All Right Boys, This Is It: Over The Hill, Conclusion
The Police had the highest grossing tour of ’07. In a (distant) second: Phil-Collins-Genesis. How did these guys manage to have successful tours while a lot of their contemporaries are relegated to running the nostalgia circuit? The successful tours have always had the buzz surrounding them. It could be a band long-thought irreconcilable reforms. Cream made it back together? How cool is that? Others simply have legend status, like when Paul McCartney dusts off the old Höfner and hits the road.
Over on the nostalgia circuit, I saw Styx with their new bassman, a twenty-something amidst fifty-somethings, whose lone song contribution to their new album sounded like a cut from a Good Charlotte record. I saw The Guess Who. Touting only the original drummer this show was terrible. After Blood Sweat and Tears opened, The Guess Who invited everyone on the lawn at Pine Knob to join them in the pavilion…after which, only two-thirds of the pavilion’s seats were empty.
Part of this seems so arbitrary. When The Guess Who announced they’re going to play a new song, everyone goes to the bathroom, but when Bob Dylan breaks into “Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum,” people cheer. I’m not equating a new GW song with a new Dylan song in quality, but no one even gave it a chance. In fact, of all the concerts I’ve seen, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen are maybe the only artists whose fans will readily listen to the new material. Everywhere else new material is summarily dismissed.
I can see why Bruce Springsteen can have consistently successful tours, what with being the greatest live show ever, but…The Police? Synchronicity made it pretty big, but how does one big album translate into the highest grossing tour of ‘07? And Phil-Collins-Genesis had popularity, but it’s not as if Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins had a long-standing feud, yet the promotions of the concerts made it seem like this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. To both of these bands, credit, they broke up on a high note as opposed to releasing turkey after turkey until they decided to call it quits. If you ask me, success at any stage of an artist’s career is a crapshoot. Of course, we must never forget monetary success does not equal artistic success. The third best concert I’ve ever seen (after Bob and TMBG) was Blue Öyster Cult with a new drummer and bassist and no new album to go along with their tour.