Inquiring Minds

Bands: Texas Is Good Enough for Your Limited Tour

This article isn't a gripe about the local music scene, which has actually been looking up for a while now, nor is it even about Houston specifically. Instead, it's about all those wonderful reunion tours that continue to pop up, only to avoid certain areas of the United States entirely.

A few weeks ago, my hopes were ignited when I read a headline about the Unicorns reuniting. In that instant, I wanted to do any and everything it took to catch at least one of the dates on their tour.

First, if the Unicorns' name doesn't sound familiar, their music probably would. For anyone who has ever been to a concert at Walters, it's highly likely you've heard the Montreal trio being played as the house music between sets. Additionally, Nick Thorburn went on to form Mister Heavenly with Man Man's Honus Honus and Arrested Development's Michael Cera, as well as Islands with Unicorns bandmate Jamie Thompson; at least the latter will be at Walters Downtown on Sept. 6.

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The Unicorns gained cult-like status after the release of their 2003 debut album, Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone? By mid-2004, they decided to call it quits after headlining at Walter's On Washington on the same night Arcade Fire made their Houston debut. Now, ten years later almost to the day, they've agreed to perform a handful of reunion shows opening for none other than Arcade Fire themselves.

But like many other reunion tours, this one isn't coming to Houston. In fact, Unicorns aren't even visiting Texas at all.

Instead, the band agreed to join Arcade Fire for "limited tour dates," which In the world of art, music and film, is no different than saying "New York and Los Angeles exclusively," with San Francisco, Washington D.C., Boston and maybe Philly thrown in sometimes. And sadly, these scenarios aren't new to Texans sitting around with our fingers crossed, begging for the impossible.

So what gives? Why do bands opt for tour dates on the East and West Coast, but never make it down South to indulge the aging fans still wearing out copies of our favorite albums by long-disbanded groups?

While I can't argue the close proximity of the Northeastern states allows bands to hit top markets like New York City, Boston and Philadelphia, I still can't understand how driving across those state lines is any different than hitting stops in Dallas, Austin and Houston, which would also bring in fans from surrounding states.

Sure, Texas is pretty big, but California is bigger. For bands, driving the distance between Austin and Houston is on par with a marathon runner going out for an easy 5K. Hell, in the time it takes to drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco, bands could get from Houston to New Orleans or Dallas with time to spare.

Story continues on the next page.

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Alyssa Dupree
Contact: Alyssa Dupree