Highest Grossing Rock Tours of 2014
Billboard recently published a list of the 25 biggest tours of 2014, based on total gross figures, number of attendees, and number of shows played. It’s been another stellar year for live music, even though the numbers for 2014 can’t compete with the enormous increase in revenue for live music between 2012, and 2013. Billboard report that the total gross increased by 3.4 percent in the US due to higher ticket prices, while there was a global decrease of 3.8 percent. What is most apparent when you look at the entire top 25 list is the diversity of the artists represented. Rock bands used to dominate these types of lists, but now see strong competition from pop acts as well as country music. That’s not to say there aren’t quite a few rockers on the list - roughly a third of the 25 acts. So lets take a look at the most successful rock tours of 2014!
Rolling Stones (#3)
Just like last year, the Rolling Stones find themselves high up on the list. With only 21 shows, the veteran rockers found themselves at number three of the highest grossing tours of 2014. The reason why the Stones place near the top is directly related to the enormously high ticket prices to their recent tours. The band and their managers know they appeal to an older audience with the financial means to pay big money for a ticket. Many people (myself included) also took the chance to catch the Stones at what might be their last touring cycle, although that’s been said about the band for the past twenty years. The band grossed over $143 million, and played to more than 780,000 fans.
With 70 shows played, and a gross total of nearly $128 million, Eagles come in at number four on the list, right behind the Stones. With almost fifty concerts more than Mick & Co, but barely 200,000 more attendees, it’s clear that the legendary rockers played arenas and not stadiums like the Stones. The band’s recent tour included an impressive six-night stand at the newly renovated Forum in Inglewood, CA.
Paul McCartney (#6)
Sir Paul had a bit of a rough year, having to cancel a tour of Japan, and postponing some of his US dates after coming down with a virus. But Mace recovered and completed the tour, which contained a gig at Candlestick Park in San Francisco - the last ever concert to be held at the classic venue. The tour grossed $107 million, and saw the former Beatle playing to over 754,000 fans spread over 29 shows.
Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band (#13)
Springsteen has become a touring machine over the past decade, and 2014 was no exception. Equipped with his latest album, High Hopes, Springsteen headed out on the road once more. Over the course of 32 shows the Boss grossed almost $65 million, and played to over half a million fans. Bruce keeps his fans coming back for more year after year by playing three hour shows with 30 song set lists that he changes up every night.
Bon Jovi (#23)
Last year Bon Jovi was at the top of this list. But with only nine shows Jon and the boys still managed to sneak on to number 23, with a total gross of nearly $42 million, playing to 320,000 fans at the tail end of their Because We Can Tour. It should be noted here that those nine shows actually took place in December 2013, but the list is compiled of shows in the span December 2013 - November 2014.
Dave Matthews Band (#24)
Dave Matthews Band had their work cut out for them on their most recent outing, taking on the job as both opening act, and main act! The night would start with an acoustic “warm up” gig, followed by a full electric show from Dave and his bandmates. The band grossed $38.6 million over 44 shows and played to 683,000 fans.
Pearl Jam (#25)
Eddie Vader and his Seattle cohorts sneak on to the list at number 25. The rockers were out on the road in support of their latest album, the excellent Lightning Bolt. The band played 31 shows to 529,000 fans, but grossed “only” around $38 million. This is by no means a bad thing - Pearl Jam have long been champions of trying to keep ticket prices down, a commendable commitment from a band of their size, which shows how much they value the support of their fans.