Great Big Sea have announced the dates for the band’s 20th Anniversary tour where they will be playing all over the place. The tour kicks off March 5th, 2013 in Anaheim, CA and covers the country with a total of 18 dates in 16 cities. They will be playing NYC on April 19th, and tickets go on sale to the general public Friday. Also, The band is celebrating their 20th year and with that, comes new music in form of a giant box set! The band’s first Greatest Hits 2 CD set and a full Box Set includes bonus audio and a DVD of the band’s early career edited together by founder Sean McCann. XX, will be released digitally on October 30th, with the two CD package and full Box Set hitting stores on November 27th. Yours truly has a few photos in the boxset as well!
Few bands last more than an album or two — a few tours, a song played on the radio, and then they’re quickly forgotten. Alan Doyle, Sean McCann and Bob Hallett have somehow managed to keep the dysfunctional-family-bar-room-brawl-student-art-project-musical-pirate-crew known as Great Big Sea going for two decades. And more often than not, they have done it with more than a bit of flair.
For the hundreds of thousands of fans who sang, danced and celebrated with the band, Great Big Sea has been a constant factor in their own lives. While musical fashions have come and gone, Great Big Sea has maintained an unswerving commitment to their original ideals — a belief that a marriage of their own creativity and the joyous folk music of their home in Newfoundland would be an unbeatable combination.
Time, and their own stubbornness and persistence have proven them right. Compiled by the band members themselves, XX is a special two-disc set which captures the many highs in a recording career that has produced ten full-length CDs and two DVDs. In order to express the band’s two sides, one disc covers the biggest hits from their more pop-oriented repertoire, while the other contains some of their most loved traditional and folk songs. To balance out the discs, the band recorded six new songs — almost a new album in itself — which run the gamut of their varied stylistic approach. ‘Heart of Hearts’ is classic Great Big Sea, the sound of three men singing and playing acoustic instruments together in their own kitchens. ‘Live This Life’ is a majestic epic, hearkening back to the sonic experimentation of albums like ‘Fortune’s Favour’. ‘Le Bon Vin’ is a hearty Newfoundland version of an old French folk song, one the band has sung live for years, and finally committing it to tape for this collection. ‘Josephine the Baker’ recreates the earliest years of the band, in the rough and ready sailor pubs of St. John’s. ‘Born To Believe’ is a powerful radio anthem, while ‘Let My Love Open The Door’ is the band’s take on the Pete Townsend solo hit, re-imagined through the lens of some questionable characters from Newfoundland.
The XX box set that accompanies this release is packed with bonus material that both the casual and truly committed fan will enjoy. Beyond the two-disc greatest hits collection, it includes another disc that contains some of the band’s lesser-known excursions and experiments. Over a 20-year career the band has sometimes gone astray, and these embryonic ideas and missteps will be fascinating to all those who have followed the band’s varied journey. Another audio disc features one of the band’s first interviews, recorded in the fall of 1993 for CBC St. John’s, which includes rare and unheard songs from the band’s earliest days. The box contains a special book covering the many ups and downs of their career, along with lyrics, stickers, and a calendar covering a year in the band’s life. True fans are eagerly awaiting the set’s DVD, which contains a movie edited together by Sean. Containing a wealth of early interviews, backstage foolishness and general craziness, it captures the madness of the band’s first few years, but without the bruises, bad food and hangovers of the real thing.
GREAT BIG SEA 20th Anniversary Tour – US dates
MAR 05 – Grove of Annaheim – Annaheim, CA
MAR 06 – The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA
MAR 07 – Alladin Theater – Portland, OR
MAR 08 – The MooreTheater – Seattle, WA
MAR 19 – The Fitzgerald Theater – Minneapolis, MN
MAR 20 – House of Blues – Chicago, IL
MAR 21 – The Waiting Room – Omaha, NE
MAR 22 – The Boulder Theater – Boulder, CO
MAR 23 – The Boulder Theater – Boulder, CO
APR 14 – The Center for the Arts – Buffalo, NY
APR 16 – Michigan Theater – Ann Arbour, MI
APR 17 – The Warner Theatre – Washington, DC
APR 18 – Keswick Theatre – Philadeplhia, PA
APR 19 – Town Hall – New York, NY
APR 20 – The Wilbur Theatre – Boston, MA
APR 21 – The Wilbur Theatre – Boston, MA
APR 23 – Flynn Center – Burlington, VT
APR 24 – State Theatre – Portland, ME