Riding The Gravy Train: Waters Tops $835 Million With Latest Trek
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Roger Waters, pictured here playing Moscow’s Olimpiysky Arena Aug. 31, has capped a two-decade stretch of global touring that has generated more than $835 million in ticket sales.
Early in December rock legend Roger Waters completed his Us + Them tour, capping a two-decade stretch of global touring that generated more than $835 million in sales from four major worldwide treks, according to box office totals reported to Pollstar during the past 20 years.
It began in 1999 when he made a return to the concert stage as a solo headliner after a 12-year hiatus from the road. In July of that year he kicked off his In The Flesh tour that played North America during the summers of 1999 and 2000 as well as a 2002 stretch that included a European run and stops in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Australia. The tour showcased the hits from his years with Pink Floyd but also included music from his 1992 album, Amused to Death.
He followed that run four years later with The Dark Side of the Moon Live trek that debuted in the summer of 2006 and ran for two years with concerts on five continents. Each show on the tour saw a recreation of the iconic 1973 Pink Floyd release with Waters and his band performing the album in its entirety. He returned to that same formula for his next road effort, the massive 2010-13 worldwide jaunt The Wall Live. It marked the first time Pink Floyd’s 1979 album had been performed live in its entirety by the band or any of its former members in two decades.
The Wall Live tour played both arenas and stadiums globally during a time period that spanned just over three years, beginning on Sept. 15, 2010, and wrapping on Sept. 21, 2013. The tour still ranks among the highest-grossing tours of all time based on an overall take of $460 million from 220 performances and 4.1 million tickets sold.
Waters’ most recent tour, Us + Them, focused primarily on his musical history with Pink Floyd, but, like the 1999 tour, also included new music from his most recent album. He hit the road just before the release of Is This the Life We Really Want?, his fourth solo album that arrived in June 2017. The tour began May 26 and played cities in North America, Oceania and Europe before capping with a final trek through Latin American countries in the fall of 2018. With 150 performances reported to Pollstar, the overall gross from Us + Them topped $228 million for a run that moved 2.2 million tickets.
As with The Dark Side of the Moon Live and The Wall Live, the latest tour included mainly arena dates but also featured stadium shows, primarily in Latin American markets. The top grosser among those on Us + Them was a two-show engagement this past fall at Allianz Parque in São Paulo, Brazil. His concerts on Oct. 9-10 drew a total of 81,545 fans with sales hitting $6.1 million.
Looking at all four of his tours during the past two decades, the highest box office gross also came at a South American stadium but occurred during The Wall Live trek. On that tour’s 2012 five-city stretch on the continent during the spring, he performed a nine-show stint in Buenos Aires at the Estadio Antonio Vespucio Liberti, also known as River Plate Stadium. Altogether from all nine performances, he racked up a whopping $37.9 million in box office revenue from 430,678 total tickets.
His top European numbers during the past 20 years came from a six-night run at London’s O2 Arena in 2011 – also during The Wall Live – with $10.4 million in sales from 89,182 sold seats from May 11-18. On the same tour, he scored his highest gross in a North American venue during the same time period, logging $7.3 million at the box office from two sold-out performances at Yankee Stadium in New York City on July 6-7, 2012. The number of tickets sold for those two shows hit 62,188.