Above: A recording of the Rolling Stones performing “Hang Fire” in Kansas City on Dec. 14, 1981, the first of two consecutive shows at Kemper Arena.
The Rolling Stones are no strangers to Arrowhead Stadium.
Tuesday morning, the hall-of-fame British rock band announced its 15-stop North American summer tour, which will stop at Arrowhead on Saturday, June 27. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday, April 13. American Express card holders can buy tickets beginning on Wednesday, April 8.
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It will be the Stones’ third performance at Arrowhead. The first was nearly 40 years ago, when their Tour of the Americas came to town on June 6, 1975. They returned 14 years later, when the Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle Tour came to Arrowhead on Oct. 8, 1989.
The Stones’ previous concert in Kansas City was on April 6, 1999, at Kemper Arena, part of the No Security Tour. Here’s the set list for that show. (Their first Kansas City show was at Municipal Auditorium on June 22, 1972.)
The Stones’ Zip Code Tour tour kicks off May 24 at Petco Park in San Diego. The 13 other stops include smaller markets the size of Kansas City: Columbus, Ohio; Minneapolis; Dallas; Atlanta; Orlando; Nashville; Pittsburgh; Milwaukee; Raleigh, N.C.; Indianapolis; Detroit; Buffalo, N.Y.; and Quebec City, Canada.
The last time the Rolling Stones played North American stadiums was during their A Bigger Bang Tour in 2006. They opted for arena venues for their 50 & Counting tour in 2012 and 2013.
“We love being out on the road and it is great to come back to North America,” said Keith Richards in a statement. “I can’t wait to get back on the stage!”
And quite the stage it will be, including a section that juts far into the crowd, allowing the Stones to interact with fans. As is the band’s practice, the stage design will employ cutting-edge technology to enhance the performance, including video screens and special effects.
The Zip Code tour will coincide with the re-release of their seminal album “Sticky Fingers” on May 26. The 1971 recording features such Stones classics as “Brown Sugar,” “Wild Horses” and “Dead Flowers.”
The Zip Code Tour will be the first of three shows scheduled for Arrowhead this summer: One Direction performs on July 28 and Kenny Chesney co-headlines with Jason Aldean on Aug. 1. According to the seat map at Ticketmaster, Chesney’s show looks about 90 percent sold out. Prices are $25 to $225.
No seat map is available for the One Direction show, but a request for four “best available” tickets offered seats in the middle of a lower section at the back of the stadium. Prices are $29 to $99.
This will be Chesney’s fourth Arrowhead show in five years. All have done well, coming close to a sellout, which is roughly 50,000 fans.
Stadium shows have become more common over the past 10 years. Chesney, Dave Matthews, U2 and Taylor Swift have all toured stadiums in the past five years or so. In February, AC/DC announced a tour of 13 stadiums in North America.
In August, Billboard magazine proclaimed 2014 “the best year for stadium concerts in 20 years.” Concert promoter Live Nation produced 72 stadium shows last year, drawing about 3 million fans. However, as Ray Waddell pointed out in the Billboard article, the decision to tour stadiums must be made judiciously.
“The thin margins of touring … require that a stadium play make more financial sense than a double- or triple-date appearance at an arena,” he wrote. “The non-talent costs of producing a stadium show run $1.2 million to $1.8 million, nearly triple those of an arena show.”
Matthews and Swift have returned to smaller venues. Matthews is touring amphitheaters this summer, including a stop in Bonner Springs on July 14. Swift, who sold out Arrowhead in September 2011, has scheduled back-to-back shows at the Sprint Center on Sept. 21 and 22. Both shows are nearly sold out. In August 2013, she sold out back-to-back shows at the Sprint Center. Last summer, Justin Timberlake sold out the Sprint Center two nights in a row.