Interviews". Guitar World. Vol. 20 no. 8. Future US. p. 158. 
  10. ^ Hopkins 2011, pp. 203–5
  11. ^ "Stevie Ray Vaughan Original "In Step" Tour Itineraries (third and fourth thumbnails)". Backstage Auctions. 2016. Retrieved August 3, 2016. 
  12. ^ Hopkins 2011, p. 230
  13. ^ Hopkins 2011, pp. 206, 208
  14. ^ Hopkins 2011, pp. 206, 208
  15. ^ Hopkins 2011, pp. 209–215
  16. ^ Hopkins 2011, pp. 217, 245
  17. ^ Goldstein, Mike (August 31, 2007). "Stevie Ray Vaughan - "Real Deal: Greatest Hits, Vol. 1", cover by Robert M. Knight". Rock Pop Gallery. ...pre-production at Prince’s Paisley Park in Minneapolis... ; "Stevie Ray Vaughan Original "In Step" Tour Itineraries (sixth thumbnail)". Backstage Auctions. 2016. : Fire Meets the Fury rehearsal dates.
  18. ^ Hopkins 2011, p. 219
  19. ^ Hopkins 2011, p. 245
  20. ^ Hopkins 2011, p. 257
  21. ^ "AB Boxscore: Top Concert Grosses" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 102 no. 36. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. September 8, 1990. p. 31. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  22. ^ In the Studio with Redbeard (Radio broadcast). Dallas: BeardedFISCH LLC. June 28, 1993. Event occurs at 21:00. 
  23. ^ In the Studio with Redbeard (Radio broadcast). Dallas: BeardedFISCH LLC. June 28, 1993. Event occurs at 24:44. 
  24. ^ Patoski & Crawford 1993, p. 263
  25. ^ Hopkins 2011, pp. 206–208
  26. ^ First North American leg boxscore data:
  27. ^ First North American leg opening act information:
  28. ^ Hopkins 2011, pp. 209–217
  29. ^ Second North American leg boxscore data:
  30. ^ Second North American leg opening act information:
  31. ^ Hopkins (2011), pp. 218-228
  32. ^ Third North American leg boxscore data:
  33. ^ Third North American leg opening act information:
    • November 2, 1989: (see Billboard boxscore data reference from Vol. 101 no. 47)
    • November 4, 1989: Mervis, Scott (November 6, 1989). "A selection of music for every taste: Vaughan/Beck". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 9. Retrieved June 26, 2016. With each city, Vaughan and Beck are alternating as headliner. Here fortunately it was Vaughan, because after watching both, it's hard to imagine Beck even taking the stage after Stevie scorched it. 
    • November 11, 1989: Hopkins 2011, p. 219: "It was the only time that Stevie played in Madison Square Garden. We headlined..."
    • November 25 and December 1, 1989: Hopkins 2011, p. 219: "...I insisted on [Stevie closing] home town in Dallas and New York City. I gave up L.A. in return and it worked out."
  34. ^ Hopkins 2011, pp. 241–243
  35. ^ Fourth North American leg opening act information:
  36. ^ Hopkins (2011), pp. 245-253
  37. ^ Fifth North American leg boxscore data:
  38. ^ Fifth North American leg opening act information:
  39. ^ Hopkins 2011, pp. 254, 258–259
  40. ^ Sixth North American leg boxscore data:
  41. ^ Sixth North American leg opening act information: