Boxoffice Insider: Rock Hall Class Of 2021 First Shows And Live Highlights

For Those About To Rock:
Larry Busacca / PW18 / Getty Images / Parkwood Entertainment
– For Those About To Rock:
Jay-Z addresses the crowd during the “On The Run II” Tour at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey in 2018. Jay-Z, a strong touring draw on his own, adds that much more juice when superstar wife Beyoncé gets involved.

Pollstar’s box office database includes historical ticket sales results for all six of this year’s Performer inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but the timeline of their first reported shows varies by almost two decades.

Carole King, Tina Turner and Todd Rundgren were each active in the music business long before 1981 when Pollstar was founded and began collecting ticket sales data, yet The Go-Go’s, in the early days of their career, have the first reported show among the six acts: a sold-out concert on Aug. 30, 1981, at My Father’s Place in Roslyn, N.Y.
Turner’s first archived show came the next year when she performed on Jan. 17, 1982 for a crowd of 952 at Dooley’s, a club in an old, converted church building in Tucson, Ariz., that was destroyed by fire the following year. Rundgren’s first show followed in 1983 when he played for an 82% capacity crowd of 1,120 at Stages in East St. Louis, Ill. on Dec. 7, and King first appeared in Pollstar data in 1984 with two sold-out shows at Boston’s Berklee Performance Center on Feb. 18 and a 2,448-ticket total.
Foo Fighters first hit our charts with a July 24, 1995, performance at La Luna in Portland, Ore., for a full house of 1,115 fans, while Jay-Z’s first was a Feb. 27, 1999, concert at a sold-out Charlotte Coliseum and a crowd of 19,007. That concert marked the first night of his “Hard Knock Life” tour with DMX.
Among the highlights of Jay-Z’s live career, though, was another co-headlining trek: 2018’s “On the Run II” tour with Beyoncé set in stadiums in Europe and North America. It included 48 sold-out concerts at 39 venues on both continents and earned $254 million, landing the couple at No. 3 on that year’s ranking of the Top 100 Worldwide Tours behind mammoth stadium runs by Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift. Yet, their $254 million gross would have been No. 1 the following year and in five of the previous 10.
Turner did land at No. 1 among the highest-grossing tours of the year with 2000’s “Twenty Four Seven” jaunt that played arenas in North America and stadiums in Europe. Grossing $104 million from 1.9 million tickets at 108 reported concerts, she topped ‘NSync, Dave Matthews Band, KISS, and Tim McGraw & Faith Hill who rounded out the top five on that year’s Top 100 Worldwide Tours.
Among King’s box office highlights, her largest tour on record occurred in 2010: a joint trek with Rock Hall 2000 inductee James Taylor dubbed “Troubadour Reunion.” It commemorated the 40th anniversary of their first appearance together at the iconic West Hollywood nightclub and featured 54 shows worldwide. Grosses topped $61 million from 692,430 sold seats at 43 venues.
Rundgren has the most recent box office entry among the six inductees, a show on Oct. 1 at Boston’s Big Night Live, the opening performance of his current “The Individualist, A True Star” tour booked through mid-November. The archives include box office figures from his live shows in every year since 1983 – a total of 725 events as either a headliner or guest including 124 appearances with Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band between 1999 and 2017.
The Go-Go’s have 49 concerts in the archives during the four years touring behind their first two albums in 1981 and 1982. Their ticket average per show was 5,982, but attendance at specific venues ranged from 550 at that first date in Roslyn, N.Y., to a sellout with 19,600 fans at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 19, 1982.
Foo Fighters’ live history spans from July 1995 through their most recent reported show: a sold-out Aug. 26 performance at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., with 14,345 fans. Historically, the group’s highest gross and largest ticket count were from shows on June 22-23, 2018, at London Stadium with a $13 million box-office haul from 149,327 sold seats.