Odds & Ends: Natalie Merchant, Mr. Big, Ray LaMontagne

Illness has forced Natalie Merchant to reschedule her summer tour for the fall …  Mr. Big’s Pat Torpey has Parkinson’s Disease and will not be the main drummer on the band’s upcoming tour  … Ray LaMontagne storms off of stage, has couple ejected from audience for talking.

Photo: Nonesuch, Dan Winters/AP

In a perfect universe where everything always goes as planned, Natalie Merchant is nearing the end of her summer tour.  However, you can never trust the future in this universe and an illness interrupted Merchant’s road trip in support of her new self-titled album on Nonesuch Records.

Now Merchant’s summer run has turned into a fall outing.  Here is the revised schedule:

Sept. 10 – Milwaukee, Wis., Pabst Theater
Sept. 11 – Chicago, Ill., Chicago Theatre
Sept. 13 – New York, N.Y., Beacon Theatre
Sept. 15 – Boston, Mass., Shubert Theatre – Citi Performing Arts Center
Sept. 17 – Tarrytown, N.Y., The Tarrytown Music Hall
Oct. 21 – Burlington, Vt., Flynn Center For The Performing Arts
Oct. 23 – Portland, Maine, State Theatre
Oct. 25 – Westhampton Beach, N.Y., Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center
Dec. 10 – Washington, D.C., Lincoln Theatre
Dec. 11 – Munhall, Pa., Carnegie Library Music Hall Of Homestead

Tickets purchased for the original shows will be honored on the new dates.  Check out Merchant’s website for more information.

Mr. Big announced that its long time drummer, Pat Torpey, has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and will not “perform all of his normal drumming duties” on the band’s fall tour.

“I’ve been dealing with Parkinson’s symptoms for the past couple of years and only recently received a confirmed diagnosis as symptoms worsened,” Torpey said in a statement.  “I intend to fight the disease with [the] same intensity and tenacity that I drum and live my life by and will continue recording and performing, as always, to the best of my ability.”

Mr. Big says it will eventually announce a new drummer that will handle most of the band’s “drumming duties.” Torpey will “jump on the drums” when appropriate and will participate in the band’s acoustic set.

Here’s the upcoming journey:

Oct. 14 – Manila, Philippines, TBA
Oct. 17 – London, England, Koko
Oct. 18 – Utrecht, Netherlands, Muziekcentrum Vredenburg
Oct. 20 – Pratteln, Switzerland  Z7
Oct. 21 – Trezzo, Italy, Live Station
Oct. 23 – Madrid, Spain, La Riviera
Oct. 25 – Moscow, Russia, Izvestia Hall
Oct. 26 – St. Petersburg, Russia, Jagger Club
Nov. 2 – Seoul, South Korea, Ax Korea
Nov. 5 – Sapporo, Japan, Nitori Hall
Nov. 7 – Morioka, Japan, Morioka Civic Cultural Hall
Nov. 8 – Sendai, Japan, Miyagi Ken Taiikukan
Nov. 10 – Tokyo, Japan, Budokan Hall
Nov. 12 – Osaka, Japan, Grand Cube 
Nov. 15 – Hiroshima, Japan, Blue Live
Nov. 17 – Nagoya, Japan, Century Hall
Nov. 19 – Fukuoka, Japan, Fukuoka Sunpalace
Nov. 22 – Taichung, Taiwan, Tada Center
Nov. 23 – Taipei, Taiwan, Convention Center

Click here for more info.

Photo: John Davisson
Bridge School Benefit, Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, Calif.

If you’re planning on seeing most excellent singer/songwriter Ray LaMontagne, remember to keep your lips buttoned.  Just ask Shawn Virgo about his experience at the artist’s Wednesday night gig.

While playing at Frederik Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, LaMontagne reprimanded a couple in the front row for talking.  The artist then stormed off the stage and refused to resume the show until security ejected the chattering twosome, reports the Grand Rapids Press / Mlive.com.

Asked to leave were Virgo and his fiancée.

“We looked at each other and thought ‘Are you really talking to us?’ because there must be a mistake,” Virgo said.

Virgo said the conversation that caused LaMontagne to hurl a few curse words at him and his fiancée consisted of “whispers in the ear” about the couple’s September wedding for which they had selected the artist’s “You Are The Best Thing” for their first dance as man and wife.

But whatever Virgo and his lady fair were talking about, the level of conversation was apparently too loud for LaMontagne.  The crowd cheered when the couple was ejected and LaMontagne returned to the stage after.

“We are not rowdy people, “Virgo said.  “I don’t like attention and I don’t need to draw attention to myself so that is the last thing I would have wanted to do.”

LaMontagne’s next show is Friday night at The Woods At Fontanel in Whites Creek, Tenn.  Presumably, the audience will be perfectly quiet throughout the performance.  That is, if they know what’s good for them.