The good news in the music biz is that first six months of 2011 were somewhat better than the previous year as many top-tier acts really raked in the coinage all over North America.
U2's 360° tour takes the top spot so far, with more than $85 million for only 14 shows in 11 cities. Bono and Co. charged an average of $97 per seat and every show that they played was a sellout.Anyone who witnessed last year's concert in Atlanta realizes just how absolutely breathtaking the show is on every level.
Lady Gaga's Monster Ball tour also did impressive business, grossing more than $65 million. This most certainly signals passing of the musical torch from Madonna, who will eventually raise the "bar of entertainment" even further when she hits the road the next time.
Bon Jovi continues to pack 'em in all over with $57 million in concert revenues. The New Jersey rockers also had the highest average ticket price of these top three acts, charging at a little bit over a C-note for a seat.
ROLLING IN THE DEEP DOUGH DEPT. Album sales are up from last year as well, with Adele's 21 leading the pack, herd, pod and warren with more than 2.5 million copies sold in the states this year. Lady Gaga is in second place as Born This Way continues to sell, but the big surprise is from Mumford and Sons, whose only album Sigh No More has moved a cool million copies, a huge amount for an "indie" band.
MEDIA MOGUL Rupert Murdoch's abrupt closing of the 168-year-old News of the World tabloid in Great Britain was shocking to most everybody. The scandal-ridden rag had been a major influence in pop culture in England and the paper was even mentioned in The Beatles' Polythene Pam from Abbey Road . Queen also paid homage to the paper, naming their epic 1977 LP News of the World . That's the one with We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions .
MIKE HUNT ON THE IMPERIAL STAGE DEPT.? Aiken County Sheriff Mike Hunt was on the Imperial Theatre's silver screen last Saturday as he and dozens of other locals were featured in the superb documentary Graniteville: Past, Present, Future . It's a must-see production that features residents and rescuers reminiscing about their town and the subsequent train accident that crippled the area in 2005. Special praise goes out to WJBF-TV news anchors Brad Means and Jennie Montgomery, whose heartfelt comments concerning the tragedy proves yet again that both are major-market quality news reporters in every sense of the word.
OK. LET'S GIVE the uninitiated and/or unaware some kind of idea of just how strong the global reputation of Augusta native Sharon Jones and her band the Dap-Kings is these days. While performing her irresistibly funky When I Come Home in Paris a few weeks ago, she was surprised with a visit from her good friend Prince, who contributed some blistering guitar licks. Do not miss Jones and her impressive ensemble when she plays Oct. 7 during the Westobou Festival.
LAST WEEK'S CONTEST Winner is Amy Rickard, who wins lunch for two (including their famous Parmesan cheese breadsticks) at Spinnaker's Restaurant in Augusta Mall.
TURNER'S QUICK NOTES: Metallica and former Velvet Underground legend Lou Reed have teamed up for an album to be released later this year ... Stevie Nicks visits Chastain Park in Atlanta on Friday ... He's always in the right place regardless of the time: Dr. John has the aptly-titled New Orleans Man in stores next week.