Now For Plan A Tour Stats: The Analysis

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The tour is complete and we have gathered our stats. Why? I'm never entirely sure, but it always creates talking points. What will they tell us? Before I get into that I can tell you what they won't tell us. They won't tell us what the band did right with regards to song selection. They also won't tell us what the band did wrong with song selection. These things do not exist. Of course I can offer an opinion on what I think they should or shouldn't have done. So can you. I'm hoping we do in fact. First though, we will look at the raw data. The stuff that is solid and unshaken by opinion. It just is what it is.

First some of the basics to give you a lay of the land. The entire tour consisted of 39 show. 22 in the United States. 17 in Canada. Do you have any opinions on those numbers? I'm sure the folks in Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Saskatoon, Ottawa, Barrie, London, Windsor, Montreal, Quebec City, Fredericton, Saint John, Sydney, Charlottetown & St. John's do. As do those in the south eastern US & Texas. But that is another matter.

39. 22. 17. That's our focus.

Song totals...
39 shows with 891 total songs played = 22.85 per show. (Total)
22 shows with 503 total songs played =  22.86 per show. (United States)
17 shows with 388 total songs played = 22.82 per show. (Canada)

Total 'Now For Plan A' songs played...
221 of 891 = 24.8% (Total)
136 of 503 = 27% (United States)
85 of 388 = 22% (Canada)

Songs played in the United States that were not played in Canada...
About This Map (2), Take Forever (3), Done & Done (1), Coffee Girl (3), The Rules (4), Daredevil (2), Yawning Or Snarling (1), So Hard Done By (4), Lionized (2), Three Pistols (1), On The Verge (2), Last Of The Unplucked Gems (3)

Songs played in Canada that were not played in the United States:
Twist My Arm (4), Titanic Terrarium (1)

Song titles played in the United States: 61
Song titles played in Canada: 51

Songs played at every single show in the United States:
(3) - At Transformation, Man Machine Poem, Streets Ahead

Songs played at every single show in Canada:
(9) - At Transformation, Man Machine Poem, We Want To Be It, Bobcaygeon, Gift Shop, Ahead By A Century, Grace Too, At The Hundredth Meridian and New Orleans Is Sinking

***These 9 songs made up 153 of the 388 total songs played in Canada (39.4%)
***Songs played in a minimum of 13/17 Canadian dates in addition to the songs listed above: Courage (16), Poets (15), Blow At High Dough (14), My Music At Work (14), Streets Ahead (14), In View (13), Nautical Disaster (13)
***These 16 songs made up 252 of the 388 songs played in Canada (65%) while the remaining 35 song titles only accounted for  35% of the music.
***By comparison, the same 16 songs made up 54.9% of the total songs played in the United States.

Noticible drop-off from United States leg to Canadian leg:
An Inch An Hour (5 times US) vs. (1 time Canada) or 5:1
Family Band (5 times US) vs. (1 time Canada) or 5:1
Eldorado (9 times US) vs. (2 times Canada) or 4.5:1
It Can't Be Nashville Every Night (7 times US) vs. (2 times Canada) or 3.5:1
Goodnight Attawapiskat (16 times US)  vs. (5 times Canada) or 3:1
Fully Completely (14 times US) vs. (7 times Canada) or 2:1
Greasy Jungle (10 times US) v. (5 times Canada) or 2:1

Note: I only took into account songs played what I deemed a 'significant amount' for the above. A song like Don't Wake Daddy did have a 2:1 US:Canada ratio, but wasn't played enough to constitute a drop-off.

Overplayed or Underplayed? Or Just Right?

What songs did they play too much? Too little? Just enough?

I'm going to venture into the subjective a little bit here, but I am going to try to balance that with hard data. For the purposes of this exercise, the author's personal song preferences are not a factor. Let's define the catagories and then we'll go about placing the songs where they seem to fit. Note that the songs off the new album (Now For Plan A) are not included as they have no significant tour history. Part of the critera I will use for defining a song's place is its concert history and standing within the band's catalog. Bobcaygeon is always going to get more live action than Chagrin Falls. Therefore the "Just Right" level for each song is different.

Also, if it wasn't played on this tour it's not involved in this exercise. Highway Girl, 38 Years Old, Emergency, Emperor Penguin.... of course they're under-played... They're NEVER played!!! Haw-Haw-Haw.... OK. Let's define the categories...

Overplayed: Regardless of how popular these songs are with the fans, on the charts, on the radio, etc... they are just being played too much. As a specific example of what I mean from this tour let's look at New Orleans Is Sinking. If we were to just take the US portion of the tour where it was played in 13/22 shows, I think that falls into the category of "Just Right". You are going to catch NOIS every other show on average and that's fine. However, it was played at EVERY show on the Canadian portion of the tour for a collective total of 30/39. That's over 75% and for a band with as deep a catalog as The Tragically Hip with so many great tunes that can fill any slot in the setlist, I don't care what song it is, that's too much. If this was 1992 and their catalog was significantly smaller, I would have a different position on this.

In View, My Music At Work, Poets, Bobcaygeon, Gift Shop, Ahead By A Century, Grace Too, Courage, At The Hundredth Meridian, Blow At High Dough and New Orleans Is Sinking.

***Of the above songs, only Bobcaygeon, Grace Too and Ahead By A Century would have made this list before the Canadian portion of the tour began. A glance at the 2012/11/06 Rochester, NY setlist is a great example of a powerful setlist that doesn't need to include every one of these songs in order to deliver a great show.

Just Right:  These songs are being played an adequate amout of time based on their station within The Hip's repitoire. It's hard to call a song like Titanic Terrarium underplayed even though it was only played once. It was played twice on the 'We Are The Same' tour, once on the 'World Container' tour, a couple of times in 2006 and 2000 before that. In and of itself it is a rarity for sure, but in this case being played one time on this tour falls within expectations.

Love Is A First, The Kids Don't Get It, Gus: The Polar Bear From Central Park, It Can't Be Nashville Every Night, Thompson Girl, The Rules, Escape Is At Hand For The Travellin' Man, Springtime In Vienna, Flamenco, Greasy Jungle, Fire In The Hole, Thugs, An Inch An Hour, Fully Completely, Fifty-Mission Cap, Wheat Kings, Eldorado, Little Bones, Long Time Running, Fiddler's Green, Boots Or Hearts, Titanic Terrarium, Scared, Lionized and Daredevil

***I think these songs were played the right amount based on the number of shows on this tour. Thugs wasn't played as much as Fire In The Hole. The former is always popular for those who catch it and it's special when they do. The latter had a job to do most nights it was played by anchoring the set.

Underplayed: These songs ended up being a treat to catch on this tour. What one could suppose is these songs from this list being substituted in for songs on the Overplayed list... say only 40 times even over the course of the whole 39 shows/800+ song tour. One substitution per show accounting for about 5% of the overall song totals. Who would have laid money on Locked In The Truck Of A Car being played only 3 times? Or It's A Good Life If You Don't Weaken only being played 4 times all tour after having been trotted out at every festival show for the past 2 summers? And I have three words for you... the biggest swinging dick of underplayed songs... ON....THE....VERGE.

Morning Moon, Coffee Girl, Lonely End Of The Rink, Family Band, It's A Good Life If You Don't Weaken, Lake Fever, Fireworks, Don't Wake Daddy, Yawning Or Snarling, So Hard Done By, Locked In The Trunk Of A Car, Twist My Arm, Three Pistols, On The Verge, Last Of The Unplucked Gems

***There are some monster tunes in this list. Set openers. Set closers. I think that there are a lot of Hipheads who would trade a Bobcaygeon for a Scared on any given night.... especially if they'd seen Bobcaygeon at their last 3 or 4 shows. You want to open with Gems > Family Band? OK. Sure. You say you want to close it down with a one-two of Locked > Verge... Hey, have at it Kimosabe... Do I think you could sub out Courage for Three Pistols and people would still leave satisfied? Yep. I'm getting off track here....

Well that's my categories. Feel free to add your $0.02... The catagories above are open to interpretation so you may have some different thoughts and I'd love to hear them. Other than that, the top and bottom of this post are hard data and it's fun stuff to go through. There are many different ways to look at this data and I know I haven't explored them all. Again, feel free to add you perspective.

The Tragically Hip Tour Stat Pack
(thru 2013/02/14 Toronto, ON)

Hey All,

The 'Now For Plan A' Fall/Winter, US/CDN tour has reached its end. Here are the final statistics...

Cordeia T-Shirt now available for pre-order HERE.
Total Appearances:

At Transformation - 39
Man Machine Poem - 39
Ahead By A Century - 38
We Want To Be It - 38
Bobcaygeon - 37
Grace, Too - 37
Streets Ahead - 36
At The Hundredth Meridian - 35
Courage - 33
Gift Shop - 31
New Orleans Is Sinking - 30
Poets - 29
Blow At High Dough - 28
My Music At Work - 28
In View - 26
Nautical Disaster - 24
The Lookahead - 22
Fully Completely - 21
Goodnight Attawapiskat - 21
Fire In The Hole - 20
Escape Is At Hand For The Travellin' Man - 19
Little Bones - 16
Greasy Jungle - 15
Love Is A First - 13
Wheat Kings - 13
Fifty Mission Cap - 12
Flamenco - 12
Eldorado - 11
Fiddler's Green - 11
Gus: The Polar Bear From Central Park - 11
Springtime In Vienna - 11
The Kids Don't Get It - 11
Now For Plan A - 10
The Modern Spirit - 10
It Can't Be Nashville Every Night - 9
Long Time Running - 7
An Inch An Hour - 6
Family Band - 6
Scared - 6
Boots or Hearts - 5
Thompson Girl - 5
Thugs - 5
It's A Good Life If You Don't Weaken - 4
Fireworks - 4
Morning Moon - 4
So Hard Done By - 4
The Rules - 4
Twist My Arm - 4
Coffee Girl - 3
Don't Wake Daddy - 3
Lake Fever - 3
Last Of The Unplucked Gems - 3
Locked In The Trunk Of A Car - 3
Lonely End Of The Rink - 3
Take Forever - 3
About This Map - 2
Daredevil - 2
Lionized - 2
On The Verge - 2

One-Timers So Far...

Done And Done - 1
Three Pistols - 1
Titanic Terrarium - 1
Yawning Or Snarling - 1

Bold = A 'Now For Plan A' song.

Set Openers:
At Transformation - 36
Grace, Too - 1
In View - 1
Man Machine Poem - 1

Set Closers:
Goodnight Attawapiskat - 16
Fire In The Hole - 8
Blow At High Dough - 7
My Music At Work - 5
Nautical Disaster - 1
Locked In The Trunk Of A Car - 1
Streets Ahead - 1

Encore Appearances:
35 different songs (titles) have appeared in the encore. 210 songs in total have been played during the encore portion of the show for an average of 5.38 per show.

At The Hundredth Meridian - 22
Bobcaygeon - 21
My Music At Work - 16
Courage - 15
Little Bones - 15
Blow At High Dough - 13
Nautical Disaster - 12
Fiddler's Green - 11**
Fifty Mission Cap - 11
Grace, Too - 10
Wheat Kings - 9
Ahead By A Century - 6
The Lookahead - 6
An Inch An Hour - 5
Now For Plan A - 5
We Want To Be It - 4
Greasy Jungle - 3
Scared - 3
Family Band - 2
Fully Completely - 2
Locked In The Trunk Of A Car - 2
Long Time Running - 2
Springtime In Vienna - 2
The Modern Spirit - 2
Daredevil - 1
Eldorado - 1
Fire In The Hole - 1
Fireworks - 1
Gift Shop - 1
Goodnight Attawapiskat - 1
In View - 1
Lionized - 1
Man Machine Poem - 1
Poets - 1
Streets Ahead - 1

**Only appearances have been in the encore.


-63 different songs have been played played
-892 total songs have been played in 39 shows
-22.87 songs per show
-4 one-timers

2012/12/05 Spokane, WA - The only show to not feature Ahead By A Century...

To get an idea of what we did previously you can check out the Tragically Hip Tour Stats from The 2009 WATS Tour here: v.1 | v.2 | v.3 | v.4 | v.5

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