Who's the biggest band in the world?
Who‚Äôs the biggest band in the world?
Maybe you‚Äôve tossed that question around with your friends while waiting for a concert to begin. It‚Äôs a good conversation starter. It‚Äôs also a question of some relevance to Tampa Bay music fans.
In perusing the upcoming concert calendar for Tampa Bay, we realized that a good chunk of the world‚Äôs biggest bands are coming to Tampa and Orlando within the next three months.
So we‚Äôre putting the question out there: Who is the Biggest Band in the World, circa 2009?
To answer a question this, um, big, we must first establish some qualifiers. Our rules:
1. No solo artists. Sorry, Kenny Chesney, Paul McCartney, Madonna, Jimmy Buffett, Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, Kanye West and Miley Cyrus.
2. The band must be active and touring. So no Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Van Halen, the Police or ‚ÄôN Sync. Any one of these bands could come back to life at any moment, but until they do ... they‚Äôre out of the discussion.
3. We‚Äôre talking biggest, not best. You may hate Fall Out Boy, but there‚Äôs no denying Pete Wentz, with his million-plus Twitter followers, is an immensely popular figure. Put it this way: In a theoretical million-seat stadium, which of these artists would sell the most tickets?
Here are 10 contenders for the throne, all of whom are coming to Tampa Bay in the next three months. Then cast your vote for who you think currently holds the title of World's Biggest Band.
Green Day (Aug. 3, St. Pete Times Forum): Dookie was a smash. Their follow-up albums produced hits like Walking Contradiction and Good Riddance (Time of your Life). But it was 2004‚Äôs American Idiot that cemented the NoCal punk trio‚Äôs status as rock visionaries.
Coldplay (Aug. 9, Ford Amphitheatre): Wuss-rock, snooze-rock, call it what you will. Chris Martin and company have still produced the most dynamic pop-rock singles of this decade, from Yellow to Clocks to Viva La Vida. In 20 years, they‚Äôll be as associated with the ‚Äô00s as Duran Duran was with the ‚Äô80s.
Dave Matthews Band (Aug. 12, Ford Amphitheatre): The most charismatic and beloved jam-band frontman since Jerry, Dave (we‚Äôre all on a first-name basis here, man) inspires fanatical passion among fans of jazzy, rootsy boogie-rock. The band‚Äôs annual summer shed shows annually rank among North America‚Äôs top-grossing tours.
Jonas Brothers (Aug. 18, St. Pete Times Forum): Snicker all you like. But if you think Nick, Joe and Kevin aren‚Äôt the biggest pop group in the world right now, you‚Äôre kidding yourself. The JoBros have a firm (but tender) grasp on the rabid-teenage-girl demo, which has driven musical popularity since the days of the Beatles.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (Sept. 12, Ford Amphitheatre): We‚Äôre flirting a bit with our ‚Äúno solo artists‚Äù rule here, but we maintain there‚Äôs a difference between Bruce solo and Bruce with the E Streeters. A Springsteen concert really isn‚Äôt the same without Max, Little Steven and the Big Man. Unless you just really, really love The Ghost of Tom Joad.
Journey (Sept. 23, Amway Arena, Orlando): True, Steve Perry is no longer with the band. But anyone who‚Äôs seen the new lineup live will agree that soundalike frontman Arnel Pineda is no vocal slouch. And regardless of your feelings on ‚Äô80s karaoke-rock, you have to admit, Don‚Äôt Stop Believing may be the most enduring rock song of the past 30 years. It‚Äôs still in iTunes‚Äô top 100 downloaded singles!
Fall Out Boy (Sept. 27, Ford Amphitheatre): Perhaps it says something about the state of American music that Fall Out Boy is considered one of our nation‚Äôs top bands. But the influence Fall Out Boy has had on the current state of pop and rock is much greater than you‚Äôd think. One big knock against Fall Out Boy: They‚Äôre not even the top-billed band on this tour. That would be the reunited Blink-182.
Aerosmith (sometime this fall, Ford Amphitheatre): The band had to cancel its performance July 11 at the Ford Amphitheatre due to ‚Äî well, let‚Äôs just say the ravages of age. But when they return to Tampa for a make-good show this fall, their lifelong fans will no doubt walk that way.
Metallica (Oct. 3, St. Pete Times Forum): That a metal group might be considered America‚Äôs biggest band ‚Äî to say nothing of Biggest Band in the World ‚Äî is astonishing, when you think about it. The sheer brutality of Master of Puppets and Ride the Lightning are insane. And the opening strains of Enter Sandman still make us want to put our fists through a brick wall.
U2 (Oct. 9, Raymond James Stadium): Here they are, the frontrunners for the title of Biggest Band in the World. But are they? New disc No Line on the Horizon was a bit of a letdown. Still, the band‚Äôs back catalog of singles would be enough to fill several Greatest Hits albums. And with 22 Grammy awards under their belt ‚Äî including multiple wins for Album, Record and Song of the Year ‚Äî they‚Äôve got the hardware to back up Bono‚Äôs ego.
Other options: Bon Jovi, Radiohead, the Eagles, AC/DC, Pearl Jam, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Rush, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nickelback, Phish, Il Divo.
Cast your vote below!