The top 10 tours of 2005

155519__u2_lThe Grammys may not have shown U2 much love last week, but every savvy musician knows that touring is where the real money is. According to Billboard, the Irish rockers had the year’s top tour, playing before more than 3 million fans and grossing $260 million over the course of 90 sold-out shows.

No. 2 for the year was The Eagles, with $117 million. No. 3 was Neil Diamond, with $71 million. Kenny Chesney had the fourth highest-grossing tour ($63 million) but was second only to U2 in number of tickets sold (1.1 million). Behind Chesney was Paul McCartney ($60 million), Rod Stewart ($49 million), Elton John ($45.5 million touring, plus another $30 million from his lengthy Vegas run at Celine’s Palace), Dave Matthews Band ($45 million), Jimmy Buffett ($41 million), and Green Day ($36.5 million).

You’ll notice two obvious things here: 1) As always, boomer favorites who don’t do so well on the Billboard album chart anymore still rake it in on the road. 2) What about the Rolling Stones? Apparently, they don’t release their tour sales figures until the trek is over. So they’re off the list, but the sure-to-be-impressive final tally may, publicity-wise, give them a bigger bang.

Did you see any of these acts perform live this year? Feel like you got your money’s worth? What was the best concert you saw live in 2005?

addCredit(“U2: Gary Hershorn/Reuters”)


Comments (9 total) Add your comment
  • brandon

    U2 was incredible this year. I saw them in D.C. and they pulled out some great old stuff, and Bono sounded great. Edge is incredible live. He makes you feel every note. Great tour, as always!

  • Nicole

    I saw DMB just about a week ago in Toronto and they were great as usual. The best concert I saw this year though would have to be between Interpol and The Killers – they were both amazing. Although, so were Weezer and Jack Johnson… jeez – I can’t pick! I guess I’ll have to pick Interpol – i was a fan before the show, but seeing them live is a religious experience.

  • Flick

    I saw DMB this year, and actually didn’t think they were as good as they have been in the past. For best show this year, it’s a toss-up between Modest Mouse and Nine Inch Nails. They were both fantastic shows!

  • stefanie

    I loved U2’s show in Detroit, as well at Paul McCartney’s which was within two weeks of U2. However, I have to give props to Coldplay, who undoubtedly had the best concert of my summer at the outdoor venue Pine Knob. Great energy, emotion, and the guys sounded fantastic.

  • Mike

    Pearl Jam. Not even touring in support of new material, they still manage to sell out venues across Canada and Latin America. Each show lasts nearly 3 hours of high intensity AND are all available to be downloaded legally within hours of the show.

  • Karoline

    U2 in Boston was by far the best show I went to this year. They did songs both old and new, had an amazing rapport with the audience, and just played their hearts out. Rock and roll doesn’t get any better than this.

  • ere American

    Americans’ Role Eyed in U.N. Oil Scandal

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  • greeny

    go green day!!!
    the best bean ever!!

  • greeny

    go green day!!!
    the best bend ever!!

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