As far as live music goes, this summer was one filled with epic collaborations, musical icons and pop starlets. From Paul McCartney to Beyonce & Jay Z, The Eagles to One Direction, the season offered something for everyone. But with such fierce competition, who came out on top? (*Dollar amounts based on secondary ticket price averages.)

One Direction with 5 Seconds of Summer

The only tour that made it into the double digits in gross sales (I’m sure we can partly thank 5SOS for that), it’s no surprise that the crown would go to this plethora of pop stars. One Direction crushed the competition, making nearly double (give or take a few mill) than the Queen Bey & her king.

Beyonce with Jay Z

Of course sometimes shit go down when there’s a billion dollars on an elevator…” Despite swirling rumors and speculation this summer (is she pregnant? Is Jay Z cheating? Who cares?!), the couple earned $9M from their “On the Run” tour. These two know what they are doing.

Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake has been on a non-stop tour in support of The 20/20 Experience since last year. For just the summer leg of shows, he managed to rank third in highest-grossing artists.

Billy Joel

Proving that he’s still got us in the palm of his hand, Billy Joel rejoined the road this summer and earned himself a sizeable chunk of change. Of course, if you didn’t see him this summer, you can go and see him in NYC for the rest of his natural life.

Katy Perry with Capital Cities

Katy Perry roared into the summer with her “Prismatic” World Tour, which we were lucky enough to attend. With the help of Capital Cities and their smash hit “Safe and Sound,” the raven-haired frontwoman made enough cash to hibernate for the winter.

Paul McCartney

What else can you say about Paul freakin’ McCartney? His “Out There” tour has taken him around the world this summer, and even got him a nasty stomach virus in Tokyo. Fortunately he recovered and is still on the road in support of the new album.

Bruno Mars with Aloe Blacc

A significant step down from Paul’s earnings, but impressive–especially for a 28-year-old singer with only two albums under his belt. Relatively new to the game, we’re waiting to hear what Bruno has for us next. For now, nice showing this summer.

Eminem with Rihanna

Six shows, three cities, and two weeks. Yet they still were among the top earners for this summer. Well played, Em. Well played.

Dave Matthews Band

I was almost surprised that Dave Matthews Band was even touring this summer. Then I remembered it was Dave Matthews Band and thus, they are constantly touring. This college-kid jam band will always draw a crowd, no matter how worn out those Birkenstocks get.

Luke Bryan (Country Megaticket with Lee Brice & Cole Swindell)

The Country Megaticket is always a huge moneymaker each year, and with hottie Luke Bryan at the helm it’s no surprise his headlining slot earned nearly $3M.

Zac Brown Band

Everybody is obsessed with Zac Brown Band. While I’ve never heard a song by them, I’d suspect it has more to do with Zac’s puppy dog expression, piercing blue eyes and burly beard. Seriously though, I have no clue what these guys sing.

Motley Crue with Alice Cooper

Anytime a bunch of over-the-hill hair band musicians from the ’80s reunite for a tour, I always think, “so whose grandkids need braces?” But it’s always nice to see Alice Cooper working.

James Taylor

Does James Taylor even exist as a human anymore? Or is there just a permanent hologram of him performing on stage at Tanglewood with a brown, brimmed hat and an acoustic guitar. Spoiler alert: James Taylor has been dead for years and is just punking us all.


The Eagles are the kind of band that you should see at least once if given the opportunity. Don Henley, Joe Walsh… and those other two guys. Whatever, as long as they encore with “Hotel California” I’m happy.

Cher with Cyndi Lauper

Girls just want to have fun. Girls just also want to stay relevant in pop culture amidst a sea of Beyonces, Taylor Swifts and Miley Cyruses. Good luck, girls.

Drake with Lil Wayne

The Drake Versus Lil Wayne Tour saw the new king of one-liners, Drake, up against Mr. Real G’s Move in Silence Like Lasagna himself. For the concerts, a custom-built app was made in which the rappers are pitted against one another in a Street Fighter-style game. Let’s hope the money they earned cost more than it did to develop that thing.

Queen with Adam Lambert

So you’re telling me that the guy from American Idol is playing Freddie Mercury now? Despite the odd pairing, the tour was extremely well received and has revitalized the remaining members of Queen. The global tour they embarked on with Lambert was only their second since Mercury’s passing over 20 years ago.

Jason Aldean (Country Megaticket with Florida Georgia Line & Tyler Farr)

Another headliner on the uber successful Country Megaticket. Jason Aldean can sell out stadiums on his own, let alone when you add in fan favorites Florida Georgia Line. No shock that this one tied with Queen & Adam Lambert.

OneRepublic with The Script & American Authors

You have to respect a band with the ability to write a song so catchy that even now as I type this it’s getting re-stuck in my head. I think we can safely say that “Counting Stars” is the sole reason for this band raking in over $1.5M this summer.

Lady Gaga with CRAYON POP

My, how Lady Gaga has fallen from grace. If this were five years ago, she would likely have ranked number one on this list. Now, after an #ArtFlop, she’s all the way at the bottom, only grossing a little over $1,500,000. At least her boyfriend is hot.


How can a band who has been around for 30 years with no number one song consistently sell out massive arenas? Not only is Trey a guitar god, he’s clearly a wizard. In 2014, this band was certainly on Fuego.

Linkin Park with 30 Seconds to Mars & AFI

I want to write a funny two-sentence blurb about this tour, but first I have to go write an entry about how depressed I am in my live journal. Also Jared Leto 4 Eva!

Garth Brooks with Trisha Yearwood

Garth Brooks made his triumphant return to the road this year, and next year, and for the next three years. With only a handful of shows in early September, he still managed to rank in our top 25.

Fall Out Boy with Paramore and New Politics

After Patrick Stump penned a gloomy open letter on his blog, he and Pete Wentz teamed up for a Fall Out Boy reunion of sorts. After reinventing themselves and releasing an album in early 2013, Fall Out Boy went from has-beens to Hot 100, and hopped on the road with Paramore for the “Monumentour.”