In their first public gig since being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003, the reunited Police — Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers — took the stage at the 49th annual Grammy Awards, kicking off the show with “Roxanne.”
Sting, who appeared to be channeling Billy Idol, complete with wind-resistant hair and black leather vest, led a stirring rendition of the classic tune, which is celebrating the 30th anni of its release.
With buzz from their Grammy perf still in the air, the trio is holding a press conference today, where they are expected to announce plans to launch a massive reunion tour.
The five-time Grammy winners aren’t the only ones to use the music industry honors to launch an upcoming tour. It’s a tradition established by the industry and the kudocast to kickstart tours.
It’s a win-win for both sides: Artists get a national boost to promote themselves for an upcoming tour and/or album, while the kudocast gets a boost in ratings from fans eagerly anticipating a glimpse of past idols.
Last year, before Madonna launched her Confessions tour, she took to the Grammy stage with toon rockers Gorillaz. By the end of 2006, Madonna had grossed $85.9 million in 34 cities to come in at No. 4 on the top concert tours of the year.
In 2004, Prince emerged from his self-induced exile by opening the kudocast with Beyonce Knowles in a medley of his greatest hits, as well as her top single “Crazy in Love.” The Grammy appearance, as well as his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame later that year, saved the Purple One from obscurity and goosed sales of “Musicology” and its tour, which grossed an estimated $87.4 million.
The year before, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel reunited at the Grammys by opening the awards ceremony on a mellow note with “The Sound of Silence.” The successes of the Grammy perf eventually led to a North American tour, which went on to gross close to $65 million for the duo.
Not all reunions are happy ones. An unexpected bad turn can remind even steadfast fans of long-forgotten odd behavior. Case in point: last year’s production featuring Sly and most of the Family Stone (Rusty Allen in place of original bassist Larry Graham). At the Grammy’s telecast, the reclusive rocker came out of his spider hole for the first time since 1987, but delivered a less-than-stellar perf.
But more often than not, the music industry’s biggest night usually equals big bucks for seemingly retired rockers to position themselves for a comeback.
In 1996, Kiss reunited for the first time in 17 years and played at the 38th annual Grammys to great effect. The foursome then released their “Unplugged” album and vid, and followed with the announcement of their Alive Worldwide Reunion tour in April. Tickets for the event sold out in a little under an hour. The tour lasted for 192 shows, with an average attendance of almost 14,000, and earned close to $44 mil for the “Detroit Rock City” boys, making Kiss the top-drawing act of the year.