Anniversary, Tour Dates — May 14, 2018 at 9:51 pm

The Church to celebrate 30th anniversary of ‘Starfish’ on fall North American tour

The Church is plotting a return to North America this October with a tour celebrating the 30th anniversary of Starfish, the band’s fifth album — which, in 1988, broke the Aussie rockers in the United States, thanks to radio and MTV hits “Under the Milky Way” and “Reptile.”

Though the tour hasn’t formally been announced, we’ve been able to confirm 20 dates advertised as Starfish 30th Anniversary concerts in the U.S. and Canada via venue and ticketing websites.

A poster advertising one of the concerts says the band will be “playing the entirety of their classic, ground-breaking album Starfish and a selection of band and fan favorites.”

The trek opens with The Church performing Starfish at the Music Tastes Good festival in Long Beach, Calif., on Sept. 30, then continues Oct. 1 in San Francisco through Oct. 26 in New York City, and includes two-night stands in Seattle and New York, as well as three Canadian concerts. It’s not known if this is this the full itinerary, or whether more dates will be announced.

The Church released Starfish in February 1988, with first single “Under the Milky Way” breaking into the U.S. Top 40, peaking at No. 24 on that chart and No. 2 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. The follow-up single, “Reptile,” hit No. 27 on Mainstream Rock Tracks. The album did even better in the band’s native Australia, reaching as high as No. 7 on the album charts.

However, the Church lineup that recorded Starfish no longer exists. Drummer Richard Ploog left in 1990, while Marty Wilson-Piper parted ways with the band in 2013; the current lineup features drummer Tim Powles and guitarist Ian Haug in their places.

See full dates — and hear “Under the Milky Way” and “Reptile” — below.


The Church ‘Starfish’ 30th Anniverary Tour dates:

Sept. 30: Music Tastes Good Festival, Long Beach, CA
Oct. 1: The Chapel, San Francisco, CA
Oct. 3: Aladdin Theater, Portland, OR
Oct. 4: The Fox Cabaret, Vancouver, BC
Oct. 5: The Triple Door, Seattle, WA
Oct. 6: The Triple Door, Seattle, WA
Oct. 9: Belly Up, Aspen, CO
Oct. 11: The Fox Theatre, Boulder, CO
Oct. 12: Washington’s FoCo, Fort Collins, CO
Oct. 14: recordBar, Kansas City, MO
Oct. 15: Turf Club, St. Paul, MN
Oct. 16: Turner Hall Ballroom, Milwaukee, WI
Oct. 17: Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL
Oct. 19: Beachland, Ballroom, Cleveland, OH
Oct. 20: Horseshoe Tavery, Toronto, ON
Oct. 21: Cafe Campus, Montreal, QC
Oct. 23: The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA
Oct. 24: World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, PA
Oct. 25: City Winery, New York City, NY
Oct. 26: City Winery, New York City, NY







  1. Be really cool if they’d polish off the set with selections from Hologram of Baal, since it’s also an anniversary year for that record (20) and they’re already dusting it off for their upcoming London shows.

  2. Andrew Boe

    Agreed. I would much rather see a Hologram of Baal show than Starfish. Hopefully, one of the Seattle concerts will be that instead.

  3. 30 years? Damn, I feel old.

  4. What about “Spark”? :(

    • Been wondering that. Has it even been in any setlists since 2013?

      • Not sure. “Field of Mars” has been performed since Marty left, so I’d guess “Spark” wouldn’t be off limits. Seems so wrong for Steve to sing it, though–as much as I love this band and have gotten over Marty’s departure (I think!). Maybe an instrumental with the crowd filling in for Marty is the best answer–next to Marty pulling a Nigel Tufnel and surprising us all. :)

  5. not sure, but remember that Jeffrey Cain has been touring with the band for some time, taking the role of 5th man/multi instrumentalist (after Craig Wilson), so maybe he can have his turn at singing it?

  6. The new album is really good, and Ian Haug seems like a really nice guy. I will say, however, that that very special guitar interplay ✨magic that Marty Willson-Piper had with Peter Koppes was notably absent when I saw them live last time. I don‘t know how to feel about this…

    • I’d say they’re batting 1-for-2 without MWP. Further/Deeper was ambitious and surprisingly good, one of the best Church records ever. Whereas the most recent one should have been titled Man Woman Life Death Inconsequence — eminently forgettable. Half the songs were paint-by-numbers at best.

      That said, the performance I saw with Cain last fall was ace. An excellent Church show, and I’ve seen many.

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