The highest grossing tour - and rock's other biggest numbers

1 May 2023, 14:00 | Updated: 15 March 2024, 13:13

U2's 360° Tour gets underway in 2011
U2's 360° Tour gets underway in 2011. Picture: LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images

From ticket sales to decibels, get number crunching with these awesome stats from the world of rock with U2, Metallica and more...

  1. Highest Grossing Tour

    Forget about the Rolling Stones or One Direction; U2 are still absolutely raking it in when it comes to live shows! Their 360° Tour of 2009 to 2011 is still recorded as the highest grossing tour of all time, earning a reported $736,421,584. Sir Elton John's ongoing Farewell Yellow Brick Road is giving them a run for their money it by taking in $853 million so far, but when you adjust U2's figure for inflation, it comes in at $887 million, so Bono and co still win.

  2. Loudest Ever Gig

    When touring their debut album Leftism, Leftfield became known for having some of the loudest shows around. In 1996, when playing Brixton Academy, the band played so loud that dust and plater fell from the roof. The sound volume was recorded at 137 decibels - beating the likes of AC/DC, The Who and Motorhead.

    Leftfield - Open Up

  3. Highest Demand for Tickets for One Concert

    You might think it's impossible to get a Glastonbury ticket nowadays, but in 2007, Led Zeppelin set a new record. When the band released tickets for a one-time reunion show to pay tribute to their old label boss Ahmet Ertegun, a recorded 20 million requests for the date at London's O2 Arena were recorded online.

    Led Zeppelin - Kashmir (Live from Celebration Day) (Official Video)

  4. Only band to tour all seven continents

    Veteran US rockers Metallica became the first and only band to tour all seven continents when they played Antartica in 2013. In a gig fittingly named "Freeze Them All" saw them play for 120 scientists and competition winners at Carlini Station in Antarctica. If that wasn't enough, the Enter Sandman stars managed to do it in just one calendar year. That's a lot of air miles.

    Metallica Nothing Else Matters Antarctica 2013 HD

  5. Most shows in 24 hours

    The Flaming Lips broke the Guinness World Record on 27 June 2012 for the most live gigs in 24 hours, outstripping Jay Z of the title. The Lips set off on a tour bus to play eight shows, starting in Memphis and ending in New Orleans. The attempt - which was part of the O Music Awards - ended with 20 minutes to spare. Hunter Hayes has since broken their record, with a charity concert to end child hunger, managing 10 shows in 10 cities. Damn!

    The Flaming Lips Record-Breaking 24-Hour Tour 2012!!

  6. Largest Game of Dodgeball, Most People in a Custard Pie Fight, Largest Air Guitar Ensemble, playing on the World’s Smallest Drum Kit and more

    Trust Weezer to kill several birds with one stone. Their Troublemaker video featured the band and their fans breaking several records such as Largest Air Guitar Ensemble, Most People on a Skateboard, Longest Session of Guitar Hero World Tour, Largest Game of Dodgeball and Most People in a Custard Pie Fight.

    Weezer - Troublemaker