Reunions — May 25, 2018 at 10:14 pm

The The plays first show in 16 years, opens ‘Comeback Special’ with career-spanning set

Matt Johnson debuted the 2018 incarnation of The The on Friday night, playing a 24-song, career-spanning set to open the first of three warm-up gigs for the highly anticipated Comeback Special tour — a show that marked The The’s first live performance in 16 years.

Johnson was joined three members of past The The lineups — James Eller on bass, DC Collard on keyboards and Earl Harvin on drums — plus new member Barrie Cadogan on guitar.

We’ve not yet seen any clips from the performance at the Rescue Rooms in Notthingham, England, as fans were asked not to shoot photos or video of the concert, though we have assembled some photos we’ve been able to round up on social media below. Check that out, along with the full setlist from tonight’s gig.

The The’s set was heaviest on material from 1992’s Dusk, with seven songs represented. Johnson and Co. also played three songs apiece off 1983’s Soul Mining, 1986’s Infected, 1989’s Mind Bomb and 2000’s Nakedself. Also in the set: two songs from Johnson’s 1981 solo debut Burning Blue Soul, the B-side/compilation track “Flesh and Bones” and the new song “We Can’t Stop What’s Coming.”

The band plays again Saturday night in Nottingham and then in Leeds on Sunday before moving on to the proper tour, including festival dates and a trio of shows in London next month.

See full tour dates below.


Setlist: The The, Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, UK, 5/25/18

1. “Global Eyes”
2. “Sweet Bird of Truth”
3. “Flesh and Bones”
4. “Heartland”
5. “The Beat(en) Generation”
6. “Armageddon Days Are Here (Again)”
7. “Inertia”
8. “We Can’t Stop What’s Coming”
9. “Phantom Walls”
10. “Love Is Stronger Than Death”
11. “Dogs of Lust”
12. “Helpline Operator”
13. “This Is the Night”
14. “This Is the Day”
15. “Soul Catcher”
16. “Bugle Boy”
17. “Beyond Love”
18. “Slow Emotion Replay”
19. “(Like a Sun) Rising Thru My Garden”
20. “Infected”
21. “I’ve Been Waitin’ for Tomorrow (All of My Life)”

22. “True Happiness This Way Lies”
23. “Uncertain Smile”
24. “Lonely Planet”




A post shared by Neil Tolliday / Nail ⚫🎶 (@nail89ghost) on


The The, first gig in 16 years? #thethe #reacueroomsnottingham

A post shared by Simon Mackenzie (@simonmackenzie1) on


🗣 “Programs! Programs! Come get your programs!” #thethe #thethecomebackspecial

A post shared by Hunter Tom (@funtimeswithtom) on






The The tour dates:

May 25: Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, UK
May 26: Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, UK
May 27: Becketts Student Union, Leeds, UK
June 1: Heartland Festival, Egeskov Castle, Denmark
June 2: Münchenbryggeriet, Stockholm, Sweden
June 5: Royal Albert Hall, London, UK
June 6: Brixton Academy, London, UK
June 7: Troxy, London, UK
July 6: Mandela Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland
July 7: Iveagh Gardens, Dublin, Ireland
Sept. 3: Newcastle University Student Union, Newcastle, UK
Sept. 4: Barrowlands, Glasgow, UK
Sept. 5: Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, UK
Sept. 7: Digbeth Arena, Birmingham, UK
Sept. 8: Festival No. 6, Portmeirion, UK
Sept. 9: St. Philip’s Gate Arena, Bristol, UK

Sept. 14: Orpheum Theare, Boston, MA
Sept. 16: Brooklyn Steel, Brooklyn, NY
Sept. 17: Beacon Theater, New York, NY
Sept. 19: Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, Toronto, ON
Sept. 21: Royal Oak Music Theatre, Royal Oak, MI
Sept. 22: Riviera Theatre, Chicago, IL
Sept. 24: Ford Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
Sept. 27: The Masonic, San Francisco, CA





  1. I can’t wait. Boston!

  2. Andrew Boe

    Absolutely brilliant. I am glad that they played a few songs from Burning Blue Soul, too.

  3. Royal Oak! Yes! Must find a way to get to that show!

  4. According to, they are playing Sept 25 in LA at the Hollywood Palladium, as well.

  5. Lio garzia

    I am so happy for Matt for doing what he Loves and sharing that with us.this really is a loney planet?but with his music were never alone!…….Lio G houstone,tx

  6. i wonder if we’ll get strictly kev as support in nor/am as well

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