Top 25 Tours of the 2010s

on November 08, 2019, 5:30pm
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This article is brought to you by StubHub

What’s the best concert you’ve been to since 2010? Take a minute. It’s a big question, one with plenty of right answers and no easy criteria by which to judge them. From pop music’s critical reemergence to reunion tours by bands you never thought you’d see again, it’s been a great decade for music, and we have an embarrassment of great concerts to choose from.

Then again, your favorite concert of the 2010s might still be out there. You can find all the best late contenders with the help of StubHub, the online ticket-selling marketplace that’s your gateway to the best concerts and events in more than 50 countries around the world. Right now, they’ve got the tickets you need for this winter’s coolest shows by acts ranging from Bad Bunny and Wilco to FKA Twigs and Lana Del Rey. Do those sound like the decade’s best? Head over to StubHub and find out for yourself.

Did you pick your favorite concert? Good. While you were thinking, I pulled together my own list of the top 25 tours of the 2010s. Maybe we’ll agree. Most likely, we won’t. That’s ok, though. When it comes to debates about the music you love best, it’s almost impossible to lose.

(Buy: Tickets to Your Favorite Upcoming Shows)

25. Guided by Voices – Hallway of Shatterproof Glass Tour (2010-2011)

Guided by Voices, photo by Katie Schuering

Guided by Voices, photo by Katie Schuering

Six years after bringing his legendary indie-rock outfit to a close at Chicago’s Metro on New Year’s Eve 2004, Robert Pollard resurrected Guided by Voices in the best way possible — by reconvening the band’s “classic lineup” of Tobin Sprout, Mitch Mitchell, and Greg Demos for the first time since 1996. On their Hallway of Shatterproof Glass Tour, GBV treated fans to raucous renditions of songs from their best-loved albums, including 1994’s Bee Thousand, 1995’s Alien Lanes, and 1996’s Under the Bushes Under the Stars. To paraphrase the band’s unofficial slogan: the club was once again open.

(Buy: Tickets to Upcoming Guided by Voices Shows)

24. David Byrne and St. Vincent – Love This Giant Tour (2012-2013)

David Byrne, St. Vincent, Chicago, Heather Kaplan

St. Vincent and David Byrne, photo by Heather Kaplan

St. Vincent’s 2012 partnership with iconic Talking Heads frontman David Byrne didn’t just score serious points for cross-generational collaboration — it also produced one of the decade’s most memorable tours. Backed by a 10-person band complete with a full brass section, the two ringleaders brought the music of their record, Love This Giant, to life through brawny arrangements and intricate choreography that turned the performers on stage into a multi-headed rock organism that was half marching band, half jazz funeral procession.

23. Gorillaz – Humanz Tour (2017-2018)

Gorillaz, Chicago, photo by Heather Kaplan

Gorillaz, photo by Heather Kaplan

Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett are real, but Gorillaz are not (at least, in a corporeal sense). During past tours, the virtual band got around this inconvenient reality of animation by ducking behind screens (as in 2001) or abandoning pretense and just playing like regular old humans (as in 2005 and 2010). By 2017, though, the technology had finally caught up with the duo’s ambitions; touted by Albarn as “a totally immersive interactive experience with the audience,” 2017’s Humanz Tour found the band bring their cartoon alter egos to life through a massive custom-designed LED screen called the Oracle. Can a full hologram tour be far behind?

22. Kraftwerk – Kraftwerk 3D Tour (2014)

Kraftwerk, photo by Robert Altman

Kraftwerk, photo by Robert Altman

Much like Gorillaz, German techno legends Kraftwerk also harnessed the increased sophistication of electronic visuals for use in their live shows this decade. On their Kraftwerk 3D Tour, the band combined a 360-degree soundsystem with 3D visuals that system developers d&b Soundscape described as having audiences “ducking flying saucers, computers, and an autobahn of Volkswagens as the music throbs and shimmers.”

21. Fleetwood Mac – On with the Show Tour (2014-2015)

Fleetwood Mac, Chicago, Amanda Koellner,

Fleetwood Mac, photo by Amanda Koellner

Legendary rock group Fleetwood Mac is set to play what may be its final show this month in Las Vegas, but the last show by its classic lineup happened four years earlier with the end of the On with the Show Tour. Featuring longtime vocalist Christine McVie in the lineup for the first time since 1998, that tour also happened to be the last for frontman Lindsay Buckingham, who quit the band in 2018 over scheduling disagreements.

(Buy: Tickets to Upcoming Fleetwood Mac Shows)

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