To say that every tour date, whether it be for Westlife or They Might Be Giants, is unique, would be stating what everyone already knows to be true; that tour dates are more than just a harmless distraction encountered on Life’s journey. They’re the icing on the cake, the foam on the beer, the professionally tied knot on the hangman’s noose that helps us in our travels through this dreary existence known as humanity.

But there are those who think that the schedules for bands like Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Drive by Truckers and Before Braille are nothing more than listings of dates, cities and venues displayed in a semi-logical order. However, each and every date on the schedule for Andrea Bocelli represents years of evolution. Yes, natural selection is alive and well in the concert industry. It’s survival of the fittest, to the victor goes the spoils and winner takes all. It’s Darwin, Clear Channel Entertainment and Woodstock all rolled into one, as nature’s biology strives to produce the perfect routing.

Oh, if these new tours could talk! Bowling For Soup might tell you of those days in Tombstone when Marshal Earp cleaned up those mean streets with nothing more than a six-shooter and a cell phone. Or when the junior booking agent known as Billy Morris The Kid roamed through America’s southwest, arranging show dates for Average White Band and plugging any promoter who got in his way. That’s how the west was really won.

What? “But they’re only tour dates,” you say? Yes, and the Titanic was only a boat and the Hindenburg was only a gigantic gas bag filled with hydrogen. Because when you get right down to it, dates for great acts like Brian Wilson or John Mayer are more than the Elmer’s Glue that holds our civilization together. It’s what separates us from the apes, the reason we have opposable thumbs and the sole purpose that drove a very young Al Gore to invent the Internet so many years ago.

So enjoy the new tour dates. Breathe deeply the routing for Prong and partake in the joy that is JJ72. For new dates, whether they’re for Mellow Mark, Patti Griffin or Eric Bibb represent much more than the accumulative knowledge of the known universe. They represent more than mankind’s hopes and dreams for a better tomorrow. Sure, the new tours are all that, but there’s a deeper, more profound reason for their existence.

They’re the reason we get paid. And from where we sit, that’s reason enough.