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U2, Guns N' Roses were 2017's top tours

U2 guitarist The Edge, left, and lead singer Bono at the Forum (Michael Robinson Chavez, Los Angeles Times)
U2 guitarist The Edge, left, and lead singer Bono at the Forum (Michael Robinson Chavez, Los Angeles Times)

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.

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