The Concert —1994 Tour
|April 20, 1994||London||Wembley Arena|
|April 25, 1994|
|April 27, 1994|
|April 29, 1994|
|May 10, 1994||Landover, MD||US Air Arena|
|May 12, 1994|
|May 15, 1994||Auburn Hills, MI||The Palace of Auburn Hills|
|May 17, 1994|
|May 19, 1994|
|June 2, 1994||Anaheim, CA||Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim|
|June 4, 1994|
|June 7, 1994||San Jose, CA||San Jose Arena|
|June 9, 1994|
|June 20, 1994||New York, NY||Madison Square Garden|
|June 23, 1994|
|June 26, 1994|
|June 28, 1994|
|June 30, 1994|
|July 10, 1994|
|July 12, 1994|
|July 18, 1994||Anaheim, CA||Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim|
|July 20, 1994|
|July 22, 1994|
|July 24, 1994|
After a highly successful and triumphant return to the concert stage for two evenings (Dec. 31, 1993 and Jan. 1, 1994) at the MGM Grand hotel in Las Vegas, Barbra Streisand considered a concert tour. After Las Vegas, Barbra's manager Marty Erlichman (along with Creative Artists Agency agents) began contacting promoters about a limited tour. The excitement for fans to finally see Streisand in concert was barely contained. Ahead of annoucing firm plans, Erlichman told Variety in late January 1994: “We have lots of holds, lots of different dates. [Streisand] may go on tour as early as April or as late as May. She will decide that. We may have something to say by this weekend.”
After some negative publicity about high ticket prices for the tour, Streisand's longtime manager Marty Erlichman told Entertainment Weekly:
“Everyone told me we could charge as high as Vegas [where, for her return to live performance last December, tickets cost $50 to $1,000] and it would be a sellout. But Barbra and I opted not to go as high.”
Streisand publicist Ken Sunshine said Streisand “doesn't see the tour as [being] for herself. It's her way of giving back, to just try to show love and support and appreciation for the fans. I know it sounds schmaltzy, but it's true.”
For the price of a Streisand ticket, not only were fans promised a chance to finally see her perform live, but “you can be sure that the sound, the lighting, and every technical aspect will be state of the art,” said Sunshine. “I don't think ever in live concerts have we seen that kind of detail, all supervised by Ms. Streisand.”
Streisand's six-city, 1994 tour grossed (according to Pollstar) $58.9 million. She came in #4 for the year behind the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and the Eagles. Her numbers were impressive: Streisand averaged $10 million per city and set records at Madison Square Garden with her $16.5 million earnings there.
Streisand ended up performing a total of 24 concerts in 1994—24 being her lucky number.
Tour Program and Merchandise
The Streisand 1994 tour program was 14" x 11" and 28 pages long; it was full of beautiful color and black and white photos depicting Barbra's career.
Streisand's tour also included concert merchandise: hats, ties, watches, programs, and T-Shirts. These items were sold at the concert venues, as well as at special Barbra Boutiques at department stores like Bloomingdale's and Macy's.
“I was the one who was most shocked on this tour that anyone would buy my [T-shirts and other] merchandising,” Streisand told the L.A. Times. “I said to Marty, ‘Why would you want to put out this stuff?’ I have been around for 33 years. It's not like I'm a young, hip, rock person.”
“We pulled this whole product line together in less than 45 days,” Sony Signatures' VP of marketing Mark Coopersmith told Billboard Magazine, “from the time she decided to tour to the time we actually had the products at the first concert and in the stores.”
Coopersmith also told the L.A. Times: “[Barbra] was more involved in product design than almost any other artist. She sat in design meetings and gave us advice and sketches of how she wanted everything to look.”
Barbra Reflects on “The Concert” Tour
Backstage after one of her Detroit shows, Streisand spoke with L.A. Times music critic Robert Hilburn about the concert tour.
Some of her thoughts at the end of the tour are excerpted below:
Hilburn: How could you have stayed away from live performances for so long? Don't we hear all the time about performers needing the love and applause of the audience?
Streisand: I understand how people can feel that way, but that's not a way I fulfill myself. I don't enjoy the spotlight. I really prefer the privacy of the creative process.
Q: Wasn't there a time when that acceptance was important to you, say back in the beginning when you were playing clubs?
A: Oh, sure, because I had nothing else. I had to prove so much when I was a youngster because my mother was telling me that I'll never make it and all of that. I had to escape my life so I had to go into the world of imagination, and music was one [way.] But I only turned to singing because I couldn't get a job as an actress [...]
Q: Did you enjoy playing Vegas in the late '60s and early '70s?
A: I never wanted to do it, but I was a performer...a singer and this is what performers and singers do. It was my job. But every night I was terrified... So, I ﬁnally decided: "I am not going to do it. Why put myself through such misery?"
Q: What made you change your mind after all these years?
A: [Clothes designer] Donna Karan gave me a wonderful birthday party and Liza Minelli got up to sing and I am sitting there thinking, "How does she do this? How does anyone get up in front of people and sing?" I could never get myself to sing at parties... with people looking at me. I can sing on stage because it is a black curtain out there. I can just see a few people and even that disturbs me. So I was fascinated just watching her.
Q: So it became a challenge?
A: That's right. I didn't like accepting that fright. I am frightened by a lot of things, but what I hope is good about me is that I go through the fear. I thought, "Why can't I do this?" Besides, so many fans wanted me to sing live. People were saying, "You owe it to them." It was starting to get to me. Plus, several things fell into place. Kirk Kerkokian [owner of the MGM Grand Hotel, where Streisand made her return to live performances last New Year's Eve] asked how I would like to give away $3 million [to causes of her choice] without any obligation to open the hotel. That impressed me... plus the show was going to be New Year's Eve. I hate New Year's Eve. It's a very lonely night for me... never a happy time. There is such an obligation to be happy. So I thought: What a great way to escape New Year's Eve...doing a show. And finally, my movies weren't ready. I was working on the scripts to "Normal Heart" and "The Mirror Has Two Faces," and I couldn't get them ready in time to shoot. So, the timing was right.
Q: Why didn't you take the easier option of just doing a greatest hits show, instead of a more ambitious, scripted show?
A: I wanted something more personal. I wanted to pick songs that meant something to me and then put them into some kind of story or theme so that there was a thread running through the show [...]
Q: Back to the tour, how nervous were you at the start?
A: Very nervous. Even in London, I was listening to meditation tapes just before I went on, trying to have a positive attitude because I easily get sidetracked into this abyss of fear and I have to get myself out of it.
Q: Were you still nervous on stage tonight?
A: No, I think I have gotten past it [to some extent]. I don't have to listen to the tapes. I don't feel I need the critics to like me or not. But I am not without fear. It's just that my heart isn't palpitating where I think I can't make a sound. I've found that I can do a good show without being frightened to death.
Q: So, has all this changed your mind about touring? Will you do more?
A: No. This is it.
Q: How could you not want to experience all that applause and affection again some day?
A: Because I want to make movies. Directing is what I love. It is about having a complete vision—having a dream. It is waking up in the morning or looking at something in the street or at somebody's face and thinking, "Turn the camera on that." It involves everything I love to do—including dealing with people on a psychological level, trying to get the best out of them. It's about going toward the real emotion, getting a moment of truth on the screen. That is what, really interests me...all the aspects of putting something together.
Q: How about the loyalty of the audience? Are you touched by that?
A: Sure. There were some special moments, starting back in Las Vegas. . . .Coretta King was in the audience. Virginia [Clinton] Kelley was there, my goddaughter was there. Those are very special moments for me. I am devoted to my goddaughter. All that gave the show a wonderful meaning for me . . . The same other nights. It has been a wonderful experience [...]
After an hour in the dressing room, she broke away to attend a party given in the arena lounge by some of the musicians in the orchestra. She sat with longtime manager Erlichman and songwriters Marilyn and Alan Bergman, who scripted much of the current show. Following the band's set, Streisand, in a more relaxed off-the-record session, was ready to talk some more, good-naturedly debating the merits of some changes in the show since Las Vegas, including making the ending more upbeat than melancholy, and a more serious discussion of the media treatment of celebrities. Ever the perfectionist, she was on the phone again the next morning with some more thoughts, things, she said, that came to her after reﬂecting on the conversation the night before. The thoughts included comments about the media and what she sees as a cynicism about artists who speak out on public issues. "It is as if we give up our citizenship when we become entertainers," she says, sharply. Mostly, however, she wanted to talk about the show and the audience. "This tour is coming at a good time in my life...a time when I have leamed to see things more positively," she says, softly. "As a performer, for instance, I am interested in pursuing excellence, but that doesn't mean I always achieve it. I hit and miss all the time, including in these shows....but I think one of the things that is important in life is to learn to accept your imperfections, which is something that I couldn't understand for years." She pause.
“But mostly, I wanted to talk some more about the fans who have come out on the tour ... the way they have stood by me all these years ... despite what they may have read ... their loyalty and faith. That is what has touched me most.”
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