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Tours de Farce: After Midnight

12:00 AM Thursday 1/31/02 | |

Sometimes, when we're working late at night, we can hear the tour dates speak to us.

Their whisper is the murmur of sweet seduction and the promise of wonderful artistic performances in faraway places. "George Winston in Tokyo on March 17," they exhale. "Tony Levin and Elvin Bishop coming soon," they tease. Yes, pulling overtime is more than just a job at Pollstar.com; sometimes it really is an adventure.

Then there are those times when the dates leap right out of the monitor and grab us by our neckties, all the while screaming about discipline, punishments and rewards. They pull our faces closer to the screen and demand that we bow down before the Alien Crime Syndicate schedule. They insist that we kneel before David Mallett and Ahmad Jamal, and they command us to lie facedown before the listings for great corn belt cities such as Omaha and Des Moines. Then they toss a donut on the floor and laugh their hardy laughs as we scramble for the remaining crumbs. Tour dates can be so cruel.

They can also be our friends. The schedule for Roomful Of Blues pats us on our backs and reminds us that "tomorrow is another day." The routings for Liza and Josh Rouse console us about lost loves and affairs gone bad, while the venue list for Deadly Snakes reminds us that our lives are nothing more than mushrooms growing just under the rim of the cesspool of life. That's pretty deep.

And then there are those nights when the tour dates leap from the database and perform in a multimedia spectacular like no other. They dance across our desks, belting out George M. Cohan songs about Broadway and Yankee Doodle. The itineraries for Michael Hill's Blues Mob and Kelly Hogan sing out about Cabaret while the support acts for No Doubt and Bush recreate those magnificent chorus line numbers from Cats and Rent. It's My Fair Lady, Mame and Gypsy all rolled into one. It's Moulin Rouge! to the tenth power. It's glitter, sizzle and razzle-dazzle. And if you've never had your dazzle razzled, you don't know what you're missing.

Then there are those times when tour dates, such as the ones for Jonathan Edwards or Hanuman, are nothing more than listings of appearances. Those are the times when our jobs are reduced to the endless processing of date, city and venue, over and over and over. Those are the times when it's business as usual coupled with time and a half for overtime. Yes, there are times like that.

For it's at those times that we remember our doctor's orders and take our medication.

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