Posts tagged ‘The Rolling Stones’

April 9, 2011

U2 break touring record!

U2’s current 360 tour is about to become the largest grossing tour in history. This Sunday in Sao Paolo the Irish supergroup will pass the $558 million mark, set by The Rolling Stones for their A Bigger Bang tour in 2005 – 2007.  It is estimated that the tour will eventually break the $700 million barrier when it wraps in July. The record-breaking tour will also become the highest attended tour ever, with over 7 million tickets sold in 110 countries!

Their main rivals in global straddling, bank busting, ego stroking tours are of course the aforementioned, age defying rockers, The Rolling Stones.   The sexagenarians have played 4 of the 10 biggest grossing tours in history, playing to over 20 million people and collecting a cool $1.5 billion in the process.  That’s more than the annual GDP of Russia, India and Spain!  Not to be outdone, in the last 20 years U2 will also have amassed more than $1.5 billion once their current stadium behemoth has been deconstructed.  The key to their current record snatching extravaganza has been the sheer size of venues they’ve played in every city they’ve besieged, the average attendance is over 64,000.   Wow, where next for the band?  Is there anyone who hasn’t seen them live?  Unlike the Stones, I’m sure they’ve got a few more circumnavigations left in those ambitious minds.

March 23, 2010

Fan club members get first choice on Gorillaz tickets

Tickets went on sale today for the long anticipated London Gorillaz gigs, the first in the capital for 9 years!   The only trouble is you need to be a paid-up member to purchase one!   Becoming a member of the Gorillaz G club isn’t really the problem – its paying the £25 fee that feels a bit too much like daylight robbery – sure you get a free Gorillaz toy and a few unreleased tracks that weren’t good enough to make the album, but the real and only incentive is to have priority booking surely!  This type of inclusivity feels a little bit like a tier system that favours the more affluent.

I’ve tried to think of many reasons why Albarn would generate such a corporately flavoured ticket scheme?  Maybe he sees it as a way of creating clans among music fans , creating a type of fan loyalty – in a world full of music fragmentation, unlimited access and decreasing musical tribes.   Maybe this is his idea of reconnecting with the teenage sub-cultures that were once seen roaming the record stores in Blur’s early years.  Although Gorillaz are very much a band of the pop mainstream, a band that straddle genres and epitomise modern-day eclecticism.

Maybe Albarn feels that Gorillaz have been a victim of these tough unit shifting times.  He may feel that due to a lack of touring commitment over the last ten years that they’ve lost they’re revenue potential and that he needs to recoup some of the lost funds!   However, looking at Gorillaz CD sales for the first two albums it is hard to see where they fell short?  7 million and 12 million worldwide sales for the albums respectively are not too bad for a so-called side project.  With Plastic Beach hitting the top spot in many countries it is unlikely that it will fail to follow in the footsteps – this of course generates royalties-a-plenty for the Gorillaz gang – a collective where no one is short of a bob or two?

So why the G fan club for what is already a massively succesful formula?  Is it a need to provide and guarantee for the most committed fan?  Even though Albarn is a constant advocate of musical independence and diversity?

Something around here has the faint smell of corporate bullshit!  The same kind of stench that is often found lingering around the corporate behemoths of U2 and The Rolling Stones.   It would be somewhat forgivable if the desperate EMI (Gorillaz record company) were behind this cynical idea and not the liberal, idealist Albarn!