These shows mark The Middle East's first concerts in four years and their first gigs outside Australia in 14 years.
The Middle East are returning to touring in March 2024, hitting the road to open for American country music star Zach Bryan, who just released his new self-titled album on Friday (25 August).
The announcement arrived after the Townsville indie folk outfit suddenly changed their profile picture on their social media platforms, leading fans to comment, “And a million hearts skipped a beat”, “Just checked to make sure it’s not April 1”, “Please, get back together” and an abundance of excited gifs.
“The Middle East are returning to the U.S.A. this spring, dusting off the stage before Zach Bryan on his Quittin’ Time Tour,” the band wrote on Facebook this morning (29 August), accompanying the tour poster that shows them touring with Bryan from March through to May 2024.
“We happen to be the bees knees at quitting. Tickets on sale Friday 8th September. See you soon.”
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In an attempt to explain the band’s sudden split, fans and music media contributed to murmurs of an inherent dysfunction that lurked under the shiny surface of movie credits and big-name endorsements.
However, The Middle East’s Jordan Ireland was far more self-deprecating in a September 2019 interview with The Music. “It was probably more just me and my not really feeling like I resonated with the music industry. I didn't really know how to find a pathway through all of that and through all the nonsense that comes with [it],” he said.
The Middle East released their first and only album, I Want That You Are Always Happy, in April 2011. The album debuted at #11 on the ARIA Albums Chart and stayed on the chart for a further five weeks, resulting in the Album Of The Year win at the 2011 Queensland Music Awards.
Blood, from the band’s 2009 debut EP, The Recordings Of The Middle East, found newfound fame after Gang Of Youths covered it on triple j’s Like A Version.
The Middle East played their final show at Splendour In The Grass in 2011. That is, until eight years later, when they were added to the 2019 Vivid LIVE line-up, headlined Brisbane Festival, and played a one-off show in Melbourne in January 2020.
Opening for Zach Bryan will be The Middle East’s first shows in four years – lucky American fans. The gigs also mark The Middle East’s first concerts outside of Australia in 14 years.