Except it wasn't like 360. The album Voodoo Lounge did not make the global top 40 for year end sales. In contrast, NLOTH was the 7th biggest selling album of 2009. The 360 tour was supporting a hit album. The Voodoo Lounge tour was not supporting a hit album.
Voodoo Lounge sold 6 Million copies in comparison to the 7 Million that Zooropa sold a year earlier, so for the Stones it was a commercially successful album, as well as being critically acclaimed. But the tour didnít owe its success to the albumís popularity but rather because the Stones were a huge brand in live music and because stadium fatigued hadnít yet set in. They catered to the crowd playing mainly back catalogue songs from the Ď60s and Ď70s. And like U2 on 360, they satisfied their artistic desire and their real fans by playing a fair number of new songs from the new album, which declined in number as the tour progressed and which were probably received coolly by the casual fans.
Those are incorrect sales for Voodoo Lounge. The Voodoo Lounge album only sold 2 million copies in the United States and 1 million copies in Europe plus another 1 million outside of those markets for a total of 4 million worldwide.
4 million copies sold worldwide was not enough to make the global top 40 back in 1994. So the Voodoo Lounge tour was not in support of a hit album in the way that 360 was in support of the NLOTH album, the 7th highest selling album worldwide of 2009.
Also, the GROSS figure for 360 is more than double that for Voodoo Lounge, despite the fact 360 had less shows.
Of course the gross was double since the Stones were selling tickets at 1994 prices, where as U2 were selling them at 2009 prices. If inflation doesnít account for all the difference, then itís because U2 charged more extortionate prices for their tickets than the Stones did. And if U2 had played a regular stage configuration then they would have sold fewer tickets than the Stones, and if the Stones had played a 360 configuration on the Voodoo Lounge tour then maybe they would have sold more tickets than U2.
Inflation would only account for 50% of that, no more. If U2 had played a regular stage configuration, they would have SOLD MORE TICKETS than they did in the 360 configuration because the smaller stage setup allows you to play more shows.
Its easier to sell 80,000 tickets in a single market when you play two shows in a 40,000 seat venue. But when you play a massive show in a 70,000 seat venue, there is not enough demand for a second show, so your stuck with 70,000 tickets sold, as opposed to the 80,000 tickets you could have sold with the two shows in the 40,000 seat venue. More shows allows more opportunity for people who like to attend multiple shows, plus adding more nights allows people with scheduling conflicts to attend.
The 360 configuration was new an interesting and can only be done with massive demand. But the band is boxed in to having to be able to sell an average of 66,000 tickets a show. If they are only going to get 40,000 or 45,000 for a second show, then they won't do it because the stadium will look 1/3 or more empty. This limits the number of shows the band can play and puts a cap on the number of people that can attend the tour. If the band had been able to put on shows in the normal configuration as well as do some arena shows, they could have added more shows to the tour, and increase the overall attendance on the tour.
Voodoo Lounge on the other hand had some shows that were filled up well, but far from being soldout showing that the Stones had met their demand by playing shows at lower capacities. If the Stones had done a 360 tour on Voodoo Lounge, it would have heavily reduced the number of shows they could have played, and the attendance numbers would have fallen off.
Also, look at what has happened on the Stones tours since Voodoo Lounge, the attendance has declined. The Stones last tour did 4.6 million in attendance.
U2ís future tour attendance numbers will also decline like the Stones did since stadium fatigue will set in for their fans, especially in North America, just like it did for Stonesí fans. The Stones played 125 stadium shows in 1994/95 but they couldnít pull enough punters in to do that now. And as an artist gets older and plays a similar show tour after tour, they become too familiar and as a result they lose some of their specialness. By the next tour a U2 concert ticket wonít be as hot as it was for 360 and a lot more punters will query whether theyíre worth standing in a stadium fo
Well, there were some people who claimed that U2 would never break the Stones records. They were wrong. U2 are not the Stones. U2 are a different beast. The Rolling Stones NEVER suffered through something like POP/POPMART. At the same time, the Stones have not had the album selling success of NLOTH in 30 years. The last time the Stones had a top 10 global selling album for the year was back in 1981 with Tattoo You.
I'm confident that U2 will break their own records for 360 in both gross and attendance.