Old hippies love to brag about the time they paid a mere $6.50 to see Led Zeppelin at Madison Square Garden in 1973. How times have changed. Today, when your favorite marquee act comes to town, you'll plunk down the equivalent of a new car payment (plus those fun processing fees) for a pair of seats you hope are in the same zip code as the concert stage.
Now more than ever, major concert tours translate to megabucks for superstar artists who otherwise earn only fractions of a cent per digital song download or stream. To help ensure arena and stadium sellouts, today's stage sets and audio-visual razzle-dazzle must go bigger than ever, which means obscenely high production costs that are passed on to ticket buyers.
The result is box-office numbers that routinely reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars. To give you an idea of how much scratch there is to be made from playing "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" for the thousandth time, we've rounded up the highest-grossing concert tours ever.
Note: The numbers are from Pollstar and Billboard. Each gross amount is in the original U.S. dollars and hasn't been adjusted for inflation.