By Zachary Swickey
As U2 begin to wrap up the last leg of their seemingly never-ending 360° tour, they continue to shatter records and cement their place as the top touring act ever. The tour – which began in Europe two years ago in support of their most recent album, No Line on the Horizon – has currently grossed over $675 million during the over 100-show run with each date selling out consecutively.
Anyone who has caught a glimpse of the 167-foot tall “claw” structure that U2 employs as their stage knows just how massive this production is. It has a ridiculous budget of $750,000 a day, a fleet of 120 trucks, and a 400-person workforce. It takes eight days just to set up and take down the rig, and the group has three (at $40 million per “claw”), so that two can be in the process of assembly on the same night they play another gig. This 360-degree stage scenario allows up to 20 percent more tickets to be sold; therefore, further helping U2 slaughter attendance records from South Africa to the U.S.
To put things into perspective, The Rolling Stones’ 2005-07 A Bigger Bang Tour is the second highest grossing tour ever, raking in over $550 million, but selling a paltry 4.6 million in tickets to U2’s 7 million. Similarly, U2’s average attendance of over 65,000 people more than doubled the Stones’ 32,500. AC/DC’s lengthy return to the road – 2008-10’s Black Ice World Tour; their first jaunt in 7 years – is unsurprisingly the third highest grossing tour of all time.
But what about the ladies? Find out below. Read More...
By Vaughn Schoonmaker
BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Underneath a starry sky on a warm summer night in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, Animal Collective took the stage for a nearly two hour set that left some fans highly satisfied with an outpouring of new material. While I found the setting and weather to be the perfect accompaniment for an Animal Collective concert, whose new wave, electronica, dreamy and arguably pop sound has garnered them a sizable following in the U.S., I could not stop wondering why I was having such a hard time getting into the mood of the show.
Considering it was seven songs before they played a recognizable crowd-pleaser, "Brother Sport," from their hit album, Merriweather Post Pavilion, I realized that I was not the only one having a difficult time adjusting to their new material.
"What is this song?" I heard mumbled from several fans in their late teens/early 20s. "When are they going to play [insert any one of their earlier song titles here]?"
Artists must go through a very complex stage of tour preparation when designing their set list. A careful line must be drawn that establishes how much of the older content can be played without overshadowing the material. In Brooklyn tonight, it seemed that they chose a route that shifted full gear into exclusively new material. Read More...
Some of the biggest artists in music are on the road this summer, and with the season stacked, we in the MTV Newsroom were curious who you were planning to check out. We asked, you responded and the results are … well, they’re pretty much exactly what we’ve come to expect when we ask anything and include the words “Britney” and “Spears” among the possibilities.
In our poll of who you want to see on tour this summer, Spears took the crown – just like she did when we asked what your favorite album of the year (so far) and like she nearly did when we wondered about your favorite song (she fell to Lady Gaga by this much).
Over 56 percent of those polled said they intended to check Spears and Nicki Minaj out on the Femme Fatale tour. Spears’ closest competitor was another pop diva, Katy Perry, whose California Dreams tour we saw a few weeks ago and really enjoyed. So yes, you should probably see her too – especially if you like the color pink. Her show includes a lot of pink things, from cotton candy clouds to a Candy Land-like set.
And despite the poll results, we have another recommendation. We were horrified to learn that no one – as in zero percent of those polled – is planning to see My Morning Jacket. This is a travesty, we say! We were at Bonnaroo in 2008 for MMJ’s epic three-hour set and want to warn that if they come to your town and you don’t check them out, you may be committing a crime against music. Just sayin’!
Check out the poll results below. Read More...
Rihanna’s weekend show in Dallas was canceled mid-show when a fire broke out above the stage after a pyrotechnic unit set a chair on the catwalk above the stage ablaze. Fans initially thought the fire was part of the show, only realizing the flames were not intentionally set when smoke began to fill parts of the American Airlines Center arena and the lights came on. Dallas firefighters evacuated the arena and no injuries were reported.
After the show, Rihanna tweeted her displeasure with having to end the show and promised to return to the Texas city, saying, “DALLAS!!! We set the stage on FYAH tonight!!! LITERALLY!!! I'm so pissed, I was havin so much fun wit yall too!!! I gotta come back man!!”
The (literally) show-stopping event got us thinking about other concerts that have come to an abrupt end after the show was already underway. It takes a lot to stop a large-scale pop show dead in its tracks. Here are a few examples. Read More...
By Zachary Swickey
Death Cab For Cutie are about to tackle the second leg of their North American tour behind their seventh album, Codes and Keys, and the group is vocally keen on the prospect of a string quartet backing them on tour.
“It would be really fun to take Magik*Magik Orchestra out,” Death Cab guitarist/producer Chris Walla told Billboard. “But unfortunately, it is kind of a nightmare to try and figure it out.”
Magik*Magik is the small San Fransisco orchestra that provided DCFC with string accompaniment on two of their new album’s tracks: “Codes and Keys” and “Stay Young, Go Dancing.” Magik even performed the tunes alongside Death Cab during their appearance on VH1’s Storytellers earlier this year.
Walla continued lamenting, “You can make a living or you can play with an orchestra. They’re totally mutually exclusive – you almost can’t do one and the other.” But the guitarist does have some faith: “I do think that we’ll be able to do some shows with Magik*Magik at some point, even if it’s not a full tour.”
We’re all for Death Cab enriching their live performances with some symphonic attitude, and hopefully the tour, or few shows, will eventually happen. It’s hard to deny the appeal of a symphony-infused show, with all the horns and strings working together to truly reshape songs or provide them with more force. Don’t believe me? Just ask these guys. Read More...
Lady Gaga is ready to get back out on the road!
Mother Monster only wrapped up her years-long Monster Ball tour in May and she’s already talking about her next tour on Twitter. Here’s what we know so far: She has been calling it the Born This Way Ball and it will kick off early next year. Gaga has already said she views the tour as a continuation of the enormously successful Monster Ball.
Yesterday Gaga tweeted, “I miss the Monster Ball. Can't wait for the next tour.” So it’s no surprise that when she began soliciting fan questions on Twitter earlier today, many were about the tour. Asked by fan HoneybgagaBTW what she wanted to do visually with the Born This Way Ball, Gaga responded, “BTWBall dates announced soon, and I know EXACTLY what I want it to look and feel like down to every detail. Time to build.”
She even answered fan questions about what songs will make the set list! Read More...
By Zachary Swickey
Imagine drinking a beer, waxing nostalgic at an Alice Cooper show and then seeing Captain Jack Sparrow, better known as Johnny Depp, waltz onstage for a song or two. Well, that’s exactly what happened this past weekend at the intimate 100 Club in London.
If you’re wondering how these two souls came together, we assume they are old pals from their time together on the set of 1991’s Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, the sixth installment of the Freddy Krueger franchise.
Some of the crowd already knew what they were in store for, after Cooper posted a backstage pic on Facebook of Depp preparing to take the stage with guitar in hand. “Johny Depp!! Waiting to jump onstage with Alice for ‘18’ and ‘School’s Out,’” he wrote.
No slouch when it comes to music, Depp was a member of P, which included Gibby Haynes of Butthole Surfers fame, Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Sex Pistols’ guitarist Steve Jones. P was known to play the Viper Room in the early 1990s when Depp was still a partial owner of the famous venue. He also did some slide guitar work on the Oasis tune “Fade In-Out” from their ‘97 album Be Here Now.
A man of his word, Depp showed off his impressive guitar prowess with Alice and his gang for the promised tunes and a portion of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall,” which inevitably led into the anthemic “School’s Out.”
You’re bound to have a celeb sighting if you happen to catch some of the must-see shows rolling through bigger cities this summer. From Jason Segel to Sandra Bullock, here are a few examples of celebs crashing the stage. Read More...
For reasons that I cannot entirely justify, I found myself at Katy Perry's Roseland Ballroom show in New York City on Monday night (November 8th). Neither pop music nor a member of the scene's sexed-up royalty usually falls under my MTV News beat. But there I was at Roseland as Perry kicked off the launch of the new Windows Phone. And, to my pleasant surprise, Perry's set kinda rocked. Honestly, I feel I learned a few things during her hour-long jaunt through hits like "Hot N' Cold," "I Kissed a Girl" and "California Gurls."
(Click here for more photos from Katy Perry's free concert at Roseland Ballroom!)
Katy Doesn't Get Jet Lag
Perry spent Sunday night in Madrid, rocking the MTV Europe Music Awards with a version of "Firework" and taking home the Best Video trophy for "Gurls." One cross-Atlantic flight later, the pop star was in New York to rock the crowd at Roseland. She didn't disappoint.
Sheathed in a purple vinyl dress so tight it seemed to have been tattooed onto her body (cupcake pattern and all), Perry hurdled across the stage with boundless energy. She confessed that mere mortals would probably be more in the mood for breakfast rather than a pop show after spending the past few days in Europe, but the energy and showmanship she displayed was impressive and infectious.
Katy Really Is Kinda Clumsy
I'd always heard that Perry was a bit of a klutz. Read More...
There was a ton of buzz surrounding last night's U2 show at Giants Stadium in New Jersey last night. It wasn't so much that it was the first New York-area stop for the band's massive "360" tour (though that was a big part of it), but there was a great deal of speculation about how Bono would celebrate Jersey folk hero Bruce Springsteen's 60th birthday yesterday. After all, it seemed as though it would be impossible for the group to play a show without tipping their collective hat to the Boss.
While Springsteen didn't step on the stage at Giants Stadium during the over two hour show, Bono did wish Bruce a happy birthday and swapped out "she" for "he" during the chorus of "She's the One." MTV News' Rachel Josue was at the show live and snagged a bit of video, so jam on "Mysterious Ways" while you get your belated birthday card together for Jersey's favorite son.
By Sabrina Rojas Weiss
Lady Gaga certainly did impress many a fashionista and performance art fan with her multiple outlandish costume changes on the stage of Radio City Music Hall at the MTV Video Music Awards. But less than two weeks later, another singer known for her alien get-ups and dramatic flair took that same stage, and I believe the sold-out crowd for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs show on Wednesday night would agree with me when I say Karen O might have Gaga beat. Something about Karen's wailing vocals — combined with the driving, rock-and-roll thrust produced by drummer Brian Chase and guitarist Nick Zinner — match those bizarre headdresses, vinyl bodices, polka-dotted tentacles and giant spangled necklaces better than a catchy pop tune ever could.
The Brooklyn band's set was much the same (though slightly longer) as their performances earlier this summer at the All Points West festival in New Jersey and at Lollapalooza in August. Starting off with "Runaway" from this year's underrated It's Blitz, they evenly alternated new songs with favorites from Fever to Tell and Show Your Bones. Some elements of the performance — the bouncing giant eyeball balloons sent into the audience, Karen spitting a fountain of water above her head — perhaps fit better in those outdoor festival settings. And the energy, from both crowd and band, wasn't quite as high as during those short sets. Then again, when she donned her colorful headdress (seemingly made from hundreds of felt hands) for "Skeleton" and that classic, studded leather jacket for "Zero," it was a relief not to have to worry she'd have a heat stroke on the air-conditioned stage.
And sure, the costumes, the confetti and the giant, glitter Ys that descended from the ceiling make for great spectacle, but the most impressive part of a YYYs show is how Karen O. Read More...