Tonight in 1989, 28 years ago, I attended The Monkees' concert at Valley Forge Music Fair in Devon, Pennsylvania, right outside of Philadelphia. The show was fantastic, and as you can tell from the audio below, the crowd was very enthusiastic.
The 1989 US tour featured an eclectic set list. Songs like "She Hangs Out" and "As We Go Along" were debuted live while "D.W. Washburn" got its first airing in concert since the 1968 Australian/Japanese tour. "What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round?" hadn't been played by the trio since the initial 1986 reunion and saw Peter take the lead vocal in Michael's absence. An acoustic set, first performed during the European tour earlier in 1989, remained in the show and continued to be a highlight. Davy's solo spot, "Hangin' By a Thread," was a personal favorite.
Shortly after the Valley Forge concert, I acquired an audience recording from a tape trader. Here are some highlights, courtesy of the Live Almanac's YouTube channel:
"As We Go Along" was first performed live on The Monkees' 1989 summer tour that visited the United States, Canada, and Japan. This audience recording, from the group's final show in Japan to date, was recorded at Kosei Nenkin Hall in Tokyo, a popular venue for concerts in that city that closed in 2010.
In promotion of their upcoming appearance at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, The Monkees appeared on The Mark and Brian Show on 95.5 KLOS-FM on June 28, 1989. The quartet sang "Papa Gene's Blues" and "Daydream Believer" live on the air that day.
After a triumphant visit to the United Kingdom in early 1989 that was defined by sold-out venues, rave reviews, and two performances at the Royal Albert Hall in London, The Monkees conducted a summer tour of the United States and Japan in the summer of 1989. Their third US tour in three years was marred by reported friction between band members, a long-term strategic plan that was abandoned, and lower attendance figures in comparison to the 1986 and 1987 US tours. In the September 1989 issue of Monkee Business Fanzine, Maggie McManus reported on the state of Monkees affairs:
This article, examining the 1989 reunion concert featuring all four Monkees, was written by Cyndi J. Griggs and appeared in the September 1989 issue of Monkee Business Fanzine.
A big thanks to Bill Shinn for sharing an audience recording from the 1989 summer tour over at Iain Lee's Monkee Bootlegs Facebook page. Check out the '89 North American/Japanese tour page here on the site to listen to a radio advertisement for this show (which can be found at the bottom of that page).
Maybe Bill or someone can leave a comment letting us know if this was the first or second show at Humphrey's that day.
Thanks to Iain Lee for uploading this collection of clips from the 1989 reunion concert at the Universal Amphitheatre on July 9, 1989. Be sure to head over to the Rare Monkees YouTube channel as Iain is posting a lot of new material!