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It’s Alive!

It was another banner year for the touring industry, with a number of acts filling arenas, sheds and even stadiums across the country. This was the year

It was another banner year for the touring industry, with a number of acts filling arenas, sheds and even stadiums across the country. This was the year that successful CDs by teen pop idols also translated into boffo box office. The most successful tour of the year was unquestionably ‘N Sync’s sold-out stadium and arena tour, a massive and magnificent production profiled in these pages in our November 2000 issue. Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera also crisscrossed the country to packed houses, not to mention playing on what seemed to be 100 different awards shows on television. The year began with the Backstreet Boys still touring behind their last CD; now they’ve put out another disc (Black and Blue), and their 2001 tour promises to be one of the most popular of the year.

The other big stadium tour was once again the George Strait Country Music Festival, which brought together such acts as Strait, Tim McGraw, Martina McBride, Dixie Chicks and Asleep at the Wheel. The Dixie Chicks and McGraw (with wife Faith Hill) also mounted very successful tours of their own.

If it was loud, aggressive rock you were looking for in 2000, then there was plenty to choose from, including tours by Metallica, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach (see page 86) and veteran units such as AC/DC and Kiss (on their alleged farewell tour), among others.

Baby boomers shelled out sky-high prices for acts such as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Steely Dan, Roger Waters, The Who, Joni Mitchell, Tina Turner and the Moody Blues. The unchecked rise of concert ticket prices remains a scandal that seems to only get worse with each tour by “name” artists. Only the hideously overpriced Diana Ross and the faux Supremes tour met with outright rejection by the public.

Other big tours of 2000 included jaunts by Phish, the Dave Matthews Band, Jimmy Buffett, TLC, Kid Rock, DMX, Mariah Carey and, continuing on from last year’s tours, Ricky Martin and Bruce Springsteen (no, not together). And, of course, there were a zillion lower-profile tours that filled clubs and theaters – still the best places to see and hear music.

THE FOUR ACTS ON OUR COVER THIS MONTH:Snoop Dogg was part of the popular Up In Smoke hip hop tour (see Mix, December 2000). The tour featured a flown V-DOSC system (from ProMix), subwoofer cabinets provided by Maryland Sound, EAW wedges and two Midas XL4 consoles (courtesy of Eighth Day Sound) for FOH and monitors, which were handled by Tim Colvard and Sean Sturge, respectively. Dr. Dre and Eminem were also featured on the tour.

Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots did his thing through a Showco Prism system. The FOH engineer was Jimmy Huth at a Midas XL4 console; the Ultimate Ears Pro 5 in-ear monitors were handled by Maxie Williams on a Midas XL3. Ninety percent of the mics were by Shure.

Teen queen Christina Aguilera’s tour is profiled in detail in our “All Access” column on page 72.

Did anyone have a bigger year than Carlos Santana? His Supernatural album was bought by more people than voted for George W. Bush (okay, we’re exaggerating a little), and he needed a Ryder truck to haul home his cache of Grammys, Latin Grammys, People’s Choice, VH-1 and other awards. But mostly he did what he always does, which is tour incessantly. The world tour carried a Showco Prism system; FOH engineer Randy Piotroski helmed a Midas XL4 console, while monitor mixer Brian Montgomery worked on a Midas Heritage 3000. Mics were from Shure, AKG, E-V, Sennheiser and Beyer.