The 13th Anniversary Show(1985)
OverviewDatesReleased Recordings


The Mole Show tour was such an emotional and financial fiasco, The Residents swore they'd never tour again. The losses incurred by taking a huge show on the road for six weeks were threatening the on-going existence of Ralph Records, consequently the band turned its focus back to recording. Distancing themselves from the Mole debacle, they moved toward the relative safety of The American Composer Series, then, following the success of George and James, eased back into the Mole Trilogy with The Big Bubble. Both albums sold well, especially in Japan, consequently the Wave store, the huge music marketing arm of the Seibu department store chain, offered the group several dates in Japan as part of the store's 5th Anniversary celebration. But, with the Mole Show nightmare still mocking their memories, The Residents initially refused. Consequently, Wave offered to cover all their expenses -- air fare, hotel, performance costs, and shipping - in addition to a generous fee - and the 13th Anniversary Show was born.

But they hadn't forgotten the Mole Show. Mindful of the bitter medicine they absorbed, The Residents went in a new and different direction, creating an elegant and economical production. No huge sets, gigantic props, and no theatrical concept. Spotlighting Snakefinger, their favorite collaborator, the band created the 13th Anniversary tour as a retrospective of their work, featuring live performances of some of their best-known music.

Not only have some called it their best tour, but the album was included on several all time "best" live album lists.