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Who’s Next On The Stadium Tour Circuit


Since 1966 when The Beatles first invaded New York, playing a now world famous show at Shea Stadium, these types of shows have been played only by the biggest and best names in entertainment. These arena and stadium tours have hosted names such as AC/DC, Bruce Springsteen and The Who over the years with the most recent mainstay on the circuit being Green Day.

Although bands come and go, playing these large capacity shows once in a while, a true stadium band is one that can only and does only perform at these venues. In recent years bands such as Fall Out Boy and The Fray have toured arena’s. Taking the performance to the next level, playing and consistently selling out these large capacity venues is the trick.

The question I pose today is what band will be the next to achieve rocks highest honor. Bands considered must be consistently able to sell twenty-thousand or more tickets sometime in the next five years, but are not playing arenas or stadiums now. I am leaving off bands such as Green Day, The Killers, Foo Fighters and many other acts as they have almost reached this level already. The search is for the next largest touring bands.

Starting my list from the top I picked out The All American Rejects as a possible target. After releasing a string of moderately successful albums over the best five years the band is currently touring with Taking Back Sunday. This band still has a long way to go, but with an ever increasing fan base and repertoire it seems logical to think that five years out this could be one of the larger bands in the U.S.

Continuing my search I came across one of my favorite case study bands of all time. Boys Like Girls, a pop group from Boston are known for their live shows but have made a name for themselves with two great albums. The first self titled album has been certified gold by the RIAA as it sold over 500,000 copies in the U.S. Their sophomore album is currently racing up the charts and is threatening to break the Billboard Hot 100’s top 20 for the first time. Although Boys Like Girls are still quite a few albums away from even beginning to headline arenas, they seem to have a great foundation to build from.

It would be irresponsible for me not to mention the likes of Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers. These two artists have become famous for their fast rise to stardom. The question is if they can keep their stock high now that the initial shock has worn off. For me it’s a two part answer. Cyrus can’t, the brothers can. Although both are very talented and will have great careers, the Jonas Brothers have captivated audiences in so many ways (television, movies and music) similar to The Beatles.

Moving away from the teenage pop scene I looked at some other up and coming bands. Paramore comes to mind and although they have already played a few larger shows they have not come close to selling out these large capacity venues, averaging just over 2,400 tickets sold per show (Pollstar). Another female group, The Veronicas had an amazing 2009 but it still remains to be seen if their momentum will continue into their second album.

During this entire list of groups I was intentionally leaving many dance and hip-hop stars off. Although stars like Alicia Keys and Jay-Z are already at this peak level, up and coming stars like Lady Gaga, Lil Wayne and Sean Kingston will have their shot. The reason they were left off the list is because of the implied definition of a stadium tour. Generally speaking, these shows are played only by large scale rock bands. Very few hip-hop artists have made a career performing in such large spaces as solo acts.

I came to realize during this that we might not see bands in that large setting anymore. Although many of these groups will have a shot, it remains to be seen if they can come through when it counts. For all we know, the idea of stadium tours could very well pass with the current generation as bands such as Green Day and Weezer become the last of a dying breed of stadium performers.

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