Boxoffice Insider: Queens of the Stone Age Completes 'Villains' Trek, Twain Powers On
By Bob Allen
October 1, 2018
It’s a wrap for the “Villains” tour as Queens Of The Stone Age reached the end of the worldwide trek in support of its latest album that dropped in August 2017. The rock band’s tour spanned more than a year covering markets in the Americas and Europe along with an appearance in Japan and a final nine-city run through New Zealand and Australia that ended earlier this month.
The band performed at venues of all sizes during the Villains tour – from more intimate settings with theater-sized crowds and club attendees in some markets to outdoor sheds and arenas in others. During a four-week run through Latin America earlier this year there were also some stadium shows in the mix as QOTSA teamed up with Foo Fighters for a handful of dates in Brazil and Argentina.
Box office reports were sparse during some segments of the tour, so far Pollstar has gross and attendance stats from about half of the dates. But based on the 55 shows that were reported, the tour averaged 5,785 tickets sold per show with an average gross of $312,605.
Overall sales from those 55 headlining performances (not including festivals) totaled nearly $16.3 million with a total ticket count of 300,809.
Hints of a new album and world tour for the band began early in 2017 leading up to an official announcement of both in June. A series of warm-up dates began shortly afterward, starting with a concert at the Rapids Theatre in Niagara Falls, N.Y., followed by festival appearances at Quebec’s Montebello Rockfest and Outside Lands in San Francisco, all prior to the album release in August.
In September of 2017 the group kicked off a string of shows in theaters and clubs and ended the opening North American leg with an arena event at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Oct. 24. An initial stretch of concerts in Europe followed in November, and subsequent treks through both continents continued through July.
Support acts varied throughout the tour, but English duo Royal Blood opened shows during the first North American run last fall and again this past spring. Oklahoma indie rockers Broncho supported the first European trek, and a handful of other artists including Eagles of Death Metal and Wolf Alice filled opening slots on other select shows.
On the final Oceania leg, the headliners shared the bill with Australian artists The Chats and C.W. Stoneking.
Meanwhile, in another genre in the musical universe the Queen of Country Pop, Shania Twain, is still on the road with her world tour. Like Queens Of The Stone Age, she is also touring behind the release of a new album, but for Twain, it is her first in 15 years. The Canadian superstar and five-time Grammy Award winner launched her “Now” tour one year ago this month. It marked her first trek in support of new music since touring behind 2002’s Up!, her fourth studio album.
She did tour in 2015 – a greatest hits effort that came on the heels of her Las Vegas residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace (2012-14). That trek, dubbed “Rock This Country,” was marketed at the time as her “farewell” tour, but with the production and release of the new album, she had a change of heart – stating in summer 2017 that since she had new music, she felt motivated to do that music live. The result was her Now world tour that launched earlier this year in May with concerts booked on four continents.
In the tour’s first leg through North America Twain performed for more than half a million fans. Overall grosses reached nearly $47 million based on concerts at 42 venues from May 3 through Aug. 4.
Now, in the early days of autumn with the three-month opening leg behind her, she has just kicked off her second set of dates – a four-week stretch through nine countries in Europe, that began on Sept. 19 with a two-night stand in Glasgow, Scotland.
Venues in five more cities on the British Isles are also booked including Dublin’s 3Arena and O2 Arena in London, both set to host the tour for two-show engagements. The singer will remain in Europe through Oct. 17.
So far, box office numbers show that gross and attendance totals from this year’s trek are similar to “Rock This Country,” but with increases in both counts. The 2015 jaunt averaged $1.06 million grossed per venue with an average attendance of 10,818. This year the average gross shows a moderate increase of about 4 percent, but the number of sold tickets per venue is about 15 percent higher than three years ago.
Ticket prices also saw an increase this year compared to the prior run. “Rock This Country” had a price range that spanned from about $45 to $135 domestically, but the top ticket price for “Now” is closer to the $160 range.
After Europe, Twain will head Down Under for her first visit to Australia and New Zealand as a headliner since her debut tour, “Come On Over.” On that trek, she performed at five Aussie arenas in February 1999. This year she will appear in six cities in Australia and wrap the tour with two stops in New Zealand.