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Rock and roll may not appear to be so relevant on the pop charts these days, but it’s still a dominant force on live stages.
The concert-industry trade publication Pollstar released its list of the top-grossing tours of 2017, and rock-leaning acts took many of the top slots.
U2 claimed the peak spot with its leviathan Joshua Tree Tour, which sold 2.71 million tickets for a gross of $316 million. Right on the act’s heels was a reunited Guns N’ Roses, which grossed $292.5 million on 2.68 million tickets. (U2, on average, charged $40 more per ticket than Guns N’ Roses).
Coldplay and Bruno Mars (the highest-ranking solo act on the list) came in at third and fourth, respectively, with grosses of $238 million and $200.1 million.
Garth Brooks was the highest-charting country artist on the list, at No. 10, wrapping up the last of his three-year return tour. At No. 11, Celine Dion was the top-grossing female act this year. Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, The Weeknd and Ariana Grande all made the top 20.
One question remains: How to count Bruce Springsteen?
His two tours — one for his Broadway show, the other for his E Street band show — are very different formats. Pollstar said it is crunching numbers and will soon release a revised list that reflects Springsteen’s two rankings.