Bruce Springsteen tops 2003 concert acts. Bruce and the E Street Band earned $115.9 million from U.S. live shows this year

By Brian Hiatt
Updated December 23, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST
Bruce Springsteen: Steven Tackeff/ZUMA Press/Newscom

The 53-year-old Boss was boss of U.S. stadiums and arenas this year. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band were 2003’s top concert attraction, earning $115.9 million on the road and playing to 1.6 million fans over 47 shows, according to Reuters, citing figures compiled by concert-industry trade publication Pollstar. The ’02-’03 ”The Rising” tour — Springsteen’s first since his ’84-’85 ”Born in the U.S.A.” outing to include U.S. stadium gigs — was also the second highest-grossing tour ever, after the Rolling Stones 1994 ”Voodoo Lounge” expedition, which earned $121.2 million.

Celine Dion, who stayed in one spot (Las Vegas) all year, was the year’s second-biggest live draw, pulling in $80.5 million in 145 shows. The Eagles were at No. 3, earning $69.3 million, while Fleetwood Mac were close behind with $69 million. Cher’s seemingly endless farewell tour, meanwhile, came in at No. 5 with $68.2 million. The rest of the top ten included Simon & Garfunkel at No. 6 ($64.5 million) the Aerosmith/Kiss package tour ($64 million), The Dixie Chicks ($60.5 million), Billy Joel/Elton John ($50.9 million) and Metallica’s ”Summer Sanitarium” package tour ($48.8 million). In total, the concert business earned about $2.4 billion, according to the Associated Press — a record take, helped along by rising ticket prices.