U2 and ‘Joshua Tree’ topple Adele, crush Ed Sheeran as No. 1 summer concert

U2’s breakthrough The Joshua Tree album turns 30—yes, 30— this year, but it’s not too late to hit the road. The popularity of a large-venue anniversary tour to time-test the album’s U.S. and global social commentary lands the Irish rock band at No. 1 among summer concert ticket sales, according to ticket-resale giant StubHub.

“The Joshua Tree Tour 2017” has so far outsold the No. 2 top ticket-seller, British contemporary pop singer Ed Sheeran, by 65%, even with fewer than half as many shows (Bono and company’s 13 summer stops compared to Sheeran’s 32). U2 exceeds last year’s top ticket-seller, Adele, by 15%, and with eight fewer dates.

U2 began the U.S. leg of its tour Sunday in Seattle, with Microsoft’s
 Bill and Melinda Gates in attendance, Reuters reported. The show opened with an even earlier song, “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” before powering through “New Year’s Day,” “Pride,” and the whole Joshua Tree LP played in the order of its tracklist.

The StubHub top-sales list covers tickets already sold for concerts from Memorial Day on May 29 to Labor Day on Sept. 4. It is limited to U.S. tour sites.

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Looking at average sales per show, U2 outsells the second highest per-show performer, Lady Gaga, by 118%. Eight of U2’s dates are the top in-demand of individual events all summer and the band’s June 3 Chicago appearance is the most in-demand concert of the summer.

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“Legacy rock acts,” as they’re sometimes called, have dominated the list for the last three years, StubHub said. But demand isn’t exclusively driven by nostalgia. Hip-hop star Kendrick Lamar broke the top 10 list for the first time, only three weeks after his Damn tour was announced.

When tickets for Damn went on sale April 28, searches on StubHub quadrupled from the day before. Lamar shot into the top 10-selling summer acts in one week, and his position on the list is likely to keep climbing as the summer progresses, StubHub predicted.

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Here’s the complete Top 10:

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What is clear, “legacy rock” popularity reveals that baby boomers (Generation-Xers, too) don’t mind spending disposable income on the live-concert experience.

A solo tour by Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters places the 73-year-old rocker among the hardest working performers on the top 10 list this summer. Waters has the most tour dates, at 34, of anyone in StubHub’s tally. He added 11 new dates for the summer in February when early demand looked to fill to capacity his playing venues. Waters’s Us + Them North American Tour is set to launch on May 26 in Kansas City and wrap up on Oct. 28 in Vancouver.

The 26-year-old Ed Sheeran, who won song of the year in 2016 with “Thinking Out Loud,” can claim the second-most tour dates with a 32-date agenda.

Other highlights:

• The only artist to return to the top 10 list from 2016 is Canadian singer Justin Bieber. The total value of his tickets purchased on StubHub this year are down 40% over last summer.

• L.A.-based rock band Tool is the “most affordable” top 10 act to see this summer based on the lowest average ticket prices overall.

• Music festivals remain a popular ticket. BottleRock, as a relatively newer festival, has been the fastest growing summer music festival over the past three years (demand has nearly tripled since 2015).

• Two out of three of the top music festivals this summer are devoted to classic rock acts.

• The most in-demand U.S. summer festivals based on ticket sales on StubHub to date are: CMA Music Festival (running June 8 to June 11 in Nashville); BottleRock Napa (over the Memorial Day weekend of May 26 to May 28 in Napa, Calif.); Lollapalooza (over Aug. 3 to Aug. 6 in Chicago); The Classic West (July 15 to July 16 in Los Angeles) and The Classic East (July 29 to July 30 in Flushing, N.Y.).

View more information: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/u2-and-joshua-tree-topple-adele-crush-ed-sheeran-as-no-1-summer-concert-2017-05-15

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