With the 1991 summer concert season winding down -- the worst stretch for touring acts in more than a decade -- some bands that found themselves packing up and heading home to lick their wounds two months ago now must pick up the pieces and try again.
For Cinderella, a Philadelphia band that has had three consecutive platinum albums, the trauma from getting sent home four weeks ago in the midst of a failed tour with David Lee Roth has been mild.
"We did better than a lot of bands," said lead singer/songwriter Tom Keifer, whose band will play Hammerjacks tonight in the first of nine club dates to warm up for a 10-date tour of Japan at the end of the month.
"We've been on the road since January and we hung on as long as we could," said Keifer. "The strange part has been how inconsistent it's been. Some nights were great, some were average and some weren't so good. No one knew what was going on.
"We went into cities where we had a Top 5 album in the market and the radio stations were playing us but it didn't translate into good ticket sales," he said. "Strange is the only way I can describe it."
The hardest part for most of the failed touring acts is deciding what to when they return from Japan.
Cinderella will assess the situation the first week of October.
"We might go back on the road or we might start writing songs for the next album," Keifer said. "It depends on what the market says."
He said he usually spends the end of year-long tours writing material for the next album, but this tour for "Heartbreak Station" wasn't long enough for him to get started.
"It usually takes me six months to recuperate on the road from doing all the work on the last album," he said. "I don't force it. I wait for ideas. They're finally starting to come now."
The concert calendar:
Also coming to Hammerjacks, Kix (tomorrow and Saturday), Front 242 (Sunday), Tuff (Sept. 12), Bulletboys (Sept. 13), Cheap Trick (Sept. 19), The Connells and King Missile (Sept. 20), Big Audio Dynamite (Sept. 22), School of Fish and House of Freaks (Sept. 28) and Hoodoo Gurus (Sept. 29).
Max's On Broadway has Betty (tonight), Innocence Mission (Sept. 12), John and Mary (Sept. 19) and Allan Holdsworth (Oct. 3).
The Naval Academy's Alumni Hall in Annapolis will host its first major show with Foreigner (Sept. 13). Tickets go on sale Monday and can be purchased by calling (800) 874-6289.
Merriweather Post Pavilion has three shows remaining on its schedule: Sting (Sept. 18), Barbara Mandrell with The Starland Vocal Band and The Hard Travelers (Sept. 20) and Tommy James and The Shondells with Johnny Rivers, The Buckinghams and Sam Moore (Sept. 21).
The Capital Centre hosts Luther Vandross (Sept. 17 and 18) and Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers and Chris Whitley (Sept. 24).
The Baltimore Arena welcomes ZZ Top and Extreme (Sept. 14).
Steeltown has Blues Traveler (Sunday), The Radiators (Sept. 25), The Mighty Lemon Drops (Oct. 8) and The Village People (Oct. 4).