For is there anything more perfect, more impeccable and exquisite than the new tours? Seasons change, leaders come and go, yet the mammoth piece of machinery known as the concert industry cranks out new dates daily, giving us joy in the new shows for Westlife, wonderment in the additional dates for Pam Tillis, and sheer, downright bliss in the geometrically perfect routings for Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Tom Wopat. Oh, it makes our hands tremble, our pulses quicken and our stomachs erupt like the great Mt. St. Helens itself just thinking about them.

But why? Why does something so seemingly simple, as Bellydance Superstars & Desert Roses playing in Albuquerque on October 28 trigger such a response? But that’s like asking why do birds fly? Why do fish swim? Why do boils fester? In fact, why spend time asking “why” when one can just bask in the most excellent of all the music world’s wonderful gifts, such as the new dates for Andy Williams or Avril Lavigne?

Yes, the new tours have been our friends for these many years, seeing us through thick and thin, through illness and health, through negative and positive test results, yet they never cease to amaze and delight us. At times we’re tickled pink over new dates for Skinny Puppy while at other times we’re stunned by the new information for Petula Clark. Truly we are blessed.

But what if? What if it all changed? What if artists stop touring, the turnstiles stopped turning and Ticketmaster stopped servicing charges? What if the entire concert world came crashing down around us, and itineraries, like the ones for Evan Dando, Dr. John and Kinky, no longer shined forth the rays of brightness which enlighten all of our hopes, aspirations and dreams? What if the bookings stopped, the tour buses ceased to roll and the groupies failed to grope? Would the world cease to spin upon its axis and plunge us into anarchy and despair like Fresno on a Monday night, the delicate fabric of the universe torn asunder?

Foolish question, for rest assured, the new tours, like the routings for ALO (Animal Liberation Orchestra) or D12, will forever spin their magical, mystical wonder upon us for ages yet to come. And we will forever celebrate the goodness and spiritual fulfillment that new routings such as the calendars for Mannheim Steamroller and The Boss Martians have to offer. Peace, love, understanding and Elvis Costello, that is what the new routings are all about. That is what we sometimes see when we fill our eyes deeply with the new tours.

And at other times we see only a list of cities, dates and venues. Guess it all depends on how you look at it.