The music industry's "bright spot," live music, has been clouded by softer ticket sales and canceled dates this summer. Here's a look at stars who succeeded, as well as some who suffered.
By Mark Brown Special to MSN Music
Winner: Lady Gaga
She is this year's "it" girl, proving... more that spectacle still sells. "She definitely has the heat around her. There's always something intangible about whatever it is that motivates people to see an artist live," said Pollstar's Gary Bongiovanni.
"Does she have the catalog of work to play these venues?" Pollstar's Bongiovanni asks. The market answers: No. Whoever booked her into 18,000-seat sheds needs to be taken to the woodshed.
Winner: Paul McCartney
Top tickets are still $250 – same as last time around – but even the $50 seats are fantastic with the giant screens and superb sound system. Toss in super-rarities ("Venus and Mars/Rock Show") and never-before-played classics ("Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da") and ... moreit's still a night in boomer heaven (and plenty of their kids showed up, too).
Loser: Christina Aguilera
A stalled single, a changing image and tour schedule that would be considered ambitious even in the best of times spelled disaster. The whole tour was scrapped.
Winner: Justin Bieber
Another "intangible," with his good looks the biggest thing going for him. For whatever reason, every early teen in the nation wants to be there despite his limited music skills and wooden banter with the crowd.
Loser: The Jonas Brothers
Don't be surprised if the Jonas Brothers have a voodoo doll that looks like Justin Bieber – he single-handedly took their audience away this summer. Overexposure and a higher ticket price crippled the tour, causing the cancellation of a number of dates
Winner: Taylor Swift
Another thorn in the Jonas' sides. In most cities, Swift sold out two nights at the biggest arenas, charmed the crowd with the hits they wanted to hear and didn't make any boneheaded Miley Cyrus moves to sully her image. Like her or not, the girl's got it ... moredown.
Loser: "American Idol"
With a ho-hum TV season, lacking a star remotely as captivating as Adam Lambert, the resulting tour has suffered accordingly. Live Nation has dropped many tickets to $10 to try to make its money back on beer and parking. Apparently the world isn't waiting... more on the warblings of Crystal Bowersox and company.