It’s the end of the year, which can only mean one thing. (Well, actually, it can mean a number of things, but let’s pretend it only means one thing.) And that thing is? It’s time to turn 2013 into a competition according to specific sets of criteria and declare a number of winners. This time it’s the turn of the biggest money-making tours.
And the winner is…Bon Jovi, who, thirty years after first forming, have scored the most successful world concert tour of 2013.
Their Because We Can tour grossed $229 million over 102 dates that started in February. Yup, $229 MILLION.
The figures don’t take into account the Australian stadium leg – tomorrow’s show in Brisbane is the last date of the band’s entire world tour.
The tour has survived a few hiccups too, including, most notably, the unexpected departure of guitarist Richie Sambora in March. In total, the tour shifted over 2.2 million tickets globally.
“This is crazy business doing stadiums 30 years on,” Jon Bon Jovi said in Melbourne. “I think that generation tells the next generation you gotta see this band live. That’s the blessing. It’s more than guys that grew up in the ’80s.”
Cirque Du Soleil’s Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour was second on the list, followed by popstar Pink.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band placed fourth on the list after grossing $147m from 53 shows, and were just ahead of Rihanna, after she played to more than 1.5m fans during the year, bringing in £137m.
It is, apparently, the third time a tour by Bon Jovi has finished as Billboard’s highest grossing of the year.
The band, which is fronted by Jon Bon Jovi, or Jon Bon, as some (I) prefer to call him, previously achieved the feat in 2008 and 2010.
On behalf of everyone at Concert Tour, congratulations Jon Bon, on your massive pile of money.
It’s a sad time for Bon Jovi fans, after news that band guitarist Richie Sambora has effectively been fired from the band because of substance abuse problems. How very tragically rock n roll.
Richie and Jon have a well-documented stormy relationship, but after issuing the guitarist an ultimatum (i.e. the band or the drugs) it looks like things have all gone wrong and it’s pretty obvious which one of the two Richie Sambora chose.
A source told Radaronline that Jon “has no intention of taking him back without Richie attending a serious rehab program” and that “Six weeks ago, he and Richie had a two-hour call to patch things up, but when Jon made it clear that he would not take him back before he went into rehab, it was a deal-breaker. Richie had his heart set on being back for the tour dates in New Jersey — the talk did not end well.”
That being said, other people are claiming that Richie isn’t an alcoholic or anything, and rather that this is, for want of a better word, personal.
Another source told Radaronline that Jon wanted Richie out of the picture and that it was likely to happen regardless of substance abuse:
“It’s disheartening that it has come to this. Richie is healthy. He is not drinking. He is sober. Indeed, he is the one who helped Jon’s daughter after she was arrested in November and Jon clearly wanted his daughter to get the same help that worked for Richie. For someone to suggest that Richie needs to leave Hollywood in order to preserve his health, it’s absurd.”
Well, while it’s difficult to know why it happened, we do know one thing: it’s happened. Well, that and it’s a sad state of affairs indeed.
Pollstar has released the top grossing tours for the first half of 2013, and Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen and the Rolling Stones have all been shoveling in the money so far this year.
The mid-year charts show that Bon Jovi has grossed $142.1 million in worldwide receipts this year. This comes from the group performing 60 shows in 58 cities with an average ticket price of $95.60. The group sold nearly 1.5 million tickets, and for those not doing the math, that works out to around $2.5 million per show.
Both Springsteen and the Rolling Stones sold less tickets and played less shows, but had higher ticket prices to put them in second and third place, respectively. Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band sold just shy of 1 million tickets for 31 shows in 21 cities. The average ticket price was $107.19, and the group grossed an average of just under $5 million per show.
But if the dollar amounts for Bon Jovi and Springsteen seem high, wait until you see what the Stones brought in. With an average ticket price of $346.09 (!), the group grossed an average just shy of $8 million per show (!!). With the 250,000 tickets they sold to 18 shows in 11 cities, the band has grossed a total of $87.7 million so far this year.
Though they were third worldwide, the Stones were the top grossing act in North America, with Taylor Swift coming in second on the continent. But the real story of the report was not just the top concert tours, but also the positive news for the concert industry as a whole.
Pollstar reports that ticket sales from the Top 50 tours around the world totaled $1.85 billion, a 23 percent increase from the same period in 2012. The number of ticket sold, however, did not jump quite that much, with the 21 million tickets sold this year representing a 10.5 percent rise from last year. The difference was made up by a 11.5 percent increase in the average ticket price, which was $88.03 this year.
Bon Jovi. A name and a brand synonymous with 80s hair metal, which is a genre term appropriately describing the priority order of hair, then metal. Even at the time, it was clear that this band was a little bit more vain and vapid than the rest, but they were also one of its stalwarts and masters. They made great music, they were sometimes even poignant and timely, and a lot of that has survived and still holds up today, albeit often feeling slightly more comedic than was intended at the time.
Even more surprising, the band has continued to record and release music pretty consistently, this being their fourth album of the past ten years. Most of these old bands only get together after at least that much time apart, and only fleetingly, to make a mortgage payment or reclaim something else they might have lost. Bon Jovi is different; they have sustained their success, as well as their youthful bravado and ambition. They don’t need to make records, so it stands to reason that they would do so only if they really wanted to.
So why does What About Now sound like stock music from a commercial for a pickup truck? All of those old anthems, those powerful songs equating love and murder and other such prodigious things, seem like they have been retooled here to punch softer and aspire to less. Not that recent Bon Jovi albums have been stellar or have even avoided the same problems, but this one in particular is startlingly weak. It’s a whimper.
The album is a long wait for a payoff that never comes. Throughout What About Now you are given fleeting glimpses of the true rock gods who live in this space, but whenever you hold your breath and prepare for a full-on assault of cocksure rock idolatry the only thing you can really expect is to be let down. They never break free of their bonds, preferring extremely safe, extremely boring, corporate-approved rock n’ roll.
I can’t pick a song here to highlight because they are ostensibly all the same. Absolutely nothing stands out, nothing rises up to take you by the throat. It’s a meandering, paint-by-numbers record that has been put through the wash a few dozen times to ensure everything comes out a little bit more dull.
The bright side of all this is that it isn’t horrible, at least not sonically. That’s the beauty of a very, very safe record. If you like Bon Jovi you can be sure that you will neither love nor hate What About Now, and you might find it makes perfectly adequate background music. It’s hard to hate something that ducks its head and keeps itself from making any sort of impression, unless you are a pretentious music reviewer at heart, in which case you, like me, might find the whole thing absolutely offensive and insulting to your intelligence.
Bon Jovi ended the most recent U.S. tour leg of its Because We Can tour on April 25, but the band isn’t done yet. The group will be back for another leg of the tour throughout most of October and into early November.
The trek will kick off October 2 in Vancouver, and will run through a November 8 show in Montreal. Other cities on the itinerary include Tacoma, Washington; Spokane, Washington; Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Dallas and Toronto.
Can’t wait that long to see the group? No problem. The band’s got quite a few previously scheduled summer dates, too. These include appearances in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit and a two-night home-state stand in East Rutherford, New Jersey July 25 and 27.
The big question, however, will be if guitarist Richie Sambora will be back with the group by the time any of these shows roll around. Sambora left the last leg of the tour citing unspecified “personal issues,” and recent comments don’t make it seem like a reconciliation is very near.
“Enough with the trash-talking — Jon needs to stop talking about me publicly,” Sambora told the Daily Mail last week. “I am fine, working very hard on my fashion company, Nikki Rich, and this is a private matter.”
This was apparently in response to a Jon Bon Jovi quote about the situation, when he told London’s Evening Standard that, “It’s getting more and more difficult every day to not just sit here and say something…Because all I can say is this – it’s for personal reasons.”
Jon Bon Jovi also referenced Sambora’s absence on stage at a recent Canadian show.
“I had two choices: pack up and go home or give you everything I got…” he said at the concert. “Richie Sambora won’t be performing for a while. If there’s ever a night I need you, it’s tonight Calgary.”
Not going to make it to the final show on the current Bon Jovi tour in San Jose, California tonight? Not a problem, because you can stream the show on EVNTLIVE using Chrome or Safari. Sorry Firefox and IE users.
If you haven’t heard of EVNTLIVE, it’s probably because the new live music streaming service only debuted a few days ago. However, the service will likely be getting quite a bit of notoriety now that one of it’s first clients is Bon Jovi.
Everyone can stream 30 minutes of the show, which will be broadcast live from the HP Pavilion starting at 8 p.m. Pacific time. After the half hour is up, you’ll have to sign up to become a Backstage with Jon Bon Jovi member. The fan club costs between $54.99 and $159.99 per year, depending on the package. Existing members can stream the entire concert for free.
The U.S. leg of the “Because We Can” tour began in February, and tonight will be the final performance of the North American portion of the trek. After this show, the group will take a little time off before heading to South Africa for a handful of shows starting May 7, which will be followed by a European tour.
And while you’ll be able to stream tonight’s show, you still won’t be able to see guitarist Richie Sambora, who left the tour at the beginning of this month to “take care of a personal matter,” according to his Twitter account.
Earlier this week, frontman Jon Bon Jovi was a guest on “Ellen,” where he addressed the matter, saying that Sambora is still a member of the band.
“Well, all I can say honest to God is that it’s a personal matter, but we love him very much,” Bon Jovi said. “He’s absolutely still a member of the band.”
However, there’s been no word whether Sambora will rejoin the “Because We Can” tour.
Richie Sambora is off the current leg of the Bon Jovi tour.
The guitarist has left the tour citing “personal issues,” which of course has caused the internet to explode with speculation about his absence. The guesses tend to be centered around substance abuse problems or a feud with Jon Bon Jovi.
Here’s the only official word, which was posted on the Bon Jovi website:
Due to personal issues, Richie Sambora will not be performing on this upcoming leg. All shows will go on as scheduled.
The substance abuse speculation seems to primarily come from Sambora’s past history with alcohol, which has landed him in rehab several times. TMZ.com, however, is reporting that Sambora remains clean, and that he’s been fighting with Jon Bon Jovi.
“It’s a classic Jagger/Richards blowup,” an unnamed source told the gossip website. Jon Bon Jovi mentioned the guitarist’s absence briefly in Calgary last night.
“I had two choices: pack up and go home or give you everything I got…” he said at the show. “Richie Sambora won’t be performing for a while. If there’s ever a night I need you, it’s tonight Calgary.”
Bon Jovi currently is on the “Because We Can” tour, and the tour leg is scheduled to run through an April 25 show in San Jose, California. Of course, no other news has been released about when or if Sambora will return to the band.
The band also has a few summer dates scheduled later this year, including a two-night stand at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on July 24-25.
The group is promoting its most recent album, What About Now, which was released last month. The album is the 12th studio album by the band, and Billboard reports that the album sold 101,000 copies during the first week it was on sale, securing a number one spot on the Billboard 200 albums charts.
Bon Jovi was forced to cancel its show at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut on Saturday after a statewide travel ban was instituted by Governor Dannel P. Malloy due to the severe winter storm in the northeast. But for those lucky enough to be staying at the casino, the band performed an impromptu set at the venue that night, inviting all guests.
About 2,000 guests were on hand to see the two-hour set by the band. The concert was originally set to be the first date of the band’s extensive “Because I Can” tour.
“Earlier today Mohegan Sun announced that tonight’s Bon Jovi concert will be rescheduled due to a statewide mandatory travel ban, but it takes a lot more than a blizzard to stop Bon Jovi,” read a post on the group’s website. “The band performed an impromptu free concert for snow-in fans, patrons and employees alike. Bon Jovi recognizes how much preparation it takes for fans to attend a concert and they wanted to honor that the best way that they know how.”
The website also points out that the Uncasville show will be rescheduled for October 25, and that all tickets for the postponed show will be honored.
Bon Jovi’s next scheduled show will take place February 13 in Montreal, and the band will stay on the road in North America through an April 25 show in San Jose, Calif. Bon Jovi has been one of the highest grossing touring artists of the past few years, and this tour is noted for the availability of less expensive tickets than usual for the band. When the tour was announced, it was revealed that each city on the tour itinerary would have at least 1,000 tickets priced at $19.50.
“Jon’s theory is there should be something for everybody,” said Randy Phillips, CEO of the tour’s promoter AEG Live, at the time.
The festival will take place June 13-16, 2013, and Bon Jovi will headline June 14, the Killers will headline June 15 and the Stone Roses will close out the event June 16. Other notable artists now scheduled to perform at the event are Ellie Goulding, fun., Bloc Party, Happy Mondays, Blondie, Jake Bugg, The Script, Paloma Faith, The Maccabees, Bonnie Raitt, The Farm, Imperial Teen and Republica. Many more acts are expected to be announced between now and the festival.
The Killers were the last of the three headliners announced, and it looks like they may be gearing up for a slew of European festivals next summer, as they previously announced that they would perform at the T in the Park festival.
“We are proud to bring one of the world’s greatest rock bands of the last decade to our small island off the South Coast of England,” said Isle of Wight festival promoter John Giddings in a statement. “Thanks for coming – it will be a weekend to remember!”
The Stone Roses will make their debut at the long running festival next year. After breaking up in 1996, the group reunited for a slew of dates earlier this year. There have been rumors that the group will release a third album, but nothing has been confirmed as yet.
The group became widely known with the release of their self-titled debut in 1989, and are largely credited as one of the bands that sparked the British guitar music revolution that eventually came to be known as Britpop and included band such as Oasis and Blur.
However, the Stone Roses’ sophomore album, The Second Coming was long delayed when it finally came out in 1994, and is generally viewed as inferior to its predecessor.
When Bon Jovi released a slew of Canadian tour dates late last month, the group promised that U.S. dates wouldn’t be far behind for the “Because We Can” tour. Now we know that the band will embark on an extensive U.S. tour that will keep them on the road throughout the majority of February, March and April 2013.
The tour will kick off February 9 at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, and the bulk of the tour is scheduled to run through an April 25 show at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California. The tour also will visit cities across North America, including Atlanta, Tampa, Nashville, St. Louis, Dallas, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. The previously announced Canadian dates are sprinkled in throughout the North American tour.
Additionally, the band has a few summer dates scheduled as well, and the first will be July 12 at Soldier Field in Chicago. Later that month, the band will perform two nights at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. on July 24-25.
Surprisingly for a touring band as successful as Bon Jovi, every city will have at least 1,000 tickets priced at $19.50 (before service fees).
“Jon’s theory is there should be something for everybody,” AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips told Billboard.biz about the pricing setup. “He wants everybody to have the opportunity to buy tickets.”
The tour is being presented by AEG Live, and each concert will feature a total of seven price tiers. The band’s last tour, grossed $265 million in ticket sales in 2010-2011. The group was the highest grossing tour in 2008 and 2010, according to Billboard.
The tour will support the group’s upcoming album What About Now. Though the new set is expected to drop in spring 2013, no official release date has yet been announced.