Out Of The Blue Tour

 

Electric Light Orchestra -- Out Of The Blue Tour

An in-depth look at the 1978 tour


Comments and Observations

The Out Of The Blue tour, billed as The Big Night in North America, was not ELO's longest tour schedule nor did it have the biggest setlist, but it was certainly the most ambitious and highest profile tour with the band touring four continents. It was the highest grossing concert ever in the USA up to that time. 1978 was the peak of ELO's popularity with Out Of The Blue as their best selling album yet, a wildly popular stage show, and general high respect from radio and music critics. The stage show involved a laser lightshow and sometimes a giant hamburger-shaped spaceship for a stage, thus presenting an incredible visual spectical to go along with the audio program.

The Spaceship Stage: ELO spaceship stage in closed positionOne of the biggest stars of the show was the stage itself. Conceived by ELO's manager, Don Arden, this was a gigantic metal hamburger-shaped spaceship that opened up at the beginning of the show with lasers, fog machines and taped music of an excerpt of Benjamin Britten's Sinfonia da Requiem, Op. 20 (as performed by the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andrι Previn) blasting out to the audience. As it opened, the band was raised from out of the floor on hydraulic risers. There the band played until the end of the show, when they walked off stage and it closed back up with more laser and fog theatrics and a repeat of the Sinfonia da Requiem, Op. 20 excerpt once again blasting out to the audience. Jeff Lynne has commented in several interviews that he sometimes left the stage after the performance and rushed out to stand with the audience so he could watch it close.

The magic of the stage was pulled off in a carefully choreographed sequence. The stage holes for ELO members to rise up were capped over and the equipment for ELO and the opening bands would be staged in rows by who was playing (with ELO naturally being in back). The bottom half of the saucer would be hidden in plain sight by simply not adding the plastic covers of the saucer, thus the framework was visible. The top half of the saucer with the lighting would be hoisted high enough and curtains provided if necessary to hide the top of the saucer, but leave the lighting visible so that it appeared as a normal lighting rig during the opening acts. Before ELO came on stage, a curtain was lowered to completedly hide the stage. The road crew would move the band's equipment into position and remove the caps for the band elevators. Additional crew would add the plastic covers to create the bottom half of the saucer and the top half of the saucer was lowered to about 8 feet above the stage to allow the crew to add hoses from the top to the bottom for pumping in the show's smoke effects. Finally the top half of the saucer with the lighting was lowered into position to create the closed saucer. The curtain was then removed to reveal the spaceship and the show would begin.

Practicing for the show began in January 1978 at SIR (Studio Instrument Rentals) in Los Angeles, after a short Christmas break. They started the tour at the end of the month with first an appearance in Hawaii, then off to tour New Zealand, Australia and Japan. After another month long break, they toured Europe in late April and early May. They then practiced with the newly built spaceship stage in late May 1978 at The Who's studios in Shepperton in England. Apparently Pete Townsend came in during the practicing, saw the ship and declared that he wanted one for himself! This was likely in jest as he never got one. After several shows in the Wembley Empire Pool with the spaceship (and a single show in Stafford without the stage), the stage was shipped to America and the big three month tour with the spaceship was performed.

Unfortunately, as much fun as this stage was for the audience, it caused a lot of havoc for the band. It was incredibly expensive to operate and transport. It used many technicians to construct, operate and deconstruct it for each show; and it required thirteen 18-wheelers to transport it from city to city. In fact, it was so expensive and time-consuming to use that it was mostly used at every other performance (dubbed the "A-shows"), with the non-spaceship parts of the tour using a regular stage at the venue (dubbed the "B-shows"). All shows included a laser light show, regardless of whether the spaceship stage was used or not. The hydraulic lifts did not always work properly, which meant that sometimes the entire band would not be on stage when the show (including the taped song intros) began. Worst of all, it caused the music to suffer as the spaceship set was a very hot place in which to play. This caused the band's instruments to often go out of tune, particularly the cellos and violin. And the acoustics in the spaceship made it difficult for the band to hear themselves properly.

Regardless of whether the spaceship stage was used, the show always offered a heavy laser light show, incorportating an 80-channel light console and four krypton and argon laser units. They used two portable power units to generate 525,000 watts of light. The show was touted as being "four times brighter than the average rock show" at the time. These lights and lasers caused an incredible amount of heat for the band to perform under.

At one of the Wembley shows, Jeff Lynne was surprised after the show to go backstage and find Bob Dylan had been there watching the show. Bob was in London performing concerts at Earl's Court at the time and wanted to come by to catch the show. This was the first meeting of Jeff and Bob, who nearly 10 years later would be recording together for the Traveling Wilburys.

Backup Tapes: Due to the complications of trying to reproduce the music on the album in a live setting and the problem of the heat causing the instruments to go out of tune, the band relied heavily on a tape system as backup. That's not to say that they didn't play live or that the audience was hearing these tapes instead of the band. Tapes were used on some of the parts that could not be played live, such as the intros to Night In The City, Standin' In The Rain and Mr. Blue Sky. Otherwise, the tape music was turned down low and used as a guide for the band to keep in synch. If, perchance, the instruments went out of tune, then the tapes could be turned up to correct any errors. The tapes were not meant to be heard by the audience when the band was playing.

Tapes had been used on previous tours for intros and it was never a problem. But it became a problem on the Out Of The Blue tour, for several reasons. The band was a subject of a 1979 lawsuit from Brass Ring Production, the promoters of the big shows with Heart at the Pontiac Silverdome on August 12th and 13th. This promoter tried to sue the band saying that he paid for a live show but didn't get one. In truth, the promoter was using this as an excuse to get back some lost money due to skyrocketing costs from shoddy local production support and softer than expected ticket sales. An ELO spokeman's response was, "anyone who knows anything knows that a lot of groups use tapes as part of their show." The results of the lawsuit are unknown at this time. Certainly the lawsuit didn't help the band's reputation and brought to the public's attention that they were using these backup tapes. Perhaps because the audience could sometimes hear the tape backup from time to time. Also, because the band was so popular and the tour was so high profile that critics, as they are often wont to do, were using it as a convenient excuse to deride the band. This wasn't helped any by the broadcast on TV of ELO's performance at Wembley Empire Pool in which the original recordings were very heavily mixed over the live performance, making it appear as if the band is simply miming the songs. In any case, by the end of the tour the band had gained an undeserved reputation as a band who mimed to tape on stage.

The spaceship stage was only used at the UK Wembley shows and North American shows, not the Japan, European and non-Wembley UK shows. Construction on the stage was not complete and it was unavailable until the first June 2, 1978 Wembley show.

Anaheim Show: The show in Anaheim Stadium in Anaheim, California (a suburb of Los Angeles) was a special show with a dramatic presentation. After the Trixter, Kingfish and Journey opening sets, a large red curtain was lowered in front of the incomplete spaceship stage so that the technicians could complete the stage set up ELO's equipment. As the show started, actor Tony Curtis on a man lift in front of the curtain hiding the spaceship stage. He had optical green lasers attached to his arms and hands. Behind the main stadium walls between the walls and speaker scaffold were several airbags, typically used when stuntmen tumble from buildings. Up in the scaffolding Scaffold were several Star Wars styled stormtrooper dressed stuntmen. There had been wired pyro on diagonal wires from the man lift holding Curtis to the stuntmen's positions on the scaffold. As Curtis started the show, he got into a mock battle with the stormtroopers. He would point his arm/laser at them and the pyro would shoot up the wire, explode at the stuntmen, who would then tumble twenty-five feet or so into the air bags. After this battle, Curtis urged the audience to look to the sky. Spotlights lit up a saucer prop hanging below a helicopter above and behind the stage. As this happened smoke filled the still covered spaceship stage, the curtain went up, and the spaceship stage separated. The elevators lifted portions of the band and the show was on.

String Solos: As in previous shows, Mik Kaminski and Hugh McDowell were able to perform solo violin and cello performances during the show. Mik performed a self-written and unnamed solo piece which merged with a brief segment from of In The Hall Of The Mountain King and ended with the drums, bass and keyboards joining in for the classical piece Hungarian Dance No. 5. Hugh performed his own self-written and unnamed solo piece which merged with a very frantic performance of the classical piece Flight Of The Bumblebee. What made Hugh's performance especially fun for the audience was that he used his famous silver cello and wore a silver costume during the performance. Green lasers shot toward him during the performance were reflected all across the stage and the audience, creating a stunning visual spectacle.

The Out Of The Blue tour was also the swan song of the classic ELO; following this tour, the band was to be forever changed with the loss of the string players from the band (except for the occasional promotional appearance and Mik Kaminski on the Time tour and very rare studio contribution) and the beginning of the decline in ELO's critical acclaim and popularity.

The final two shows of the tour, to take place in Montreal, Canada with the spaceship set, were cancelled due to a tax disagreement with the Montreal or Canadian government.

Band and crew members

The band and crew on this tour were:

  • Jeff Lynne: vocals, guitar
  • Bev Bevan: drums
  • Richard Tandy: keyboards
  • Kelly Groucutt: bass, vocals
  • Mik Kaminski: violin
  • Hugh McDowell: cello
  • Melvyn Gale: cello
  • John Downing: Tour manager
  • Deryck Dickinson: Production manager
  • Mac Fulstop: Sound engineer
  • Davie Kirkwood: Sound engineer
  • Jake Commander: backing vocals, guitar (off stage), Monitor engineer
  • Nigel Gibbons: Lighting engineer
  • Peter Mertens: Guitar technician
  • Brian Jones: Drums and percussion technician
  • Tony Holmes: String section technician (? to September 3)
  • Philip Copestake: Amplification technician
  • Ed Simeone: Keyboards technician (all shows), Vega wireless units (all shows), String section technician (September 3 to end of tour)
  • Joe Browne: Production consultant/staging
  • Don Arden: Business and personal management
  • Dave Arden: Business and personal management
  • Harman Cadis: Laser engineer
  • Danny Goldberg: Publicist
  • Derek Dickenson: Staging
  • Andy Trueman: Head Roadie
Roadcrew memories from Ed Simeone
My recollections of the ELO 1978 World Tour are a bit foggy, as it was 35 years ago. I was recruited by John Downing at the TACSO offices on Lambeth Road, and asked to join the crew at the start of the European leg, before the "flying saucer" was added for the Wembley Empire Pool shows. The European leg was uneventful, with the shows fine tuning the set list for the upcoming London gigs.

Rehearsals for the UK show began at one of the major motion picture studios, perhaps Shepperton or Pinewood. The domed shape of the saucer lid turned out to be an acoustic nightmare. Sound on the stage was bouncing off the dome and made for a very ambient environment. What a bummer for Jake the monitorguy, dealing with that!

The band crew was a wonderful bunch a guys to be on the road with. Phil, Pete, and Brian were from the Birmingham area and had been with the band for a long time, while Tony came from the London area. I was the only American on the backline crew, originally hired to care for Richard Tandy's huge keyboard rig, that consisted of a white Yamaha C7 grand piano, Polymoog, Wurlitzer piano, Yamaha CS80, Hohner Clavinet and Mellotron; all running through a Midas PR04 console. Luckily we carried two Mellotrons and three Wurlitzer pianos. That allowed me to do maintenance on those units and rotate them when needed. Bill Hough from TASCO inspired me to build a custom module for the Midas console for the Helpinstill piano pickup. That module had individual FET preamps for each of the Helpinstill pickup bars. That made a big difference in those pre-digital piano days. I believe KEYBOARD magazine did an cover story about Richard Tandy and the rig in the October or November 1978 issue.

The Wembley shows were the amazing and broke attendance records that remained until the 1980s. The US tour started in Omaha NB June 30th, beginning a flying tour that had the lighting, sound and band crew flying city to city (tour buses were not what they are today). We all invaded the local airport early in the morning and flew on to the next gig. We must have been a sorry sight, all hung over from the night before in most cases. That all ended for the band crew after July 11. We were eating breakfast in a diner in Greensboro NC when one of the production guys, nick-named "the Beast" sat down, took off his shoes and put his feet up on the counter! We sat at our booth table in total shock. Later that day we went to John Downing and refused to travel with the rest of the crew. As a result we got our own flights, and traveled in our own rent-a-car. We did not arrive at the venue until 2PM. That was luxury!

Tony left the crew in Texas after a row with the promoter (something about not getting a commemorative T-shirt after the show) and at that point I took over his wireless duties with the string section, although Mik Kaminski mostly took care of himself. We carried five Vega wireless units that Jeff, Kelly, Melvin and Hugh also used, that were marketed be Ken Schaffer in NY, ELO being an early adoptee of wireless technology.

All in all, I had a blast on this tour especially hanging out with the Birmingham crew guys. One of my fondest memories was "translating" for them in restaurants. We would be in the Deep South and Pete would order a "dooble-egg and chips" for breakfast and the waitress would go "Uuuu want a whaat?"

The Anaheim show was the highlight of the US tour with Journey as the Special Guest on the bill, although the Madison Sq. Garden shows in NY were mighty special too. All the controversy over the Pontiac MI shows and the "tapes" was really down to the promoter losing a lot of money on the shows, as the production costs skyrocketed and ticket sales were less than expected. The Pontiac Silverdome was just too large a venue. I felt bad for the band. They were playing just as hard as ever. Yes, there were playing OVER the tapes on selected songs, but this was no Brittney Spears show. Those guys were playing their asses off every night. I never heard or read the outcome of that legal hassle.

After the tour ended Davie Kirkwood and I and several other sound crew went to work for Jet Productions in Woodland Hill CA, but that came crashing down in March of 1979 when Jet Records pulled the funding in the midst of us building two area size PA systems. It was one hell of a ride for the year of 1978 though.

Editor's Note: Special thanks to Ed Simeone for taking the time to share his memories with the Jeff Lynne Song Database.

Tour Dates

This tour ran from February to October 1978. It started in Australia and New Zealand (February), Japan (February to March), Europe (April to May), UK (June), and USA and Canada (June to September).

Date City, Country Venue Setlist
[A-shows with spaceship set]
[B-shows without spaceship set]
Opening Act(s) Comments
Pacific Tour
January 25 1978 Honolulu, Hawaii, USA Neal Blaisdell Center Australia and Japan show Unknown
January 29 1978 Auckland, New Zealand Western Springs Australia and Japan show Unknown
February 1 1978 Brisbane, Australia Festival Hall Australia and Japan show Stars
February 2 1978 Brisbane, Australia Festival Hall Australia and Japan show Stars
February 4 1978 Sydney, Australia Randwick Racecourse Australia and Japan show Stars
February 7 1978 Melbourne, Australia Sidney Myer Music Bowl Australia and Japan show Scandal (Australian band)
February 8 1978 Melbourne, Australia Sidney Myer Music Bowl Australia and Japan show Scandal (Australian band)
February 9 1978 Melbourne, Australia Sidney Myer Music Bowl Australia and Japan show Scandal (Australian band)
February 10 1978 Adelaide, Australia Football Park Australia and Japan show Scandal (Australian band)
February, 1978 Perth, Australia (Show #1) Perth Entertainment Centre Australia and Japan show Unknown The exact date of this performance was either the 15th 16th, 17th or 18th. (One Perth show is confirmed the 16th but the other is unconfirmed.)
February, 1978 Perth, Australia (Show #2) Perth Entertainment Centre Australia and Japan show Unknown The exact date of this performance was either the 15th, 16th, 17th or 18th. (One Perth show is confirmed the 16th but the other is unconfirmed.)
February 22 1978 Tokyo, Japan Nippon Budokan Australia and Japan show -none-
February 23 1978 Osaka, Japan Festival Hall Australia and Japan show -none-
February 24 1978 Osaka, Japan Festival Hall Australia and Japan show -none-
February 25 1978 Kyoto, Japan Kyoto Kaikan Australia and Japan show -none-
February 26 1978 Fukuoka, Japan Kyuden Taiikukan Australia and Japan show -none-
February 28 1978 Nagoja, Japan Nagoyashi Kokaido Australia and Japan show -none-
March 2 1978 Shizuoka, Japan Unknown Australia and Japan show -none-
European Tour
April 22 1978 Stockholm, Sweden Johanneshovs Isstadion Europe, USA and Canada B show Trickster
April 23 1978 Gφteborg, Sweden Scandinavium Europe, USA and Canada B show Trickster
April 24 1978 Malmψ, Sweden Malmψ Isstadion Europe, USA and Canada B show Trickster
April 25 1978 Oslo, Norway Ekeberghallen Europe, USA and Canada B show Trickster
April 27 1978 Copenhagen, Denmark Falkoner Theatre Europe, USA and Canada B show Trickster
April 29 1978 Kiel, Germany Ostseehalle Europe, USA and Canada B show Unknown
April 30 1978 Dortmund, Germany Halle 1 Dortmund Europe, USA and Canada B show Trickster
May 2 1978 Bremen, Germany Stadthalle Europe, USA and Canada B show Trickster
May 3 1978 Hannover, Germany Eilenriedehalle Europe, USA and Canada B show Unknown
May 4 1978 Hamburg, Germany Ernst Merck Halle Europe, USA and Canada B show Trickster
May 6 1978 Ludwigshafen/Rhein, Germany Friedrich-Ebert-Halle Europe, USA and Canada B show Trickster
May 7 1978 Ludwigshafen/Rhein, Germany Friedrich-Ebert-Halle Europe, USA and Canada B show Trickster
May 8 1978 Kφln, Germany Sporthalle Europe, USA and Canada B show Unknown
May 10 1978 Berlin, Germany Deutschlandhalle Europe, USA and Canada B show Trickster
May 11 1978 Nόrnberg, Germany Messehalle Europe, USA and Canada B show Trickster
May 12 1978 Munich, Germany Olympiahalle Europe, USA and Canada B show Trickster
May 13 1978 Zόrich, Switzerland Hallenstadion Europe, USA and Canada B show Trickster
May 15 1978 Paris, France Pavillon de Paris Europe, USA and Canada B show Unknown
May 16 1978 Rotterdam, The Netherlands Rotterdam Ahoy Europe, USA and Canada B show Unknown
May 17 1978 Rotterdam, The Netherlands Rotterdam Ahoy Europe, USA and Canada B show Unknown
May 18 1978 Brussels, Belgium Vorst Nationaal Europe, USA and Canada B show Trickster
U.K. Tour
June 2 1978 London, UK Wembley Empire Pool UK A show Trickster This was the first show performed with the spaceship stage. It was a charity show, performed before the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. And it was filmed, broadcast on TV, and released on video, laserdisc and DVD on several occasions.
June 6 1978 Stafford, UK Bingley Hall UK B show (same as UK A show but without the spaceship intro/outro) Trickster This performance wasn't originally scheduled as part of the tour, but was added as an award ceremony because the band won the Daily Mirror Rock and Pop Awards (which would eventually evolve into what is now known as the Brits). The award ceremony bit didn't happen for whatever reason but the gig remained.
June 9 1978 London, UK Wembley Empire Pool UK A show Trickster
June 10 1978 London, UK Wembley Empire Pool UK A show Trickster
June 11 1978 London, UK Wembley Empire Pool UK A show Trickster
June 12 1978 London, UK Wembley Empire Pool UK A show Trickster
June 14 1978 London, UK Wembley Empire Pool UK A show Trickster
June 15 1978 London, UK Wembley Empire Pool UK A show Trickster
June 16 1978 London, UK Wembley Empire Pool UK A show Trickster
North American "The Big Night" Tour
June 30 1978 Omaha, Nebraska, USA Omaha Civic Auditorium USA and Canada A show Trickster
July 1 1978 St. Louis, Missouri, USA Kiel Arena Europe, USA and Canada B show Unknown
July 2 1978 Kansas City, Missouri, USA Kemper Arena USA and Canada A show Trickster
July 3 1978 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA Myriad Gardens Europe, USA and Canada B show Unknown
July 4 1978 Memphis, Tennessee, USA Midsouth Coliseum USA and Canada A show Trickster
July 6 1978 Atlanta, Georgia, USA The Omni Coliseum USA and Canada A show Unknown
July 7 1978 Atlanta, Georgia, USA The Omni Coliseum USA and Canada A show Unknown
July 8 1978 Birmingham, Alabama, USA Jefferson Coliseum Europe, USA and Canada B show Unknown
July 9 1978 Lexington, Kentucky, USA Rupp Arena USA and Canada A show Unknown
July 11 1978 Greensboro, North Carolina, USA Greensboro Coliseum USA and Canada A show Trickster
July 12 1978 Roanoke, Virginia, USA Civic Centre Europe, USA and Canada B show Trickster
July 15 1978 Cleveland, Ohio, USA Cleveland Municipal Stadium USA and Canada A show Trickster, Journey, Foreigner This show as billed as "The World Series of Rock". The bands that day in order of appearance were Trickster, Journey, Foreigner, and Electric Light Orchestra.

Football star Trevor Francis of the Birmingham Blues (at the time) and Jeff Lynne's personal friend attended this show while standing at the mixing desk.

July 19 1978 Toronto, Ontario, Canada Canadian National Exhibition Stadium USA and Canada A show Trickster, Meatloaf
August 10 1978 Chicago, Illinois, USA Chicago Stadium USA and Canada A show Trickster During this show, one of Hugh's cello strings broke during the performance and Mik filled in with a short solo.
August 12 1978 Pontiac, Michigan, USA The Pontiac Silverdome USA and Canada A show Trickster, Heart
August 13 1978 Pontiac, Michigan, USA The Pontiac Silverdome USA and Canada A show Trickster, Heart
August 14 1978 Indianapolis, Indiana, USA Market Square Arena Europe, USA and Canada B show Trickster
August 15 1978 Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA Milwaukee Arena Europe, USA and Canada B show Unknown
August 16 1978 Madison, Wisconsin, USA Dane County Coliseum USA and Canada A show Trickster
August 17 1978 St. Paul, Minnesota, USA Civic Centre Europe, USA and Canada B show Trickster
August 19 1978 Denver, Colorado, USA McNichols Sports Arena USA and Canada A show Trickster
August 23 1978 Oakland, California, USA Oakland Coliseum USA and Canada A show Trickster
August 24 1978 Oakland, California, USA Oakland Coliseum USA and Canada A show Trickster
August 26 1978 Anaheim, California, USA Anaheim Stadium USA and Canada A show Trickster, Kingfish and Journey This show started with a lot of theatrics. First, just before the start of the show, skywriters wrote "ELO - THE BIG NIGHT" across the sky for the audience to see. Tony Curtis came on stage to introduce the band, when he found himself in a Star Wars style laser battle with Stormtrooper-style stuntmen who supposedly parachuted in and fought a mock battle with the actor. The audience was then treated to a fireworks show before the spaceship finally opened and the show began.
August 29 1978 Las Vegas, Nevada, USA Aladdin Theater for the Performing Arts Europe, USA and Canada B show Unknown
September 1 1978 Fort Worth, Texas, USA Tarrant County Convention Center USA and Canada A show Trickster
September 2 1978 Shreveport, Louisiana, USA Hirsch Memorial Coliseum Europe, USA and Canada A or B show Unknown
September 3 1978 Houston, Texas, USA The Summit USA and Canada A show Kingfish
September 4 1978 Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA LSU Assembly Center Europe, USA and Canada B show Kingfish
September 5 1978 Biloxi, Mississippi, USA Mississippi Coast Coliseum & Convention Center USA and Canada A show Kingfish
September 7 1978 Knoxville, Tennessee, USA Civic Coliseum USA and Canada A show Kingfish
September 8 1978 Dayton, Ohio, USA University of Dayton Arena Europe, USA and Canada B show Kingfish
September 9 1978 Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA MTSU Murphy Center Europe, USA and Canada B show Kingfish
September 11 1978 Buffalo, New York, USA Buffalo Memorial Auditorium USA and Canada A show Kingfish
September 12 1978 New Haven, Connecticut, USA New Haven Veterans' Coliseum Europe, USA and Canada B show Kingfish
September 14 1978 New York City, New York, USA Madison Square Garden USA and Canada A show Thin Lizzy
September 15 1978 New York City, New York, USA Madison Square Garden USA and Canada A show Thin Lizzy
September 18 1978 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA The Spectrum USA and Canada A show Kingfish
September 19 1978 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA The Spectrum USA and Canada A show Trickster
September 22 1978 Hampton, Virginia, USA Hampton Coliseum Europe, USA and Canada B show Trickster
September 23 1978 Largo, Maryland, USA Capital Centre USA and Canada A show Trickster
September 25 1978 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA Civic Arena Europe, USA and Canada B show Trickster
September 27 1978 Boston, Massachusetts, USA Boston Garden USA and Canada A show Trickster
September 28 1978 Providence, Rhode Island, USA Providence Civic Center Europe, USA and Canada B show Unknown
September 29 1978 Portland, Maine, USA Cumberland County Civic Center Europe, USA and Canada B show Kingfish As this was the last show on this tour, the road crew all came on stage during Roll Over Beethoven, many wearing masks and strange clothing.
September 30 1978 Montreal, Quebec, Canada Montreal Forum USA and Canada A show Trickster This show was cancelled because of a tax disagreement between the promoters and the Canadian or Montreal government.
October 1 1978 Montreal, Quebec, Canada Montreal Forum USA and Canada A show Trickster This show was cancelled because of a tax disagreement between the promoters and the Canadian or Montreal government.

The above table attempts to show the setlist used for each performance with the following color coding:
DARK BLUE
Unknown
BRIGHT BLUE
Australia and Japan show
DARK GRAY
UK A show (with spaceship)
RED
USA and Canada A show (with spaceship)
GREEN
Europe, USA and Canada B show
BROWN
Europe, USA and Canada A or B show (use of spaceship unknown)

Setlist

These are the setlists during the tour. There were some minor changes along each leg of the tour, in response to the release of singles during the tour or other unknown reasons. In particular, Fire On High and the Eldorado Overture are only known to have played at the Australia and Japan shows. Wild West Hero was added to the UK shows only, where it either replaced Strange Magic in the setlist or it was played just before or after it, although one fan seems to recall hearing Wild West Hero performed at an Australia show as well which may very well have happened as one of the Wild West Hero music videos was filmed in Australia during this tour. It's not clear if Strange Magic was played at all UK shows. This change may have been done at some Europe shows, but that remains uncertain. Also, from analyzing various bootlegged concerts, it appears that Ma-Ma-Ma Belle, Livin' Thing and Do Ya were often switched in the order they were played, and the order that Mr. Blue Sky, Sweet Talkin' Woman and Evil Woman was often switched around. One fan recalls that Jungle was played at a the June 6, Bingley Hall show in the UK, but that remains unconfirmed. If true, it would be the only known live performance of the song.

Song Title
Australia and Japan show
UK A show
(with the spaceship set)
UK B show
(without the spaceship set)
USA and Canada A show
(with the spaceship set)
Europe, USA and Canada B show
(without the spaceship set)
Arrangement
Song comments
Introduction Theme
-
YES
-
YES
-
N/A This song, a recording only, was only used at the concerts that used the spaceship set. It is an excerpt from a 1973 recording of the London Symphony Orchestra as conducted by Andrι Previn. The performance is of Benjamin Britten's Sinfonia da Requiem, Op. 20-- specifically, it excerpts the end of the first movement called Lacrymosa (Andante ben misurato). Layered over this music is synthesized keyboard to simulate the sounds of the spaceship landing and opening.
Fire On High
YES
-
-
-
-
Face The Music LP version This song was performed at the Australia and Japan concerts only. The intro was played via tape, but the rest of the song was performed live.
Standin' In The Rain
-
YES
YES
YES
YES
Out Of The Blue LP version, except it cuts rain/keyboard intro, starting at the cymbal crash and it ends early, cutting the "big wheels" vocorder part This song was performed at all concerts except Australia and Japan
Night In The City
YES
YES
YES
YES
YES
Out Of The Blue LP version, except it cuts the "I'll get you, yes, I'm gonna get you" vocal part and has a non-fading ending
Turn To Stone
YES
YES
YES
YES
YES
Out Of The Blue LP version
Eldorado Overture
YES
-
-
-
-
Eldorado LP version This song was performed at the Australia and Japan concerts only. Much of this track was played with tapes, but once the big orchestra starts the band joins in, including guitars, drums and strings.
Can't Get It Out Of My Head
YES
YES
YES
YES
YES
Eldorado LP version
Hugh's Cello Solo / Flight Of The Bumblebee
YES
YES
YES
YES
YES
N/A
Tightrope
YES
YES
YES
YES
YES
A New World Record LP version
Telephone Line
YES
YES
YES
YES
YES
A New World Record LP version, except it cuts the telephone tone intro and the last two choruses and it adds a non-fading ending
Rockaria!
YES
YES
YES
YES
YES
A New World Record LP version, except that Kelly Groucutt sings the opera parts and the second and fourth verses
Mik's Violin Solo / In The Hall Of The Mountain King / Hungarian Dance No. 5
YES
YES
YES
YES
YES
N/A
Wild West Hero
-
YES
YES
-
-
Out Of The Blue LP version, but with several edits; the piano intro, second chorus, second vocal bridge ("ride the range...), and one of the final repeated "oh I wish I was a wild west hero" lines are cut; finally, the first vocal bridge is sung in acapella This song was performed only at the UK shows. It may have been at the European shows as well, but that remains uncertain.
Strange Magic
YES
-
-
YES
YES
The Strange Magic arrangement is quite different from the Face The Music arrangment; all the slide guitar parts are played on keyboards; the orchestral intro is cut; the "it's magic" backing vocals are cut from the song's bridge; the third verse and third, fourth and fifth choruses are cut; and the sixth and final chorus does not fade, but merges into Showdown. Perhaps most significant is that Bev Bevan steps from behind the drums and stands at the front of the stage playing only a tambourine a singing backing vocals. This song may not have been performed at all the UK and European shows, having been replaced by Wild West Hero, but that remains unclear.
Showdown
YES
YES
YES
YES
YES
Standard single version, except the cello intro, the third and fourth verses, and the second chorus are cut . Also, there is added piano over the song's instrumental bridge and the song does not fade but includes a different 20 second instrumental jam to end the song.
Sweet Talkin' Woman
YES
YES
YES
YES
YES
Out Of The Blue LP version, except a non-fading ending
Evil Woman
YES
YES
YES
YES
YES
Face The Music album version, except without the orchestral intro and a non-fading ending
Mr. Blue Sky
YES
YES
YES
YES
YES
Out Of The Blue LP version, except it starts just after the "forcast calls for blue skies part" and it cuts completely the orchestra coda ending
Do Ya
YES
YES
YES
YES
YES
A New World Record LP version, except it adds four extra guitar riffs at the beginning and the bridge and it cuts the last verse; the song is played with a very hard sounding rock 'n' roll guitar
Livin' Thing
YES
YES
YES
YES
YES
A New World Record LP version, except it adds an extended 20 second instrumental bit after the last chorus
Ma-Ma-Ma Belle
YES
YES
YES
YES
YES
On The Third Day album version, but with a 30 second drum intro used to get the audience worked up and a nearly one minute and 20 second jam session at the songs end. Also, Kelly Groucutt sings the second verse and on the choruses, Kelly and Jeff trade lines with Kelly singing the "you gotta ma-ma-ma belle" parts and Jeff singing the "or I will get you" (and similar) lines.
Roll Over Beethoven
YES
YES
YES
YES
YES
Generally the ELO 2 UK album version but without the mellotron intro and the second half of Beethoven's F ifth symphony cut from the intro. Also, Kelly sings the first chorus and the instrumental jam throughout most of the middle of the song is very differently arranged.
Outroduction Theme
-
YES
-
YES
-
N/A This song, a recording only, was only used at the concerts that used the spaceship set. Like the introduction, it excerpts the Andrι Previn conducted performance of Benjamin Britten's Sinfonia da Requiem, Op. 20, excerpting the same portion of the Lacrymosa (Andante ben misurato) movement and layering synthesized keyboard to simulate the sounds of the spaceship launching.

Releases

Only one performance from this tour has seen official release, which is the June 2, 1978 Wembley Empire Pool (now called the Wembley Arena) performance in London, England. It was a spaceship concert that included an introduction by actor Tony Curtis and was performed before the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester as part of a charity event. The performance was videotaped and prepared for TV broadcast, with the audio for this concert subsequently being mixed with the album recordings and all of this was mixed down to mono only for TV. This mixing in of the album recordings further exacerbated the incorrect public perception that ELO only performed to tapes in concert. This was broadcast on British television later in 1978 and in the USA and other countries shortly thereafter. It was only meant to be broadcast on TV and the thought of putting it on videotape for release (and better quality sound) was never considered at the time.

In the 1980s, this TV broadcast was released in both the USA and UK on videotape (VHS and Beta) with no changes from the mono mix prepared for 1970s TV broadcast. In the USA, it was also released on CED laserdisc. In the 2000s, it was released on video and DVD again with all with the bonus footage of the band meeting the Duke and Duchess Gloucester after the show and combined with the Discovery videos. In 1998, the audio track was issued in the UK on the Eagle CD, Live At Wembley '78. Unfortunately all of these releases are of the inferior original mono mix prepared for 1970s TV broadcast.

Fortunately, in March 2005, the audio from the performance was finally remastered by Roger Lomas and released on a UK DVD to accompany the original video footage in March of 2006. This sound is a vast improvement, mixed to both stereo and 5.1 audio, and clearly shows that the band was not miming on stage to prerecorded music. The backing tapes can be heard very clearly on Standin' In The Rain and occasionally on other songs that used them, but the band is not miming to them.

Despite several releases of this performance on both video and audio formats, the entire performance has not seen release. Missing songs include Can't Get It Out Of My Head, Hugh's Cello Solo, Mik's Violin Solo, Strange Magic, Evil Woman and Ma-Ma-Ma Belle. Given the fantastic laser light show during Hugh McDowell's cello solo, it's surprising that this performance was not part of the TV broadcast and has never made it to video.

No other official releases of performances from this tour are currently available.

Several shows of this concert tour have been bootlegged. They include:

Date Location Source Quality Comments
February 22, 1978 Tokyo, Japan Audience Good Bootlegs of this concert are missing the songs Mr. Blue Sky, Ma-Ma-Ma Belle and Roll Over Beethoven.
February 23, 1978 Osaka, Japan Audience Good
May 8, 1978 Cologne, Germany Audience Good
August 29, 1978 Las Vegas, USA Audience Fair Bootlegs of this concert are missing the songs Hugh's Cello Solo / Flight Of The Bumblebee, Mik's Solo / In The Hall Of The Mountain King / Hungarian Dance No. 5, Livin' Thing, Ma-Ma-Ma Belle and Roll Over Beethoven.

Note that the Orchestral Encounters Of The Electric Kind bootleg LP incorrectly shows this concert as being performed on August 22. The true date of this performance was August 29.

September 11, 1978 Buffalo, USA Audience Fair
September 14, 1978 New York City, USA Unknown Unknown
September 19, 1978 Philadelphia, USA Audience Fair Only the songs Livin' Thing, Ma-Ma-Ma Belle and Roll Over Beethoven are known to have been booted from this performance.

Early release information for ELO's 1981 Time album was that it was going to be a double album release with the first disc being the studio Time album and the second disc being a live album with audio taken from an Out Of The Blue concert performance. This idea was, of course, dropped with the eventual release of the single album.

Opening Acts

It is known that a Jet Records signed band called Trickster (featuring Phil Bates, who eventually joined Electric Light Orchestra Part II in the 1990s) was the opening act for many of the shows. During some of the shows, a band called Kingfish opened instead. At the Cleveland show, billed as the "The World Series of Rock II", Trickster, Journey and Foreigner all opened the show and at the Anaheim, California show, Trickster, Kingfish and Journey opened the show. At at least one show in Canada, Meatloaf joined as an opener and for two shows in Michigan, Heart opened.It's unclear at this time how many shows Trickster opened, but they were on most (if not all) of the European and American parts of the tour except where Kingfish appeared alone. If anyone reading this has this information, please contact the webmaster at the email address supplied below.

It is fairly certain that there was no opening band for the Japan shows.

Promotions

At the August 26, 1978 Anaheim show, there was a special intro to the show. The opening bands performed their sets while the spaceship stage was hidden behind curtains. After this, a laser light show with stunt men performed in the lighting rig, including shooting lasers at each other using an aparatus on their arms. This was soon followed a simulated landing of the spaceship where a lighted mockup of the spaceship stage was flown in from the distance via helicopter. The spaceship mockup landed behind the actual spaceship stage (and the curtain), followed by a dropping of the curtains, the opening of the stage and the start of the show. It was reported at the time that many Los Angeles residents saw the lighted spaceship and thought they were seeing a real UFO!

Photos

Band on Stage Tickets and Promo Items Releases
Concert image from the <u>Discovery</u> album's inner sleeve (LP) and booklet (CD)
Concert image from the Discovery album's inner sleeve (LP) and booklet (CD)
ELO in concert at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney, Australia on February 4, 1978
ELO in concert at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney, Australia on February 4, 1978
Kelly Groucutt performing in Bremen, Germany on May 2, 1978
Kelly Groucutt performing in Bremen, Germany on May 2, 1978
Jeff Lynne performing in Bremen, Germany on May 2, 1978
Jeff Lynne performing in Bremen, Germany on May 2, 1978
In concert image from the Discovery album's inner sleeve (LP) and booklet (CD) ELO in concert at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney, Australia on February 4, 1978
Image kindly provided by Debbie Kruger
Kelly Groucutt performing in Bremen, Germany on May 2, 1978
Image kindly provided by Raϊl Monclϊs
Jeff Lynne performing in Bremen, Germany on May 2, 1978
Image kindly provided by Raϊl Monclϊs
ELO in concert at Bremen, Germany on May 2, 1978
ELO in concert at Bremen, Germany on May 2, 1978
ELO in concert at Bremen, Germany on May 2, 1978
Image kindly provided by Raϊl Monclϊs
ELO in concert Zόrich on May 13, 1978
ELO in concert Zόrich on May 13, 1978
ELO in concert Zόrich on May 13, 1978
ELO in concert Zόrich on May 13, 1978
ELO in concert Zόrich on May 13, 1978
ELO in concert Zόrich on May 13, 1978
ELO in concert Zόrich on May 13, 1978
ELO in concert Zόrich on May 13, 1978

ELO in concert Zόrich on May 13, 1978
ELO in concert Zόrich on May 13, 1978
ELO in concert Zόrich on May 13, 1978
ELO in concert Zόrich on May 13, 1978
ELO in concert Zόrich on May 13, 1978
ELO in concert Zόrich on May 13, 1978
ELO in concert Zόrich on May 13, 1978
ELO in concert Zόrich on May 13, 1978

ELO in concert Zόrich on May 13, 1978
ELO in concert Zόrich on May 13, 1978
ELO in concert Zόrich on May 13, 1978
ELO in concert Zόrich on May 13, 1978
ELO in concert Zόrich on May 13, 1978
ELO in concert Zόrich on May 13, 1978
ELO in concert Zόrich on May 13, 1978
ELO in concert Zόrich on May 13, 1978

ELO in concert Zόrich on May 13, 1978
ELO in concert Zόrich on May 13, 1978
ELO in concert Zόrich on May 13, 1978
ELO in concert Zόrich on May 13, 1978
ELO in concert Zόrich on May 13, 1978
ELO in concert Zόrich on May 13, 1978
ELO in concert Zόrich on May 13, 1978
ELO in concert Zόrich on May 13, 1978
ELO in concert at Zόrich, Switzerland on May 13, 1978
Images kindly provided by Ueli Frey
ELO in concert at Houston, Texas on September 3, 1978
ELO in concert at Houston, Texas on September 3, 1978
ELO in concert at Houston, Texas on September 3, 1978
ELO in concert at Houston, Texas on September 3, 1978
ELO in concert
ELO in concert
Spaceship stage in closed position
Spaceship stage in closed position
ELO in concert at Houston, Texas on September 3, 1978
Image kindly provided by RockinHouston.com
ELO in concert at Houston, Texas on September 3, 1978
Image kindly provided by RockinHouston.com
ELO in concert Spaceship stage in closed position
ELO in concert
ELO in concert
ELO in concert
ELO in concert
Spaceship stage opened in an empty venue
Spaceship stage opened in an empty venue
UK Sweet Talkin' Woman single sleeve featuring the spaceship stage
UK Sweet Talkin' Woman single sleeve featuring the spaceship stage
ELO in concert ELO in concert Spaceship stage opened in an empty venue UK Sweet Talkin' Woman single sleeve
featuring the spaceship stage
Rare back view of spaceship stage
Rare back view of spaceship stage
Press released showing spaceship stage
Press released showing spaceship stage
Rare back view of spaceship stage during performance Press released showing spaceship stage
Backstage pass for production crew member
Backstage pass for production crew member
Backstage pass
Backstage pass

Backstage pass
Backstage pass

Backstage pass
Backstage pass

Backstage pass
Backstage pass

Backstage pass
Backstage pass
Backstage pass for January 25, 1978 show
Backstage pass for January 25, 1978 show
Backstage pass
Backstage pass
Backstage pass
Backstage pass
Backstage pass for production crew member
Image kindly provided by Raϊl Monclϊs
Backstage passes
First three images kindly provided by RockinHouston.com
Backstage pass for January 25, 1978 show
Image kindly provided by Graham Bennett
Backstage pass (front and back)
Article from February 4, 1978 Juke magazine showing several Australian dates
Article from February 4, 1978 Juke magazine showing several Australian dates
Ticket stub for February 2, 1978 show
Ticket stub for February 2, 1978 show
Ticket stub for February 4, 1978 show
Ticket stub for February 4, 1978 show
Newspaper clipping for February 7, 8 and 9, 1978 shows
Newspaper clipping for February 7, 8 and 9, 1978 shows
Article from February 4, 1978 Juke magazine showing several Australian dates (note Adelaide date is incorrect) Ticket stub for February 2, 1978 show Ticket stub for February 4, 1978 show Newspaper clipping for February 7, 8 and 9, 1978 shows
Weekender review of 1978 Australian shows
Weekender review of 1978 Australian shows
Ticket stub for February 22, 1978 show
Ticket stub for February 22, 1978 show
Ticket stub for February 23, 1978 show
Ticket stub for February 23, 1978 show
Ticket stub for February 24, 1978 show
Ticket stub for February 24, 1978 show
Weekender review of 1978 Australian shows Ticket stub for February 22, 1978 show
Image kindly provided by Raϊl Monclϊs
Ticket stub for February 23, 1978 show
Image kindly provided by Yoshinori Ochi
Ticket stub for February 24, 1978 show
Image kindly provided by Yoshinori Ochi
Ticket stub for February 25, 1978 show
Ticket stub for February 25, 1978 show
Ticket stub for April 30, 1978 show
Ticket stub for April 30, 1978 show
Ticket stub for May 5, 1978 show
Ticket stub for May 5, 1978 show
Ticket stub front for May 6, 1978 show
Ticket stub front for May 6, 1978 show
Ticket stub back for May 6, 1978 show
Ticket stub back for May 6, 1978 show
Ticket stub for February 25, 1978 show
Image kindly provided by Yoshinori Ochi
Ticket stub for April 30, 1978 show Ticket stub for May 5, 1978 show Ticket stub for May 6, 1978 show
Ticket stub for May 8, 1978 show
Ticket stub for May 8, 1978 show
Ticket stub for May 10, 1978 show
Ticket stub for May 10, 1978 show

Ticket stub for May 10, 1978 show
Ticket stub for May 10, 1978 show
Ticket stub for May 11, 1978 show
Ticket stub for May 11, 1978 show

Ticket stub for May 11, 1978 show
Ticket stub for May 11, 1978 show
Ticket stub for May 12, 1978 show
Ticket stub for May 12, 1978 show

Ticket stub for May 12, 1978 show
Ticket stub for May 12, 1978 show

Ticket stub for May 12, 1978 show
Ticket stub for May 12, 1978 show
Ticket stub for May 8, 1978 show Ticket stubs for May 10, 1978 show
First image kindly provided by Graham Bennett
Ticket stubs for May 11, 1978 show
Image kindly provided by Graham Bennett
Ticket stubs for May 12, 1978 show
Poster for May 13, 1978 show
Poster for May 13, 1978 show
Poster for May 15, 1978 show
Poster for May 15, 1978 show
Ticket stub for May 15, 1978 show
Ticket stub for May 15, 1978 show

Ticket stub for May 15, 1978 show
Ticket stub for May 15, 1978 show
Ticket stub for May 18, 1978 show
Ticket stub for May 18, 1978 show

Ticket stub for May 18, 1978 show
Ticket stub for May 18, 1978 show
Poster for May 13, 1978 show Poster for May 15, 1978 show Ticket stub for May 15, 1978 show
Image kindly provided by Graham Bennett
Ticket stubs for May 18, 1978 show
First image kindly provided by Graham Bennett
Newspaper announcement of Wembley shows
Newspaper announcement of Wembley shows

Newspaper announcement of Wembley shows
Newspaper announcement of Wembley shows
Ticket stub for June 6, 1978 show
Ticket stub for June 6, 1978 show

Ticket stub for June 6, 1978 show
Ticket stub for June 6, 1978 show

Ticket stub for June 6, 1978 show
Ticket stub for June 6, 1978 show
Ticket stub for June 11, 1978 show
Ticket stub for June 11, 1978 show
Ticket stub for June 12, 1978 show
Ticket stub for June 12, 1978 show
Newspaper announcement of Wembley shows Ticket stubs for June 6, 1978 show
First image kindly provided by Graham Bennett
Ticket stub for June 11, 1978 show Ticket stub for June 12, 1978 show
Ticket stub for June 14, 1978 show
Ticket stub for June 14, 1978 show
Ticket stub for June 30, 1978 show
Ticket stub for June 30, 1978 show
Ticket stub for July 1, 1978 show
Ticket stub for July 1, 1978 show
Ticket stub for July 2, 1978 show
Ticket stub for July 2, 1978 show

Ticket stub for July 2, 1978 show
Ticket stub for July 2, 1978 show

Ticket stub for July 2, 1978 show
Ticket stub for July 2, 1978 show
Ticket stub for June 14, 1978 show Ticket stub for June 30, 1978 show Ticket stub for July 1, 1978 show Ticket stubs for July 2, 1978 show
Ticket stub for July 6, 1978 show
Ticket stub for July 6, 1978 show
Ticket stub for July 9, 1978 show
Ticket stub for July 9, 1978 show
Ticket stub for July 15, 1978 show
Ticket stub for July 15, 1978 show

Ticket stub for July 15, 1978 show
Ticket stub for July 15, 1978 show
Ticket stubs for July 19, 1978 show
Ticket stubs for July 19, 1978 show

Ticket stubs for July 19, 1978 show
Ticket stubs for July 19, 1978 show

Ticket stubs for July 19, 1978 show
Ticket stubs for July 19, 1978 show

Ticket stubs for July 19, 1978 show
Ticket stubs for July 19, 1978 show
Ticket stubs for July 6, 1978 show Ticket stub for July 9, 1978 show Ticket stubs for July 15, 1978 show Ticket stubs for July 19, 1978 show
First two images kindly provided by Graham Bennett
Ticket stub for August 10, 1978 show
Ticket stub for August 10, 1978 show
August 12 & 13, 1978 button
August 12 & 13, 1978 button
Ticket stub for August 13, 1978 show
Ticket stub for August 13, 1978 show

Ticket stub for August 13, 1978 show
Ticket stub for August 13, 1978 show
Ticket stub for August 14, 1978 show
Ticket stub for August 14, 1978 show
Ticket stub for August 10, 1978 show August 12 & 13, 1978 button Ticket stubs for August 13, 1978 show
First image kindly provided by Graham Bennett
Ticket stubs for August 14, 1978 show
Indianapolis Star ad for August 14, 1978 show
Indianapolis Star ad for August 14, 1978 show
Indianapolis Star review for August 14, 1978 show
Indianapolis Star review for August 14, 1978 show
Ticket stub for August 19, 1978 show
Ticket stub for August 19, 1978 show

Ticket stub for August 19, 1978 show
Ticket stub for August 19, 1978 show
Ticket stub for August 23, 1978 show
Ticket stub for August 23, 1978 show

Ticket stub for August 23, 1978 show
Ticket stub for August 23, 1978 show
Indianapolis Star ad for August 14, 1978 show Indianapolis Star review for August 14, 1978 show Ticket stubs for August 19, 1978 show
First image kindly provided by Graham Bennett
Ticket stubs for August 23, 1978 show
Ticket stub for August 24, 1978 show
Ticket stub for August 24, 1978 show
Ticket stub for August 26, 1978 show
Ticket stub for August 26, 1978 show

Ticket stub for August 26, 1978 show
Ticket stub for August 26, 1978 show

Ticket stub for August 26, 1978 show
Ticket stub for August 26, 1978 show

Ticket stub for August 26, 1978 show
Ticket stub for August 26, 1978 show

Ticket stub for August 26, 1978 show
Ticket stub for August 26, 1978 show

Ticket stub for August 26, 1978 show
Ticket stub for August 26, 1978 show

Ticket stub for August 26, 1978 show
Ticket stub for August 26, 1978 show

Ticket stub for August 26, 1978 show
Ticket stub for August 26, 1978 show
Ticket stub for August 29, 1978 show
Ticket stub for August 29, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 1, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 1, 1978 show

Ticket stub for September 1, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 1, 1978 show
Ticket stub for August 24, 1978 show Ticket stubs for August 26, 1978 show
First three images kindly provided by Graham Bennett
Ticket stubs for August 29, 1978 show Ticket stubs for September 1, 1978 show
Image kindly provided by Graham Bennett
Ticket stub for September 2, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 2, 1978 show

Ticket stub for September 2, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 2, 1978 show

Ticket stub for September 2, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 2, 1978 show

Ticket stub for September 2, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 2, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 3, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 3, 1978 show

Ticket stub for September 3, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 3, 1978 show

Ticket stub for September 3, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 3, 1978 show

Ticket stub for September 3, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 3, 1978 show

Ticket stub for September 3, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 3, 1978 show

Ticket stub for September 3, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 3, 1978 show

Ticket stub for September 3, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 3, 1978 show

Ticket stub for September 3, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 3, 1978 show
Concert review for September 3, 1978 show
Concert review for September 3, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 4, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 4, 1978 show

Ticket stub for September 4, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 4, 1978 show
Ticket stubs for September 2, 1978 show
First two images kindly provided by Graham Bennett
Ticket stubs for September 3, 1978 show
First image kindly provided by Graham Bennett


Second image kindly provided by RockinHouston.com
Concert review for September 3, 1978 show Ticket stubs for September 4, 1978 show
First image kindly provided by Graham Bennett
Ticket stub for September 8, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 8, 1978 show
Poster advertising September 7 & 8, 1978 shows
Poster advertising September 7 & 8, 1978 shows
Ticket stub for September 9, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 9, 1978 show

Ticket stub for September 9, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 9, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 11, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 11, 1978 show

Ticket stub for September 11, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 11, 1978 show

Ticket stub for September 11, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 11, 1978 show

Ticket stub for September 11, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 11, 1978 show
Ticket stubs for September 8, 1978 show Poster advertising September 7 & 8, 1978 shows Ticket stubs for September 9, 1978 show
First image kindly provided by Graham Bennett
Ticket stub for September 11, 1978 show
First image kindly provided by Graham Bennett
Ticket stub for September 12, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 12, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 14, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 14, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 15, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 15, 1978 show

Ticket stub for September 15, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 15, 1978 show

Ticket stub for September 15, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 15, 1978 show

Ticket stub for September 15, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 15, 1978 show
September 14 & 15, 1978 button
September 14 & 15, 1978 button

September 14 & 15, 1978 button
September 14 & 15, 1978 button
Ticket stub for September 12, 1978 show Ticket stub for September 14, 1978 show Ticket stubs for September 15, 1978 show September 14 & 15, 1978 button
Ticket stub for September 18, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 18, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 19, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 19, 1978 show
September 22, 1978 t-shirt front
September 22, 1978 t-shirt front
Ticket stub for September 23, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 23, 1978 show
Ticket stub for September 18, 1978 show Ticket stub for September 19, 1978 show
Image kindly provided by Graham Bennett
September 22, 1978 t-shirt front Ticket stub for September 23, 1978 show
Backstage pass for US concert
Backstage pass for US concert
Tour t-shirt front
Tour t-shirt front

Tour t-shirt back
Tour t-shirt back
Tour t-shirt front
Tour t-shirt front

Tour t-shirt back
Tour t-shirt back
World Series of Rock II t-shirt front
World Series of Rock II t-shirt front

World Series of Rock II t-shirt back
World Series of Rock II t-shirt back
Backstage pass for US concert Tour t-shirt front & back Tour t-shirt front & back World Series of Rock II t-shirt front and back
ELO necklace sold during the tour
ELO necklace sold during the tour
Tour t-shirt front
Tour t-shirt front
Tour t-shirt front
Tour t-shirt front

Tour t-shirt front
Tour t-shirt front

Tour t-shirt front
Tour t-shirt front
Concert program from Japan shows
Concert program from Japan shows
ELO necklace sold during the tour Tour t-shirt front Tour t-shirt fronts
same design, different colors
Concert program from Japan shows
Image kindly provided by Yoshinori Ochi
Advertisement for February 22, 1978 show
Advertisement for February 22, 1978 show
Poster advertising for the Japanese tour (front)
Poster advertising for the Japanese tour (front)
Poster advertising for the Japanese tour (back)
Poster advertising for the Japanese tour (back)
Poster advertising for the Japanese tour
Poster advertising for the Japanese tour
Poster advertising the Germany tour
Poster advertising the Germany tour
Advertisement for February 22, 1978 show
Image kindly provided by Yoshinori Ochi
Poster advertising the Japanese tour (front and back) Poster advertising the Japanese tour Poster advertising the Germany tour
Advertisement for May 2, 1978 show
Advertisement for May 2, 1978 show
Handbill June 6, 1978 show
Handbill June 6, 1978 show
Melody Maker review of June 9, 1978 show
Melody Maker review of June 9, 1978 show
Poster advertising the USA tour
Poster advertising the USA tour
Advertisement for May 2, 1978 show
Image kindly provided by Raϊl Monclϊs
Handbill for June 6, 1978 show Melody Maker review of June 9, 1978 show Poster advertising the USA tour
June 25, 1978 interview with Bev Bevan about upcoming July 5 show
June 25, 1978 interview with Bev Bevan about upcoming July 5 show
July 5, 1978 concert review
July 5, 1978 concert review
Advertisement for July 15, 1978 show
Advertisement for July 15, 1978 show
Advertisement for July 19, 1978 show
Advertisement for July 19, 1978 show
June 25, 1978 interview with Bev Bevan about upcoming July 5 show July 5, 1978 concert review Advertisement for July 15, 1978 show Advertisement for July 19, 1978 show
Image kindly provided by Graham Bennett
Concert program from August 12 and 13, 1978 show
Concert program from August 12 and 13, 1978 show
July 13, 1978 St. Paul Dispatch article in anticipation of August 17, 1978 show
July 13, 1978 St. Paul Dispatch article in anticipation of August 17, 1978 show
August 3, 1978 St. Paul Dispatch article in anticipation of August 17, 1978 show
August 3, 1978 St. Paul Dispatch article in anticipation of August 17, 1978 show
August 17, 1978 St. Paul Dispatch article in anticipation of August 17, 1978 show
August 17, 1978 St. Paul Dispatch article in anticipation of August 17, 1978 show
Concert program from August 12 and 13, 1978 show
Image kindly provided by Graham Bennett
July 13, 1978 St. Paul Dispatch article in anticipation of August 17, 1978 show August 3, 1978 St. Paul Dispatch article in anticipation of August 17, 1978 show August 17, 1978 St. Paul Dispatch article in anticipation of August 17, 1978 show
August 17, 1978 concert review
August 17, 1978 concert review
Advertisement for August 29, 1978 show
Advertisement for August 29, 1978 show
Advertisement for September 14 & 15, 1978 show
Advertisement for September 14 & 15, 1978 show
Advertisement for Montreal shows (cancelled)
Advertisement for Montreal shows (cancelled)
August 17, 1978 concert review Advertisement for August 29, 1978 show
Image kindly provided by Graham Bennett
Advertisement for September 14 & 15 show Advertisement for Montreal shows (which were later cancelled)
Billboard ad from October 14 1978 thanking the crew
Billboard ad from October 14 1978 thanking the crew
  Billboard ad from October 14 1978 thanking the crew
Billboard ad from October 14 1978 thanking the crew
Billboard ad from October 14 1978 thanking the crew
Image kindly provided by Graham Bennett
ELO - Live in Concert VHS videotape (1980) * UK * V.C.L. Z159G
ELO - Live in Concert VHS videotape (1980) * UK * V.C.L. Z159G
Electric Light Orchestra - Live At Wembley VHS videotape * USA * MGM/CBS Home Video CV40021 Electric Light Orchestra - Live At Wembley BVHS videotape * USA * MGM/CBS Home Video CV40021
ELO - Live in Concert VHS videotape (1980) * UK * V.C.L. Z159G Electric Light Orchestra - Live At Wembley VHS videotape (1980) * USA * MGM/CBS Home Video CV40021
Electric Light Orchestra - Live At Wembley Beta videotape * USA * MGM/CBS Home Video CB40021 Electric Light Orchestra - Live At Wembley Beta videotape * USA * MGM/CBS Home Video CB40021 Electric Light Orchestra - Live At Wembley CED laserdisc * USA * CBS/Fox CD 100021
Electric Light Orchestra - Live At Wembley CED laserdisc * USA * CBS/Fox CD 100021
Electric Light Orchestra - Live At Wembley Beta videotape (1980) * USA * MGM/CBS Home Video CB40021 Electric Light Orchestra - Live At Wembley CED laserdisc (September 1, 1981) * USA * CBS/Fox CD 100021
ELO - Live In Concert VHS videotape * UK * CBS/Fox 7021-50 ELO - Live In Concert VHS videotape * UK * V.C.L. Communications 2739-50
ELO - Live In Concert VHS videotape * UK * V.C.L. Communications 2739-50
ELO - Live In Concert VHS videotape (1984) * UK * CBS/Fox 7021-50 ELO - Live In Concert VHS videotape (1985) * UK * V.C.L. Communications 2739-50
Live At Wembley - The Out Of The Blue Tour VHS videotape * UK * Castle Hendring CASH5036
Live At Wembley - The Out Of The Blue Tour VHS videotape * UK * Castle Hendring CASH5036
Out Of The Blue Tour - Live At Wembley VHS videotape * UK * Eagle Rock ERE 058
Out Of The Blue Tour - Live At Wembley VHS videotape * UK * Eagle Rock ERE 058
Live At Wembley - The Out Of The Blue Tour VHS videotape (1989) * UK * Castle Hendring CASH5036 Out Of The Blue Tour - Live At Wembley VHS videotape (1998) * UK * Eagle Rock ERE 058
Live At Wembley '78 * UK * Eagle Records EAMCD0039
Live At Wembley '78 * UK * Eagle Records EAMCD0039
Out Of The Blue Tour - Live At Wembley / Discovery VHS videotape * USA * Image Entertainment ID4561ER
Out Of The Blue Tour - Live At Wembley / Discovery VHS videotape * USA * Image Entertainment ID4561ER
Live At Wembley '78 (March 28, 1998) * UK * Eagle Records EAMCD0039
Live At Wembley '78 (September 8, 1998) * USA * Cleopatra CLP0353
The USA CD is the same as the UK issue, but with a sticker with the new label and stock number
Out Of The Blue Tour - Live At Wembley / Discovery VHS videotape (1998) * USA * Image Entertainment ID4561ER
The Complete ELO Live Collection CD album * USA * Cleopatra CLP0932
The Complete ELO Live Collection CD album * USA * Cleopatra CLP0932
Out Of The Blue Tour - Live At Wembley / Discovery DVD * USA * Image Entertainment ID4562ERDVD
Out Of The Blue Tour - Live At Wembley / Discovery DVD * USA * Image Entertainment ID4562ERDVD
The Complete ELO Live Collection CD album (October 3, 2000) * USA * Cleopatra CLP0932 Out Of The Blue Tour - Live At Wembley / Discovery DVD (October 5, 2004) * USA * Image Entertainment ID4562ERDVD
Out Of The Blue - Live At Wembley DVD * UK * Eagle Vision EREDV556
Out Of The Blue - Live At Wembley DVD * UK * Eagle Vision EREDV556
Live At Wembley Laserdisc (????) * UK * CBS LASERVISION 7021)
Live At Wembley Laserdisc (????) * UK * CBS LASERVISION 7021)
Out Of The Blue - Live At Wembley DVD (March 20, 2006) * UK * Eagle Vision EREDV556
Out Of The Blue - Live At Wembley DVD (June 27, 2006) * USA * Eagle Vision USA 801213303793
The USA DVD is the same as the UK issue, but with a sticker indicating it's compatible with USA DVD players
Live At Wembley Laserdisc (????) * UK * CBS LASERVISION 7021)
Image kindly provided by Graham Bennett
Live At Wembley - The Out Of The Blue Tour VHS videotape * Japan * VIDEOARTS JAPAN INC VALC 3176
Live At Wembley - The Out Of The Blue Tour VHS videotape * Japan * VIDEOARTS JAPAN INC VALC 3176
Live in Wembley - 1978 * Australia * ?)
Live in Wembley - 1978 * Australia * ?)
Live At Wembley - The Out Of The Blue Tour VHS videotape * Japan * VIDEOARTS JAPAN INC VALC 3176
Image kindly provided by Graham Bennett
Live in Wembley - 1978 VHS videotape * Australia * ?
Electric Light Orchestra - Live At Wembley VHS videotape * Japan * V.C.L. ? Electric Light Orchestra - Live At Wembley laserdisc * Japan * Discus ? front
Electric Light Orchestra - Live At Wembley laserdisc * Japan * Discus ? front

Electric Light Orchestra - Live At Wembley laserdisc * Japan * Discus ? back
Electric Light Orchestra - Live At Wembley laserdisc * Japan * Discus ? back
Electric Light Orchestra - Live At Wembley VHS videotape * Japan * V.C.L. ? Electric Light Orchestra - Live At Wembley laserdisc * Japan * Discus ?
Orchestral Encounters of the Electric Kind bootleg LP
Orchestral Encounters of the Electric Kind bootleg LP
Orchestral Encounters of the Electric Kind bootleg LP
Australian tour program front cover Australian tour program page 1 & 2 Australian tour program page 3 & 4 Australian tour program page 5 & 6
Australian tour program page 7 & 8 Australian tour program page 9 & 10 Australian tour program page 11 & 12
Australian tour program page 13 & 14 Australian tour program page 15 & 16 Australian tour program page 17 & 18 Australian tour program front cover
Australian Tour program - Front cover / All pages / Back cover

Images kindly provided by Alex Ivanov
UK tour program front cover UK tour program page 1 & 2 UK tour program page 3 & 4
UK tour program page 5 & 6 UK tour program page 7 & 8 UK tour program page 9 & 10 UK tour program page 11 & 12
UK tour program page 13 & 14 UK tour program page 15 & 16 UK tour program page 17 & 18 UK tour program page 19 & 20
UK tour program page 21 & 22 UK tour program page 23 & 24 UK tour program front cover
UK Tour program - Front cover / All pages / Back cover
USA tour program front cover USA tour program page 1 & 2 USA tour program page 3 & 4 USA tour program page 5 & 6
USA tour program page 7 & 8 USA tour program page 9 & 10 USA tour program page 11 & 12 USA tour program page 13 & 14
USA tour program page 15 & 16 USA tour program page 17 & 18 USA tour program page 19 & 20 USA tour program page 21 & 22
USA tour program page 23 & 24 USA tour program page 25 & 26 USA tour program page 27 & 28 USA tour program page 29 & 30 USA tour program front cover
USA Tour program - Front cover / All pages / Back cover
No other photos from this tour are currently available. If you have any to share, please contact the email address at the bottom of this page.

Fan Comments

Enter comments only about this tour. (Inappropriate comments will be removed.)


ELO's September 22, 1978 show in the Hampton Coliseum was my very first concert. I was 14 at the time (now 50) and living in Manteo, NC (the Outer Banks or OBX). We drove from Manteo to Hampton, a trip of over two hours at the time. Along with two of my high school friends, also in attendance were my mother and GRANDMOTHER. I'd gotten the tickets via mail order and paid either $7.50 each or $8.50 each.

I believe this show is what set me up for eternity with a burning need to NOT be late for things as we didn't get to the Coliseum until well after the opening band, Trickster, had begun performing. As it was my first show, I was mesmerized by pretty much everything going on. It was my first time seeing lasers in person. The green beams shot out from the stage and projected spinning designs on the ceiling of the Hampton Coliseum.

This many years removed, I don't recall a lot of specifics, but I remember that it made me an ELO fan for life and definitely a fan of live shows (from bars to large clubs to football stadiums). I followed up ELO with a KISS show (the "Dynasty" tour) in July of the next year, also in Hampton, VA.
-Phil Bridges (Raleigh, NC)


I was at the show at Madison Square Garden in September 1978. I remember we sat on the floor maybe the third row. The effects were great, the music was fantastic. We were so close we felt the coldness of the fog machine. What a night. Take me back!

I was at the Memphis Concert as well. It was suppose to have been on the 3rd of July but was postponed to the 4th as the City's Fire and Police Departments were on strick and the city was under a dusk till dawn curfew with the National Guard patrolling the streets. (The band's equipment trucks were brought in under guard the night before the show by the National Guard.) The curfew was lifted the morning of the show and it was on. Sold out and crazy. Being the 4th there were fireworks and bottle rockets going of every where. Once again the police were still on stike so enforcement was very little to none in the arena. At one point before ELO took the stage their tour manage came on stage and threatneed to call the show if the audience did not stop throwing firework. And man pot was being smoked and handed around all over the place. It was almost chaos until the band came on stage and then all eyes were on the spaceship and its crew of ELOers. Wonderful memory from the my teens and 1978.
-Anonymous

i remember when this tour was occurring. critics were hostile to it, finding it pretentious and overblown. most of the time the "saucer" effects didn't work correctly. the whole effect came off making the band look ridiculous. i thought, "what an idiotic waste of money." (stripped down punk and early alternative rock bands were all the range in "hip" circles at the time.) in all likelihood, the "out of the blue" tour ended up costing don arden and the electric light orchestra a great deal of money. it's a shame, too, since there were some good songs on that album. elo was one of my favorite groups back then, but the details of this tour made the band seem absurd and i ended up both pitying the band and feeling a degree of contempt toward them. the electric light orchestra seemed to embody everything that the punk kids (with whom i identified, to an extent) were rebelling against in the late seventies.
-Anonymous

I was a stage crew member at the Anaheim Stadium show ans remember it like it was yesterday. I have my pass from the show that listed me as part of the "ground crew" and a pin of the ELO logo I got from the band. I worked for the local union at the time and did everything from moving sound to pulling the hoses thru the top of the saucer after it had been lowered just prior to the show. To many details to possibly mention but after a 15 year career in the sound business this show remains the most impressive on I have ever seen or been apart of. I'd be happy to forward scans of the pass and pin if yo would like.
-Anonymous

I saw the July 4, 1978 concert in Memphis. Wow - I was so impressed! The spaceship, the impressive sounds of ELO. One of the best concerts ever!!!
-Anonymous

My first concert ever, July 2nd in Kansas City. The show was absolutely amazing and I could not have asked for a better first concert experience. I was 13 at the time. I loved Trickster's opening set enough that I bought their album. I still like listening to "Goodbye 65" and "Your Money or Your Life" from time to time.

I so wanted to be Jeff Lynne when I grew up. I actually did go on to a 9 year stint as a working musician. The bug first really bit me when I would sit in my room singing and playing to Face the Music, A New World Record and Out of the Blue. Thanks for the memories.
-Jim


Was my very first concert.September 5th.Biloxi Ms.
-Anonymous

I was 9 years when my father too me to see this in Providence. He was dissapointed that we did not get to see the "A" show. I'll still listen to the music, but I am always going to remember how we got a second rate show. Not all of the songs were played that were listed. It's still easier to sit in my living room and listening/watching concerts in my theater instead of paying crazy prices.
-Anonymous

What a great site! Last night on UK tv BBC4 had a Jeff Lynne special that included the Wembley show. I went to the last night of their record breaking run they played there, and so many memories of my first ever concert came flooding back. I just had to know more about it and found this wonderful site that more than satisfied my geek-like thirst for facts.

I often wondered what songs were missing from the Wembley video as I could remember them singing many more, and Hugh and Mik's outstanding solos. Well now this geek is satisfied.

I still have my ticket and programme, and if I can scan them I will send them along.

I remember just how loud they were.

The whole stage show was amazing, something that has never been equalled by any band I have seen since, and I have seen loads.

I managed to catch ELO part II/ Orkestra a couple of times in recent years and although they were far removed from that epic line up I first witnessed I give all credit to the late great Kelly Groucutt.

So its time to revisit ELO's catalogue on my Ipod.

My regards to all fellow ELO fans, especially those that have shared there memories here.
-Graham Chuck, Devon.

I was 13yrs old at the CNE, standing in the front watching the spaceship open! The light show was one of the best at the time and still hard to beat!

It was a great time and a memory I will never forget! It was a great summer of concerts. July 19th 1978 show CNE, must have been 50K people at this show all cramped up close to watch the spaceship open. Awesome!
-Anonymous


I was at the September 29th Portland Maine show. This was a B stage show there was no spaceship so it is listed incorrectly as an 'A' show on the tour section. The band knew it was the last show of the tour and as is usually the case on such shows the road crew joined the band onstage during the finale 'roll over beethoven' many wearing masks and various strange clothing.
-Anonymous

There are or NEVER WILL BE enough greatest words for the 'GREATEST BAND'in the whole world!!!!!! Hello all you Wild west heros like me out there and its really great to know I,have a extended ELO world family out there even if ive never met any of you.Just like to share first off of course I, am a DIE HARD ELO family member like alot of you all over the globe.i am 48 yrs old now and have had my heavenly eternal non stopping taste of this heaven sent band backing up to 1978 here where i still reside.Seen this phenominal group on my older brothers birthday which was on ELO'S magical apperence August 29th 1978 at the Alladin theatre for the performing arts here in Las vegas Nevada.Truly from the bottom of my heart the very best show and music I,have ever witnessed in a lifetime!!! And it was HEAVEN!
-Anonymous

I attended the show in Pontiac, Michigan. Sadly, someone was smoking, well... something other than cigarettes right in the row front of me. The Silverdome - being an air-supported roof stadium - was not known for it's good ventilation.

Needless to say, I barely remember the concert, but I do remember the stage (a little). Wish I could remember more.
-Anonymous


I attended the September 18, 1978 show at the Spectrum in Philadelphia. Grateful Dead offshoot King Fish was the opening act, but Trickster opened the following evening on September 19th.
-Jim Mullen

I guess I was wrong about "Fire on High" being the intro song at the Denver show in my previous post, but for some reason it sticks in my mind that it was; maybe because it was on TV so muchon every sports show at the time. It was the "Sirius" of the seventies!
-Anonymous

I went to the August 19th '78 show at McNichols Sports Arena, affectionally known to us in Denver CO as "Big Mac", both because of the obvious name and it's somewhat hamburger shape. ELO was absolutely my favorite band at the time and the show did not disappoint; it was AWESOME! I was dead center to the stage, a bit of a ways back, perfect seats. The drama of the prelude with the awesome light show and the Space Stage glowing and flashing set me on the edge of my seat, and then the opening song (I believe it was Fire on High) and then the "lid" rose and it just pulled you into the show and thereafter the band just totally ROCKED! I thought the sound seemed flawless, the musicianship was perfect and super close to the studio versions (in some aspects maybe even better), the light show stunning and spectacular. I saw perhaps eighty rock concerts between '77 and '85, and that ELO concert was in the top 3 for me. I remember it like it was yesterday, and even to this day I still love ELO; Face the Music, Out of the Blue, and New World Record are all underrated classics that deserve a lot more cred than they have recieved through the years. ELO was massively popular where I lived at that time, and their music holds up as well as anything put out by other bands of the seventies as well as the eighties! I'll be on my deathbed and I'll still be listening to ELO, decades from now.
-Anonymous

My sister and I went to the 9th of February show at the Myer Music Bowl Melbourne, was a warm night.My sister "shouted me" for my 18th birthday, the support act for this night was Scandal, who were pretty ordinary by comparision. ELO opened with Fire on High, then Turn to stone, from memory they did 2 encores. I was talking to Bev Bevan by email recently ,and he remembers the concerts at the Music bowl well, the laser light show was awesome there ,especially when Mik Kaminski did the violin solo and they shone a laser beam onto a mirrorball, you could feel your skin tingling, was one of the most memorable concerts i've ever been to!!!.
Wes, Melbourne, Australia.
-Anonymous

I attended the concert in Oakland. The space ship stage was cool. The opening act sucked. As I recall, I thought they were called STAR BABY.
-F. Baugher

I remember this tour when it was at Kemper Arena in Kansas City. It was one of the first "flown" sound systems with the speakers in large metal cages which were hoisted up so there were no stacks blocking anyone's view. They had to invent new technology to synchronize the numerous hoists lifting the top of the spaceship. If one had listed a little faster then the other, the whole rig would have shifted and possibly broken, risking life and limb of everyone on stage. Other things that stick in my mind was that the chief sound engineer was nicknamed "Doc Double" and he was wearing a t-shirt that said "Back To Mono".
-Anonymous

[On] September 7, 1978 ELO scheduled a concert stop in Knoxville Tennessee and I was thrilled. My little brother was as rabid an ELO fan as I was by that time because I had the albums playing constantly (and so did he). I bought tickets and didn't tell him about it. It was a surprise. The day of the concert I whipped out my tickets and handed one to him. He couldn't believe he was going to a "ROCK CONCERT!!!", his first one and to see ELO to boot. I was pretty excited myself. That wasn't the only surprise that day.

Throughout high school I worked off and on as an amplifier and organ repairman at Rose Music Company in Alcoa. My dad Paul Michael was the chief technical guy and could fix anything (and still is). I got a call around noon the day of the show asking if I could go look at a Hammond B3 organ at the Coliseum. Some band that was playing tonight was having problems with it. I almost fainted....but grabbed my tools and headed over there. They gave me a contact name to get me in (I don't remember who).

When I showed up the place was literally buzzing with excitement and construction. The Spaceship was HUGE and I couldn't believe I was going to be on stage in a few minutes. Turns out the organ belonged to the opening act (my brother says it was Trickster) and they said it had NOT been dropped coming off the truck. Off we went into the bowels of the Coliseum looking for the keyboard player. My escort didn't know where he was so we went door to door looking. After opening countless doors with no luck I suddenly found myself in a room with Bev and Mick and maybe the Cello guys. I was in shock.

Before I could really look or react to see if Jeff was there, say HI, or ANYTHING we were out and back down the hall and finally found the keyboard guy for Trickster. He told me they dropped it coming off the truck and declined to accompany us back to the stage. He said "Just fix it" and wasn't particularly friendly. Back to the stage (the Spaceship looked HUGERIFFIC than before) and I was assigned another escort who helped me up a ladder over the high lip of the stage. Again I was in shock at all that was around me. The escort took me to the Hammond which was obviously not going to work (cracks in the wood case, motor not turning). He told me NOT to wander around. I looked at the innerds and tried to fix it anyway. Those particular organs have a "scanner" with very delicate moving parts. No scanner, no music. I gave them the bad news and left. They called back and asked for the chief technician which was my Dad. He went out later just before showtime and gave them the same prognosis. They weren't happy. Moral of that story is you don't drop expensive delicate stuff.

That evening the concert was as thrilling as you could expect. Trickster was awful and we couldn't wait for them to be gone. I think they played 10 or 20 encores or so it seemed. I'm sure it was bad because the organ wasn't working....... ELO came out with the spaceship opening and all the lasers firing. It was the most amazing thing I had ever witnessed in person. My brother mostly sat in awe with his mouth open (ok I did too) or we sang along. The show was just as most of you have described. It did seem like the show went on for a long while. My memory only has images and feelings of the show but it was fantastic and remains the most amazing show I have ever seen.
-John Michael


Looking at your web page about "The Big Night" brought back memories. I worked as an IATSE stagehand for the Anaheim California show. I was 18 and it was only the third show I had done. It was, by far, the biggest show I had ever worked on, before or since. I arrived at Anaheim Stadium at 8AM on Thursday. We worked until midnight getting the scaffolding put together. We built 2 60' high speaker towers and the stage itself. The towers were too high for a forklift to get the speakers up so each tower had a chain hoist elevator. If memory serves me, there were 13 or 14 trucks with the gear. I remember a manager (stage manager?) yelling at everyone and every other word was "fookin". The power requirements for the show were so great (I remember someone telling me at the time that the sound system alone was over 100,000 watts per side. I don't if that was true but I wouldn't be surprised.) that the stadium couldn't provide enough juice. ELO brought at least 2 large generators on trailers to augment power.

We were back at 8AM on Friday and, among other things I stacked speakers on the towers. I was also part of the laser crew and got to go up on the roof of the stadium and place mirrors to reflect the light around the stadium. We were about 120' up with no safety rails. The stadium still had an open end then and placing the mirror at the point of the open end was scary. The mirrors had C-clamps on the back and we attached them to existing pipe stubs around the leading edge of the roof. They did a fly-by with the helicopter that day and I was uncomfortably aware that the roof moves in the wind. We worked until midnight. We were back at 8AM on Saturday to finish everything. I worked until they did sound checks and they gave us back stage passes and food. At the opening of the show the upper part of the spaceship which housed the lights was flown up high and a scrim covered the face of it so it looked like a standard lighting rig. I got to stand between the stage and the crowd barrier during Journey's opening act. They almost stole the show. A high school buddy of mine came up to the barrier to say hi and ask how the hell I was so lucky to get in on this! Very cool! When they were done we closed a curtain across the entire stage and took down Journey's instruments and equipment. Then we set up ELO's gear and set up the drums on an elevator. The elevators were then lowered back down and the top half of the spaceship was lowered. I was backstage for most of the show but I remember huge rear projector screens behind the stage showing the audience a closer look at the band.

When the show was over we didn't waste any time and immediately got on stage to take down the band gear, amps, etc. We worked through the night and were finally allowed to leave at around 10AM. There were still speakers to get down and all the scaffolding to disassemble so they brought in a fresh crew. I worked 56 hours in 3 days and made a small fortune (well it was to me). By way of comparison, the amphitheater shows I did later, including acts a big as Michael Jackson, never took more than a day to put up and a few hours to take down. I'll never forget "The Big Night". For and 18 year old kid it was awesome!. Actually I think we still said "bitchin'" then.
-Grant Richards


I and 5 other friends attended the Out Of the Blue tour show at Football Park, Adelaide. The support act was a band called Scandal, who played their recent hit in their set, a cover of 'How Long' by Ace. This band faded into obscurity immediately after the tour - the tour was certainly the biggest event in Scandals' existence.

At the start of the show, which was delayed slightly, the lasers came on. Wow (totally awesome), and then it just got better - it rained !! It's the only show I've ever been to that improved because of the rain. Every time a laser hit a rain drop, it was just magic ! The light rain faded after a short while, and the concert continued in lovely mild dryness.

No rock show I've seen since has ever been able to come close to the sheer beauty of that light show!
-Alex Groenen


The only opening act for the August 14th show in '78 (Indianapolis IN, Market Square Arena ) on the 'Out of the Blue' tour was Trickster. Their set was plagued by technical problems, specifically the lead singers' guitar amp kept shorting out, finally resulting in a roadie finally replacing the guitar cable to produce a clean signal which produced the largest applause from the crowd the band got! ELO was superb (my first concert), great lighting and sound, although I will say my best friend and I were disturbed by the obvious use of backing tapes. Nonetheless, a great show and memory.
-Michael Petrich

I was at the Western Springs, Auckland gig at the start of this tour. My parents bought tickets for myself and my two brothers, dropped us off at the Venue before and picked us up after the show...the funny thing was (and I'm still convinced of this) they thought they'd bought tickets for us to see a regular Orchestra. Needless to say the show (our first ever major outdoor stadium rock show) was an amazing experience. Along with the other 30,000 in attendance we marvelled at the lasers as they shot into the audience and created images on the tall pine trees at the back of the stadium. Western Springs is actually a speedway stadium which was used for many years as a summer rock stadium and we subsequently saw many major acts perform there (Bowie, Rolling Stones, Kiss, Peter Frampton, Bob Dylan, Dire Straits, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple etc etc). My twin brother, David, had every ELO album and we thrashed them all for weeks before the show so we knew all the words and we sang along till we lost our voices. Am amazing first show for us all.
-Paul

I saw the unforgettable July 15, 1978, show with 62,000 others at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, Ohio, with opening acts Trickster, Foreigner and Journey. Heavily promoted and billed as a "world series of rock" event, my friends and I arrived at the stadium around noon. I don't recall the tickets costing more than $10 or 15 US. The whole show (with alot of waiting time in between acts) ended a bit before midnight as I recall. Of the opening acts, Foreigner easily stole the show with a big energetic performance, one month after their Double Vision release. ELO's massive space ship stage, well concealed prior to ELO going on, and the landing/opening/closing and lasers were truly quite a spectacle. We had seen lasers a year before at a Blue Oyster Cult show but not on the grand scale of ELO's show. Highlights were the opening Standin in the Rain, along with Mr Blue Sky, Do Ya, Strange Magic, and Hugh's stunning laser-accompanied cello solo. The set list and performance length were beyond our expectations and I don't recall any obvious production problems. This show was easily the high point of our teenage summer. Since rock shows have become overpriced affairs, live music fans have become more jaded, and just about every sound/light/visual stage gimmick has been done already, it seems unlikely that in the future any band could again stage a highly satisfying and unique "never seen that before" performance like ELO did that night.
-Ken from Pittsburgh

The show on August 16, 1978 in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, Dane County Coliseum, as an "A" show, i.e. they used the Spaceship Set. I was there and won't ever forget it. The local TV stations even filmed a few seconds of the shows opening for their newscasts.
-Brian L. Garrett

I was able to track down the date that I saw ELO in concert! It was Sept. 29, 1978 and I saw them at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, Maine. They used the spaceship set and I'll never forget the experience as the "ship" rumbled, the lights flashed, and it opened up to ELO jamming away.
-Steve from NY

I attended the Anaheim show in August [1978]--my first concert! As such we decided to party in a pickup truck across the street from the stadium all night the evening prior. About 2 a.m. in a semi-fog we wake up and see a huge spaceship flying through the night sky! Figured we had drank too many brews...but the next night during the show the huge inflatable craft, towed by helicopter, made its appearance and we all understood. The show opened with Trickster and Kingfish, both of whom put the audience to sleep. Then came Journey which rocked, and after a long, long delay in which the audience began to get antsy, Tony Curtis appeared with a laser gun and shot 'Star Wars'-era Storm Troopers off the huge speaker standards. Then he chanted 'E-L-O...E-L-O' till the stage opened up to reveal the flying saucer underneath...incredible...!
-Marcus Dietz

I was also at the show in Chicago for the "Out Of The Blue" Tour. I don't remember there being an open act for that show. You've got "Trickster" as the opener. From what I remember, the way that the stage was set up with the spaceship on there, there wasn't any room for an opening band. I could be mistaken, but that just doesn't ring a bell.
-Jack Bly

I remember this show fondly.I had great seats,(right next to stage in the old Garden "yellows" and was a major Move/Early ELO fan. Even though I was only 15 years old,I longed for the good old days of Roy Wood and the 10538 Overture. Back to the show, I was very impressed. At the prestigious Garden,of course this was a "Spaceship Show" and the band made the most of it. My standout memory is the Cello solo done with Hugh's hair back like a crazed Paganini belting out these great rock riffs on Cello. Amazing! Only down side and a Spinal Tap moment came when the entire PA shut down during one song,(can't remember the tune,it was 30 years ago). The ticket cost me 10 dollars which these days will buy you a soda at a concert. How things have changed. Great night, great band.
-John DiCosola

I attended the Sept. 11, 1978 performance at Buffalo, NY's Memorial Auditorium (known as "The Aud"), which is now in the process of being demolished. I do not recall the opening act.

I was thirteen years old at the time, and remember all of the hype leading up to the concert, including the frequent TV commercials. It was the perfect ending to a great, hot, summer. This was my first rock concert and hanging in the air was the pungent odor of a substance being smoked by attendees in the seats ahead of me.

I remember being blown away by the spray of green lasers and the opening and closing of the gigantic spaceship. I think I grinned throughout the show, and couldn’t seem to properly convey my excitement to my parents later that night. I worried that my ears would never stop ringing since I had not been exposed to anything that loud before. They finally did either the next evening or two days after the show.
-Paul Iorio


I saw the Stafford Bingley Hall show in June 1978 and was certain they played 'Jungle', I could be wrong it was a while ago, but I remember for the number Bev Bevan came to the front to sing and play tambourine.

It's interesting the mention of the use of backing tapes, the Stafford gig did sound a bit 'suspicious' at times...
-Ashley Haynes


I just wanted to let you know that Kingfish was the warm up act at the Sep 8th, 1978 show at Dayton (UD Arena).

One outstanding memory about that show: Me and the group of guys I was with were walking out to the car after the 2nd encore was over (thinking that the show was over). Suddenly we hear the first notes of "Roll Over Beethoven" and we run back in to see most of the extended jam. I'll bet they played almost 20 minutes on that final song. Awesome.

I remember Kelly doing a lot of personal interaction with the crowd, but Jeff very little. During Hugh's cello solo they focused a spinning lazer on the bottom half of his cello. Nice effect.
-Steve Jones


I attended the 12-Sept-1978 ELO concert in New Haven. It was (without question) held at the New Haven Veterans' Coliseum (which closed in 2002 and was demolished this past January; no loss, place was a dump). I don't remember a great deal of detail, it was long ago, but they did not use the space ship (the Coliseum didn't have room for it), it was probably the first time I ever saw lasers (certainly in an entertainment venue), and I enjoyed it a great deal (it was my first real rock concert -- I was 14). I do remember one solo -- sorry, I don't know the musicians by name -- played on a bass, with a laser dancing upon it. That was pretty cool. The opening band was Kingfisher or Mockingbird or something like that -- a bird name; they were forgettable.
-Thomas White

The first major concert I ever attended was the August '78 show in Chicago. To update your records: Trickster was the opening band. I recall one of the strings on Hugh's cello broke, and Mik filled with a short solo.
-Jim Evenson

i was only sixteen years old and had never been to a concert before . i went to wembley on monday june 12 my ticket cost 3.50 i still have the ticket. having never seen a laser in my life imagine what i was going through when that concert began .the most amasing night of my life. went home with windows open in the car and ootb blasting out , elo scarves attatched to the car ,tshirt on and programme held very closely.if i remember rightly fleetwood mac were also playing in london earls court the same night . little did i know that my mothers boyfriend would get tickets for thursday june 15 this time costing 4.25 and i would be there again.as sharon osbourne now says ,fabulous ,completing the most amasing week of my life up to that point.
-Mark Manley

The A tour hit Fort Worth TX at the Tarrant County Convention Center (TCCC) I was at sec 101 the show sold out the day of the show of 16,800. This was the talk of the town heavily promoted and I was 14 yrs old. There were Kiss fans there that were very impressed with the lasers, ship and band performance. I was in all. I also have photos but I used a flash and as you know it distorted the images I still have my ticket stub and The Big Night tour Program. The show went without a glitch, you could hear the tape in the background but you could also tell the band was in rare form as they rocked the night away. As they played the lasers would form ELO and different designs above the band and the lasers would shoot everywhere in the hall. The cello’s Hugh and Marvin with Mik were all over the stage and their Solo’s were UN surpassed. My 8.50 ticket was so well worth it I will never forget the show.
-William

I attended the concert in Ekeberghallen, Oslo, april 25th.I was only 15 years at the time, and together with three friends, i made the short trip to Oslo after school had finished.We were the only people outside the venue when the band arrived for soundcheck. They were signing autographs and chatted to us.I got the signatures from Jeff,Bev, Mik and Hugh and i still got them !Richard and Melvyn was not in a happy mood, but the others were ok.

I don`t recall much of the concert itself, but the lasers really made an impression on a young lad. I do remember the encore, "Roll over Beethoven" when it was completly chaos on stage.
-Pεl Nylend


I went to the Big Night Tour on September 23, 1978, at the Capital Center in Largo, MD. I was 16 and this was the first concert I had ever been to. The opening band was Trickster, and ELO did indeed use the spaceship set. We were so far back I had to use my mother's binoculars to see all the guys in addition to the TV-like screens posted above the stage. Tickets cost $7.70 each. I don't remember the setlist at all except that Standin' in the Rain and Night in the City were so loud, it was painful. I remember during Mr. Blue Sky, Hugh putting his hand on Jeff's shoulder during the line "Mr. Blue you did it right, But soon comes Mr. Night, Creepin' over, Now his hand is on your shoulder, Never mind....." and I thought it was incredibly cute (like I said, I was 16!). My ears hurt for days and days, but it was an unforgettable show. I wore my Big Night t-shirt for many years after that until I put it in a ziploc bag to save. I also still have the tour program and the ticket stub somewhere.
-Nancye Dudley

I saw the tour in Dortmund in '78. Trickster opened the show with Phil Bates on lead vocals. (personally they were poor). i recall (my first concert) We were sat in the pitch black for ages. Then u heard thunder and the sound of heavy rain. All of a sudden the arena was lit up by lasers everywhere as ELO opened the show with 'Standin' In The Rain' (Concerto For A Rainy Day). Of course they played all of their then current hits + most of OOTB. The spaceship was projected on a screen behind the band. i believe ELO were the FIRST band [but am not certain]- to use electric instruments with transmitters? they moved around the stage w/o getting tied up in wires/cables. The venue if i remember correctly was Halle 1 Dortmund. Mik Kaminski, Bev Bevan and Hugh McDowell all performed solos brilliantly i recall. A memorable experience!! i do still have the concert booklet somewhere.
-Del

I was lucky enough to attend one of the Philadelphia, PA (the Spectrum) shows on this tour, and I seem to recall the opening act was a Grateful Dead-related band from San Francisco known as "Kingfish" (Bob Weir, Matt Kelly, Dave Torbert, etc.) who released 2 albums in '77 & '78 on the Jet Records label.

I have been to many concerts since then, but the ELO "Out of the Blue" tour will always be one of my favorites.
-Bill


I went to this concert in June 1978 at the Empire Pool, Wembley - now known as the Wembley Arena.

It was the first concert I ever went to and, as I had just turned 15 at the time, it left a lasting impression with me. I'm sure I still have the ticket stub and program somewhere. If you want I will try to dig them out for you.

I can't remember much about the support act but I seem to recall the name Trickster (not Trixter) appearing on the ticket. I was amazed when I recently found out that Eric Troyer must have been in that band.

I had never seen a laser before that concert so the opening, with the smoke, lasers, spaceship etc was something really special.

Hugh's solo and Mik's solo also were surprises to me. Not sure that everyone else enjoyed them, but I did.

I don't remember anything going out of tune on the night I was there. I was also surprised when I later saw the concert on TV. Firstly for Tony Curtis's totally lame introduction. Thankfully he only appeared on the opening night and I was spared his "performance". Secondly, as on the TV version it was obvious that the original recordings were sometimes being played. I don't have any recollection of this on the night, except perhaps for some of the parts that were not possible to recreate live, as Queen used to do during Bohemian Rhapsody. I'm sure that if it had been like that at the concert I would have noticed and felt cheated.
-Mark Hewitt

Song Comments

Introduction By Tony Curtis

Introduction Theme
The Introduction Theme is actually an excerpt from a 1973 recording of the London Symphony Orchestra as conducted by Andrι Previn. The performance is of Benjamin Britten's Sinfonia da Requiem, Op. 20-- specifically, it excerpts the end of the first movement called Lacrymosa (Andante ben misurato). Layered over this music is synthesized keyboard to simulate the sounds of the spaceship landing and opening.

"[On the Out Of The Blue tour, the Introduction Theme was performed] only at spaceship concerts."
Patrik Guttenbacher, Marc Haines, & Alexander von Petersdorff (1996 Unexpected Messages)

Fire On High (Out Of The Blue Tour)
"In Japan, where they hadn't done any gigs before, they also played Fire On High instead of Standin' In The Rain."
Patrik Guttenbacher, Marc Haines, & Alexander von Petersdorff (1996 Unexpected Messages)

"Fire On High ([backup tapes were used for the] intro only, played before band on stage on selected dates) - 1:40"
Rob Caiger (July 20, 2003 - Showdown mailing list)

Standin' In The Rain (Wembley 1978)
"In Japan, where they hadn't done any gigs before, they also played Fire On High instead of Standin' In The Rain. On [the Out Of The Blue] tour they used the most pre-recorded basic tapes on stage. For Standin' In The Rain, Turn To Stone, Mr. Blue Sky and Sweet Talkin' Woman, the group was accompanied by strings, choir, piano, backing vocals, co-lead vocals (!), guitars and synthesizer sounds from the album..."
Patrik Guttenbacher, Marc Haines, & Alexander von Petersdorff (1996 Unexpected Messages)

"To cater for the limitations of the original TV broadcast [of the 1978 Wembley concert], the 24 track live recording was mixed down to one mono track. During the mix down, more of a back-up 'backing' tape was pushed up into the mix on some of the then new Out Of The Blue songs than was actually used at the live show. [...] Standin' In The Rain - is all live. The tape is playing in the background, to lesser or greater degrees depending on the show. What I remember from Wembley was a much heavier, rockier version, with the tape pushed up only for the special effects on the vocal echos (no sequencers or click tracks as bands use now). What you hear on the video is a studio mix for TV and not what was heard at the show."
Rob Caiger (March 30, 2002 - Showdown mailing list)

"Standin' In The Rain (complete song as back up, band playing and singing live)"
Rob Caiger (July 20, 2003 - Showdown mailing list)

Night In The City (Wembley 1978)
"Also from tape [during the Out Of The Blue tour] came the intros of Roll Over Beethoven and Night In The City."
Patrik Guttenbacher, Marc Haines, & Alexander von Petersdorff (1996 Unexpected Messages)

"To cater for the limitations of the original TV broadcast [of the 1978 Wembley concert], the 24 track live recording was mixed down to one mono track. During the mix down, more of a back-up 'backing' tape was pushed up into the mix on some of the then new Out Of The Blue songs than was actually used at the live show. [...] Night In The City was all live except for the second echo'd 'city' which was added later during the mixdown."
Rob Caiger (March 30, 2002 - Showdown mailing list)

"There were also a couple of minor repairs made in the studio to a few songs. Night In The City - which everyone cites as being totally live - has a studio overdub. Listen closely to the second 'higher' and 'city'. Jeff and Kelly are still singing the first part and are physically unable to get to the second part. Night In The City ([backup tapes were used for the] intro only which band played along to) - 17 seconds"
Rob Caiger (July 20, 2003 - Showdown mailing list)

"...the high 'city' parts of Night In The City [were not pre-recorded but overdubbed after the fact]."
Rob Caiger (April 1, 2006 - Showdown mailing list)

Turn To Stone (Wembley 1978)
"On [the Out Of The Blue] tour they used the most pre-recorded basic tapes on stage. For Standin' In The Rain, Turn To Stone, Mr. Blue Sky and Sweet Talkin' Woman, the group was accompanied by strings, choir, piano, backing vocals, co-lead vocals (!), guitars and synthesizer sounds from the album..."
Patrik Guttenbacher, Marc Haines, & Alexander von Petersdorff (1996 Unexpected Messages)

"To cater for the limitations of the original TV broadcast [of the 1978 Wembley concert], the 24 track live recording was mixed down to one mono track. During the mix down, more of a back-up 'backing' tape was pushed up into the mix on some of the then new Out Of The Blue songs than was actually used at the live show. [...] Turn To Stone - was performed totally live at Wembley. Again, a tape was ready, playing in the background, but aside from a few seconds at the start of the song on the count-in, was pulled out completely at the concert."
Rob Caiger (March 30, 2002 - Showdown mailing list)

"Turn To Stone ([backup tapes were used for] count-in and partial song as back up, band playing and singing live)"
Rob Caiger (July 20, 2003 - Showdown mailing list)

Eldorado Overture (Out Of The Blue Tour)
"In Japan, where they hadn't done any gigs before, they... added Eldorado Overture."
Patrik Guttenbacher, Marc Haines, & Alexander von Petersdorff (1996 Unexpected Messages)

Can't Get It Out Of My Head (Out Of The Blue Tour)

Hugh's Cello Solo/Flight Of The Bumblebee (Out Of The Blue Tour)
This song is known only to have been played live. No known studio recording exists.

"When Jeff Lynne introduced the cello soloist with halting professionalism, he said, 'This is the best bit of cello playing you'll here in, uh, any business.' He was, on second thoughts, right."
Red Symons (February 10, 1978 - Weekender (Australian newspaper) review of Melbourne concert)

"Nor did I object strongly to the boring solo cello and violin pieces from Hugh McDowell and Mik Kaminski respectively."
Harry Doherty (June 10, 1978 - Melody Maker)

"It's not often that one of the highlights of a rock and roll concert is a cello solo. But that was the case Monday night at the Myriad, where thousands of fans stood and cheered Electric Light Orchestra's cellist Hugh McDowell."
Bruce Westbrook (July 5, 1978 - The Oklahoman review of Oklahoma City concert)

"McDowell's was the most interesting interlude, not particularly because of his playing, but because of the ever-changing green laser designs projected on his white cello as he played."
Carl Diltz (August 20, 1978 - St. Paul Pioneer Press concert review)

"Hugh's solo theme was Flight Of The Bumblebee by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakoff in which Kelly joined in on bass."
Patrik Guttenbacher, Marc Haines, & Alexander von Petersdorff (1996 Unexpected Messages)

Tightrope (Wembley 1978)
"Tightrope ([backup tapes were used for] orchestral intro only which band played along to) - 1:05"
Rob Caiger (July 20, 2003 - Showdown mailing list)

Telephone Line (Wembley 1978)
"[The band's songs] were played exquisitely too, with Showdown, Evil Women [sic], Livin' Thing and Telephone Line once more demonstrating Lynne's incredible resilience at pure pop penmanship."
Harry Doherty (June 10, 1978 - Melody Maker)

Rockaria! (Wembley 1978)
"When the first strains of Rockaria [sic] hit the stadium we marvel at the way the sound of an operatic female soprano is being produced from the stage. Trained by the film clip we look high to the left of the stage for a Valkyrie. But no. Ah! Now I see the bass player has his mouth to a mike, must be him."
Red Symons (February 10, 1978 - Weekender (Australian newspaper) review of Melbourne concert)

"Bassist Kelly Groucutt's feeble attempt at a cover-up by imitating the opera singer's voice on Rockaria [sic] really was hysterical."
Harry Doherty (June 10, 1978 - Melody Maker)

"Kelly Groucutt sang the opera part of Rockaria! [on the Out Of The Blue tour]"
Patrik Guttenbacher, Marc Haines, & Alexander von Petersdorff (1996 Unexpected Messages)

Mik's Violin Solo/In The Hall Of The Mountain King/Hungarian Dance No. 5 (Out Of The Blue Tour)
This song is known only to have been played live. No known studio recording exists.

"Nor did I object strongly to the boring solo cello and violin pieces from Hugh McDowell and Mik Kaminski respectively."
Harry Doherty (June 10, 1978 - Melody Maker)

+ "Mik's new solo theme was Hungarian Dance No. 5 by Johannes Brahms with drums and bass joining in. On other occasions he played Orange Blossom Special by E.T. Rousse and sometimes a violin version in his solo of In The Hall Of The Mountain King by Edvard Grieg."
Patrik Guttenbacher, Marc Haines, & Alexander von Petersdorff (1996 Unexpected Messages)

Wild West Hero (Wembley 1978)
"[On the Out Of The Blue tour, Wild West Hero was performed] only in Great Britain."
Patrik Guttenbacher, Marc Haines, & Alexander von Petersdorff (1996 Unexpected Messages)

"There were three voices [doing harmony the Wembley concert version of Wild West Hero], the third being Jake Commander, monitor technician, engineer, producer, guitarist and singer, standing slightly behind Richard's piano and hidden in the gloom. He was bought in specifically to sing on Wild West Hero and went on to provide more vocal backing on other songs as the tour progressed."
Rob Caiger (November 25, 2002 - Showdown mailing list)

"The first line of Wild West Hero is also repaired [in the studio during post production] as it was fluffed on the night. Monitor engineer Jake Commander is also singing live, unlit on stage by Richard's keyboards but providing a third harmony and backing vocal."
Rob Caiger (July 20, 2003 - Showdown mailing list)

Strange Magic (Out Of The Blue Tour)
In this live performance, Bev Bevan stepped out from behind the drums to stand in the front of the stage playing tambourine and singing backup/harmony vocals.

"Bassist Kelly Groucutt sang consistently impressive harmonies, especially for Strange Magic and the joyous Sweet Talkin' Woman."
Bruce Westbrook (July 5, 1978 - The Oklahoman review of Oklahoma City concert)

"To fans of Do Ya, Evil Woman, Livin' Thing and Strange Magic, it was an evening of pure delight. [...] The quietest moment of the evening was lead guitarist and vocalist Jeff Lynne's rendition of Strange Magic with Bevan playing only tambourine."
Carl Diltz (August 20, 1978 - St. Paul Pioneer Press concert review)

Showdown (Wembley 1978)
"[The band's songs] were played exquisitely too, with Showdown, Evil Women [sic], Livin' Thing and Telephone Line once more demonstrating Lynne's incredible resilience at pure pop penmanship."
Harry Doherty (June 10, 1978 - Melody Maker)

1 Minute Talk

Sweet Talkin' Woman (Wembley 1978)
Jeff Lynne flubs a couple of lyrics on this recording. During the first verse, Jeff sings "I was askin', for a chance to meet" (rather than the correct lyric of "I was hopin'"). Apparently he confused the lyric and started to sing the line "I was askin' everybody I meet" from the last verse. Also, on the third line from the first verse, "I was waitin' for the operator on the line", Jeff gets a bit ahead of himself and says the "on" of "on the line" a bit early. On the video of the performance, Jeff clearly realizes that he's screwing it up as he looks sideways at Kelly Groucutt in annoyance.

"Bassist Kelly Groucutt sang consistently impressive harmonies, especially for Strange Magic and the joyous Sweet Talkin' Woman."
Bruce Westbrook (July 5, 1978 - The Oklahoman review of Oklahoma City concert)

"On [the Out Of The Blue] tour they used the most pre-recorded basic tapes on stage. For Standin' In The Rain, Turn To Stone, Mr. Blue Sky and Sweet Talkin' Woman, the group was accompanied by strings, choir, piano, backing vocals, co-lead vocals (!), guitars and synthesizer sounds from the album..."
Patrik Guttenbacher, Marc Haines, & Alexander von Petersdorff (1996 Unexpected Messages)

"To cater for the limitations of the original TV broadcast [of the 1978 Wembley concert], the 24 track live recording was mixed down to one mono track. During the mix down, more of a back-up 'backing' tape was pushed up into the mix on some of the then new Out Of The Blue songs than was actually used at the live show. [...] Sweet Talkin' Woman - as Turn To Stone [performed totally live at Wembley a tape was playing in the background] but[the backup tape was] pushed up as the strings lost their tuning mid-song."
Rob Caiger (March 30, 2002 - Showdown mailing list)

"Sweet Talkin' Woman ([backup tapes were used for the] complete song as back up, band playing and singing live)"
Rob Caiger (July 20, 2003 - Showdown mailing list)

Evil Woman (Out Of The Blue Tour)
"[The band's songs] were played exquisitely too, with Showdown, Evil Women [sic], Livin' Thing and Telephone Line once more demonstrating Lynne's incredible resilience at pure pop penmanship."
Harry Doherty (June 10, 1978 - Melody Maker)

"To fans of Do Ya, Evil Woman, Livin' Thing and Strange Magic, it was an evening of pure delight."
Carl Diltz (August 20, 1978 - St. Paul Pioneer Press concert review)

"A brilliant performance of Evil Woman didn't even make the TV broadcast [of the Wembley concert] as during the string break, the [strings] went completely out of tune. It was so painful that sliding fingernails down a chalk board wouldn't even come close...."
Rob Caiger (July 20, 2003 - Showdown mailing list)

Mr. Blue Sky (Wembley 1978)
"Mr. Blue Sky was left out [of the Japanese concerts performed on the Out Of The Blue tour]. On [the Out Of The Blue] tour they used the most pre-recorded basic tapes on stage. For Standin' In The Rain, Turn To Stone, Mr. Blue Sky and Sweet Talkin' Woman, the group was accompanied by strings, choir, piano, backing vocals, co-lead vocals (!), guitars and synthesizer sounds from the album..."
Patrik Guttenbacher, Marc Haines, & Alexander von Petersdorff (1996 Unexpected Messages)

"To cater for the limitations of the original TV broadcast [of the 1978 Wembley concert], the 24 track live recording was mixed down to one mono track. During the mix down, more of a back-up 'backing' tape was pushed up into the mix on some of the then new Out Of The Blue songs than was actually used at the live show. [...] Mr. Blue Sky - [the backup tape] kicks in on the choir."
Rob Caiger (March 30, 2002 - Showdown mailing list)

"Mr. Blue Sky ([backup tapes were used for] complete song as back up, band playing and singing live)"
Rob Caiger (July 20, 2003 - Showdown mailing list)

Do Ya (Wembley 1978)
"To fans of Do Ya, Evil Woman, Livin' Thing and Strange Magic, it was an evening of pure delight. [...] Do Ya, a Move song redone by ELO, was the best tune they did, coming at the end of the concert. Bassist Kelly Groucutt sang and Lynne pounded out power chords that rocked the rafters (here, at least, his playing cut through the 'orchestra')."
Carl Diltz (August 20, 1978 - St. Paul Pioneer Press concert review)

Livin' Thing (Wembley 1978)
"[The band's songs] were played exquisitely too, with Showdown, Evil Women [sic], Livin' Thing and Telephone Line once more demonstrating Lynne's incredible resilience at pure pop penmanship."
Harry Doherty (June 10, 1978 - Melody Maker)

"To fans of Do Ya, Evil Woman, Livin' Thing and Strange Magic, it was an evening of pure delight."
Carl Diltz (August 20, 1978 - St. Paul Pioneer Press concert review)

Ma-Ma-Ma Belle (Out Of The Blue Tour)

Roll Over Beethoven (Wembley 1978)
"It was all brought to an end, wouldn't you know, with a raucous and utterly carefree version of Roll Over Beethoven."
Harry Doherty (June 10, 1978 - Melody Maker)

"The show's two lengthy encores were its finest moments, especially the thrilling, pull-out-the-stops finale of Roll Over Beethoven. Though the crowd clamored for more, ELO had given all it had in that number, and it was a fitting conclusion."
Bruce Westbrook (July 5, 1978 - The Oklahoman review of Oklahoma City concert)

"The band's second and final encore, Roll Over Beethoven said it all. The song is a fusion of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony and Chuck Berry's rock 'n' roll hit, all with a '70s-era shine. Ludwig von B. would have loved the hair-standing finale, one of the best the arena has ever hosted. The band, equipped with wireless electric instruments, was all over that stage as thin green laser beams streaked everywhere. There was no need for a third encore. It would have been anticlamtic. [...] Near the end of Roll Over Beethoven McDowell and Melvyn Gales [sic], the band's other cellist, tossed their bows aside and played their instruments guitar-style."
Zach Dunkin (1978 August 15 - The Indianapolis Star)

"Called by for two encores, ELO finished the job with a muddy blast of Roll Over Beethoven that did sorry injustice to the song, but including the most exciting laser effects of the show. Green beams flashed in sync with the music in a dazzling diplay of assymetrical patterns."
Carl Diltz (August 20, 1978 - St. Paul Pioneer Press concert review)

"Also from tape [during the Out Of The Blue tour] came the intros of Roll Over Beethoven and Night In The City. Melvyn played piano with Richard again during the Roll Over Beethoven solo part."
Patrik Guttenbacher, Marc Haines, & Alexander von Petersdorff (1996 Unexpected Messages)

"Roll Over Beethoven ([backup tapes were used for the] intro only) - 17 seconds"
Rob Caiger (July 20, 2003 - Showdown mailing list)

"On Roll Over Beethoven [in concert] we used to do verse and verse about; someone does a verse and gets a rest on the next one."
Kelly Groucutt (March 3, 2006 - Guitar & Bass magazine)

Outroduction Theme
The Outroduction Theme is a repeat of the Introduction Theme excerpt from a 1973 recording of the London Symphony Orchestra as conducted by Andrι Previn, with prerecorded keyboard sounds to simulate the sounds of the spaceship closing and taking off.

"[On the Out Of The Blue tour, the Outroduction Theme was performed] only at spaceship-shows."
Patrik Guttenbacher, Marc Haines, & Alexander von Petersdorff (1996 Unexpected Messages)

"[Backup tapes were used for] Spaceship closing music and effects (band offstage) - 4 mins"
Rob Caiger (July 20, 2003 - Showdown mailing list)


This page is intended to be a complete record of information on the Electric Light Orchestra Out Of The Blue tour. If you notice any errors or omissions, please contact me at elofan@juno.com and let me know. I strive for accuracy.

Robert Porter
September 2014