This summer has brought one disaster after another for the concert industry with acts from U2 to Christina Aguilera canceling shows expected to rake in big bucks. Not everybody is bombing though: Jay-Z, Lady Gaga and the Carole King/James Taylor double bill are selling out everywhere and grossing around $1.3 million a night. Here’s a look at some of the surprising hits and misses:
• Billboard Boxscore reports that Spandau Ballet, Tears for Fears and Jack Jones grossed $1,509,660 over two nights in Sydney, Australia. Who knew that Aussies were willing to shell out big bucks to hear “True” and “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” again?
• Pearl Jam usually sell out every venue they play, but their May 13th show in Bristow, Virginia, only moved 13,706 out of 23,385 available tickets according to Pollstar. Shows that same month in Noblesville, Indiana, Kansas City and Cleveland all sold out, though, and the Bristow show still grossed $717,175. The poor showing is more likely a result of fans’ unwillingness to sit on a lawn and shell out big bucks for parking and drinks.
• Julian Casablancas will have a huge payday when the Strokes reunite this month for a European tour, but his solo tour has had its struggles. According to Pollstar, he just sold 49 percent of the house when he played the Houston House of Blues on April 12th.
• Even in Indianapolis, nobody wants to see George W. Bush. He spoke at Canseco Fieldhouse and according to Pollstar he just sold 28 percent of 8,442 tickets — which was pretty much his approval rating by the time he left office in 2009.
• You’d think there would be at least 200 people in the Washington, DC area willing to pay to hear a live version of “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm,” but according to Pollstar, the Crash Test Dummies only sold 132 out of 200 tickets for their show at the Jammin’ Java in Vienna, Virginia.