The Outfield’s Tony Lewis calls his band’s first tour in 14 years bittersweet.
It’s the first tour without guitarist John Spinks, who died in 2014 after a battle with liver cancer.
“A tour without John is going to be quite strange,” Lewis says.
The Outfield is part of the Retro Futura tour that comes to Casino Del Sol’s AVA Amphitheater at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, July 29.
The Outfield’s debut album, Play Deep, reached triple platinum and the song “Your Love” peaked at No. 6. More than 30 years later, “Your Love” continues to be successful as it is played an average of 1 million times per week on Spotify. The single has also been featured on various TV spots including recent episodes of The Goldbergs and Family Guy and a long-running Bounce commercial, airing since 2014.
Lewis says life has been rough without Spinks. His bandmate’s death led to a four-year hiatus from music. Lewis’ wife inspired him to write and record music again.
“I went to the studio and put down bass, guitar and drum tracks,” he says. “After a couple months, I had some really good backing tracks, but I was struggling lyrically. My wife helped me out.”
Lewis gave the CD to a friend and the rest of history. The 12-song Out of the Darkness was released in June. It features the lead single “Into the Light.”
At the Tucson show, fans can expect to hear hits like “Your Love” and “Say It Isn’t So.”
“If I wanted to see Sting, I’d want to hear Police songs,” Lewis says about his choice to play hits.
“That’s the same attitude I have toward my stuff. People want to hear ‘Your Love.’ It’s their anthem. John and I wrote it in 20 minutes. I still have the original lyrics sheet.”
Returning to Arizona brings back fond memories for Lewis.
“I remember John and I did a show in Phoenix,” he says. “We did a soundcheck and then we played tennis in the back of our hotel. We were pretty bored, so we played for two hours.
“A half hour into the first hour, it rained. We were going to carry on. We played for two hours.”
America has been good to The Outfield. Lewis admits he’s not that big of a baseball fan, but he has visited ballparks across the United States.
“I don’t really understand it,” Lewis admits. “The event for me is bigger than the sport itself. I like the hot dogs and the beer. It’s quite food. There’s a good family atmosphere at the games, which I like.”
Retro Futura Tour 2018 featuring Belinda Carlisle, ABC, Modern English, Tony Lewis from The Outfield, Kajagoogoo’s Limahl and Bow Wow Wow’s Annabella, Casino del Sol’s AVA Amphitheater, 5655 W. Valencia Road, Tucson, casinodelsol.com, 7 p.m. Sunday, July 29, $25-$144.