Hard rock group Bon Jovi was the only North American musical concert tour to gross more than $100 million in 2010 ($108.2 million), according to [pdf] data from PollStar. The veteran “hair metal” band outgrossed the number two North American act, former Pink Floyd vocalist/bassist Roger Waters, by almost $20 million ($89.5 million).
Rock of Ages
Many of the top 10 North American concert acts have been around for a while. While three acts launched in the 1990s (Dave Matthews Band, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and Black Eyed Peas) three also first became known in the 1960s (Waters, McCartney, and Carole King/James Taylor). The Eagles took flight in the 1970s and Bon Jovi debuted in the 1980s, while only two began their careers in the past decade: Michael Buble and Lady Gaga.
It’s a Guy Thing
A majority of the top 10 tours for 2010 feature male solo performers or groups that are mostly or all male. There are three solo male performers (Waters, McCartney, and Buble) and three all-male groups (Bon Jovi, Dave Matthews Band, and Eagles. There are also two groups with a majority male membership, Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Black Eyed Peas, and one male-female duo (King/Taylor).
Solo performer Lady Gaga is the only tour in the top 10 list to exclusively focus on a female artist or group.
Rock and Roll Can Never Die
The top 10 tour list shows a solid preference for the rock n roll genre by North American live music fans. Six of the listed performers: Bon Jovi, Waters, Dave Matthews Band, Eagles, McCartney and King/Taylor, play a style of music that would fall into the rock n roll classification (although they are quite different from each other).
Black Eyed Peas and Lady Gaga would fall into the pop category, with Buble performing contemporary jazz and Trans-Siberian Orchestra performing modern orchestral music.
Top ’09-’10 Global Earners Show Different Trends
A list of the top 10 earning global musical performers from June 2009 – June 2010 (including all music-related revenue, not just concerts) compiled by Forbes reveals starkly different trends. For example, the list includes four female artists and only four rock n roll artists.
One similarity is a trend toward older performers, with four acts on the Forbes list having started their careers before the 1990s.