Guns N’ Roses, the hard rock titans who typified ‘80s hard rock, are apparently still killing it three decades later. Billboard reported on Thursday that the band’s Not In This Lifetime… tour grossed $475 million in 2017, which is literally almost half a BILLION dollars. Cue Dr. Evil voice.
The astronomically high number makes their tour the fourth highest-grossing of all time, according to Billboard’s Boxscore archives, which tracks touring gross revenue. Guns N’ Roses’ latest tour sits just behind Coldplay’s A Head Full of Dreams ($523 million), The Rolling Stones’ A Bigger Bang ($558 million), and U2’s 360° stadium tour ($736 million). Also...who knew Coldplay was ranking in the dough?
The band is on pace to break into the $500 million tour pantheon, despite the fact that their last album, Chinese Democracy, was released in 2008—an entire decade ago. People just friggin’ love GNR, I guess.
The lack of new blood in these touring numbers is concerning: With the exception of Coldplay, all of 2017's top touring bands peaked in the 1980s—and the Rolling Stones date all the way back to the 1960s. Maybe it speaks to the spending power of the MTV generation, maybe it simply proves that those of us who grew up in the ‘90s and 2000s just aren’t as interested in shelling out to see our beloved acts from yesteryear.
This is certainly great news for Guns N’ Roses and their camp, but it’ll be interesting to see if any newer bands—or pop acts—are able to retain this kind of longevity. Will the Chainsmokers be performing to 50,000 fans in Brazil in 2037? If you have a time machine or can see into the future, please us know.