Mr. Big announces farewell tour
Mr. Big is putting on their signature top hats and old shoes one last time for a worldwide tour, aptly titled “The BIG Finish.” The first leg of the tour will take the band to Japan and Southeast Asia in July and August, while shows in South America, Europe, and the U.S. will launch in early 2024 and will be announced soon.
Since the band’s original drummer and co-founder, Pat Torpey, lost his battle with Parkinson’s disease in 2018, the band now feels it’s time to mark the end of this chapter of their legacy.
“We wanted to do a proper farewell, and this seems like the right way to do it,” asserts bassist/vocalist Billy Sheehan.
One particular aspect of this upcoming final run that MR. BIG are excited about to a man is the decision to perform the entirety of their breakthrough Platinum-selling 1991 album “Lean Into It” from start to finish as a featured highlight of the live setlist. Fact is, “Lean Into It” is the perfect litmus testament to the band’s inherent dexterity at blending a variety of styles together, whether it’s the heady rocking brew of “Green-Tinted Sixties Mind,” the power-drilled and power-chorded identity checklist “Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy,” or the truly heartfelt sentiments found within “To Be With You,” MR. BIG’s chart-topping, worldwide #1 smash hit single.
For his part, Martin the songwriter remains eternally grateful for the never-ending success of “To Be With You,” but the essence of MR. BIG goes much, much deeper than that. “That song helped put the stamps in our passports,” Martin allows, “but we really nailed it on “Lean Into It”. I’m still in awe of how Billy and Paul play on that album, because they’re such brilliant players. I used to call them the dynamic duo. And Pat Torpey was an underrated drummer, in my opinion. I mean, just listen to his tone! “Lean Into It” is totally indicative of who we are as a band.”
“We’re in the process of making sure we come up with a suitably big entertainment extravaganza to go along with our music,” added guitarist Paul Gilbert. “And since our music has resonated so wonderfully in places all over the world, we’re going to play in as many of those places as we can.” Submits lead vocalist Eric Martin, “If we were in the movie business, we’d just put it all up in lights and say, ‘Welcome to The BIG Finish!’ Seriously, I’m glad we’re getting a chance to do it all onstage together as MR. BIG again and raise a flag to everything we’ve done as a band over the years.”
After 35 years of being addicted to that perpetually electrifying performance rush, the band feels it’s finally time to collectively hang up their top hats and shoes after coming together for one final, extended curtain call — a curtain call that will take them on an all-out world tour commencing in 2023 that will go for as long as, well, as long as MR. BIG fans demand it.
Joining MR. BIG on drums for this special final world tour will be longtime friend of the band Nick D’Virgilio (Spock’s Beard, Big Big Train).
“Nick gets close to the spirit of Pat Torpey. Billy, Eric, and I have been really happy with the music we’ve already shared back and forth,” said Gilbert. “I’m impressed with Nick’s level of musical adaptability and breadth of skill. He and I have done some recording together, and I was blown away with his groove, and how he just played what fit the song. If the song requires him to be more progressive and stand out, he will stand out. But if the song requires him to groove, he will groove. That’s actually a rare thing, and it really fits in with what we do in MR. BIG.”
“I love the fact that Nick was a fan of Pat Torpey and wants to keep our BIG sound intact,” says Martin. “When I first saw his audition demo video of the “Lean Into It” song ‘Lucky This Time,’ Nick was playing drums with those signature Pat snare hits and singing harmonies spot on to what Pat used to do. It gave me goosebumps!! I am so thrilled to have this man who will be filling some mighty BIG shoes join us on our last tour.”
July 22 Osaka, Japan Osaka Maruzen Intec Arena
July 25 Tokyo, Japan Budokan