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Top Tours: 2000-2020

FOH Staff • News • January 13, 2021

Ed Sheeran’s Divide Tour ran from 2017-2019. Photo by Ralph Larmann/Meyer Sound

With the fire hose of anticipated concert tour action for 2020 reduced to a trickle of live events staged after the Covid-19 shutdowns started hitting the U.S. in March, PLSN and FRONT of HOUSE won’t be presenting our annual Showtime feature reviewing the biggest tours of the previous year in this year’s January issues. Instead, as with this issue’s retrospective of what would have been the 20th annual Parnelli Awards (now postponed to Jan. 2022), we present the top tours of the new millennium.

While number-crunchers could argue that tours like U2’s 2009-2011 360° Tour raked in a bigger sum in inflation-adjusted dollars than Ed Sheeran’s Divide tour, and should therefore take the top slot, the list here is presented simply on the actual dollar gross garnered from total ticket sales in the years when the shows took place. (For a deeper dive into inflation-adjusted revenues, total number of attendees, total number of shows, dollars per show, top tours by decade, etc., go to www.plsn.me/TourStats).

1 Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran’s Divide Tour ran from 2017-2019. Pictured here, the show at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA, Aug. 18, 2018. Photo courtesy Meyer Sound

Sound Co: Major Tom Audio

Sound Team: Chris Marsh, FOH/MON Engineer; Charlie Albin, System Engineer

More details at www.plsn.me/TT-ES1 and www.plsn.me/TT-ES2

 

2: U2

The 360° Tour ran from 2009-2011.

Sound Co: Clair

Sound Team: Joe O’Herlihy, FOH Engineer; Dave Skaff, Niall Slevin, Alistair McMillan, Monitor Mixers; Jo Ravitch, David Coyle, System Engineers

More details at www.plsn.me/TT-FOH-U2

 

3: Guns N’ Roses

The “Not In This Lifetime” Tour ran from 2016-2019. Photo by Katerina Benzova/Robe

Sound Co: Clair Global

Sound Team: Caram Costanzo, FOH Engineer; Jeremy Bolton (Axl), Steve Carter (band), Monitor Engineers; Simon Bauer, System Engineer

More details at www.plsn.me/TT-FOH-GNR

 

4: The Rolling Stones

The Stones’ “A Bigger Bang” Tour ran from 2005-2007. Photo by Martin Lighting

Sound Co: Clair Bros.

Sound Team: Dave Natale, FOH Engineer; Mike Adams and J. Summers, Monitors Engineers

More details at www.plsn.me/TT-FOH-RS

 

5: Coldplay

The A Head Full of Dreams Tour ran from 2016-2017. Photo by Steve Jennings

Sound Cos: Wigwam Acoustics/Firehouse Productions

Sound Team: Dan Green, FOH Engineer; Chris Wood, Monitor Engineer; Tony Smith, System Designer

More details at www.plsn.me/TT-FOH-CP

 

6: Roger Waters

The Wall Live” tour ran from 2010-2013. Photo by Wembley Stadium

Sound Co: Clair

Sound Team: Trip Khalaf, FOH Engineer; Ian Newton, Monitor Engineer; Bob Weibel, System Engineer

More details at www.plsn.me/TT-FOH-RW

 

7: AC/DC

The Black Ice Tour ran from 2008-2010. Photo by Steve Jennings

Sound Co: Clair

Sound Team: Paul “Pab” Boothroyd, FOH Engineer; Jon Lewis, Monitor Engineer; Christopher Nichols and Richard Thompson, System Engineers; Kenneth Check and Paul Swan, Monitor System Engineers

More details at www.plsn.me/TT-FOH-ACDC

 

8: Metallica

The WorldWired tour format, from 2016-present, has evolved and varied radically over the years. Photo by Steve Jennings

Sound Cos: Ultrasound, Victory Event Stage & Tour, VER

Sound Team: “Big Mick” Hughes, FOH Engineer; Bob Cowan, Adam Correia, Monitor Engineers; Chris Hall, Jay Day, Chris Nichols, System Engineers

More details at www.plsn.me/TT-FOH-M

 

9: The Rolling Stones

The “No Filter” Tour has been running since 2017. Photo by Steve Jennings

Sound Co: Clair Global

Sound Team: Dave Natale, FOH Mixer; Jo Ravitch, Jim Ragus, System Engineers; Steve Carter, Monitor Mixer; Taylor Holden, Monitor Systems Tech

More details at www.plsn.me/TT-FOH-RS2

 

10: Madonna

The Sticky & Sweet tour ran from 2008-2009. Image by Seven Design Works

Sound Co: Eighth Day Sound

Sound Team: Tim Colvard, FOH Engineer; Matt Napier, Sean Spuehler, Monitor Engineers; Mark Brnich, System Engineer; Demetrius Moore, Monitor Tech

More details at www.plsn.me/TT-FOH-MSS

 

11: P!NK

The Beautiful Trauma tour ran from 2018-2019. Photo by Steve Jennings

Sound Co: Britannia Row

Sound Team: Dave Bracey (FOH Engineer), Jon Lewis/Pink and Horst Hartmann/Band (Monitor Engineers), Johnny Keirle (System Engineer)

More details at www.plsn.me/TT-FOH-BT

 

12: U2

The Joshua Tree tours ran in 2017 and 2019. Photo by Steve Jennings

Sound Co: Clair Global

Sound Team: Joe O’Herlihy, FOH Engineer; Alistair McMillan, Richard Rainey, CJ Eiriksson, Monitor Mixers; Jo Ravitch, Joel Merrill, Tim Peeling, System Engineers

More details at www.plsn.me/TT-FOH-U2-2

 

 

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