Billboard Bits: Rolling Stones, Ticketmaster, Boston

News on Rolling Stones, Ticketmaster, Boston

StonesDuring an Asian swing on their ongoing Licks World Tour, the Rolling Stones will perform later this month for the first time in China and Thailand. The group will also stage its first performance at Budokan in Tokyo, traditionally a martial arts venue the group had hoped to play 30 years ago. That 1973 show did not happen because frontman Mick Jagger was barred entry due to a previous drug possession charge outside of Japan.

The Asian leg of the tour will kick off Monday (March 10) with the Budokan show. The group will play a total of six shows in Japan, also stopping in Yokohama and Osaka. A pair of Singapore shows will follow, then concerts in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing, China. An April 8 show at the 11,500-seat Impact Arena near Bangkok, the area's largest arena, and a pair of concerts in India will close this leg of the tour. The Stones will pick up the trail with in Europe in June. For full tour details, visit the band's official Web site.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

DixieTicketmaster says it sold a record 1.7 million tickets on March 1. About 600,000 were sold at venues, and 1.1 million via Ticketmaster distribution systems; of the latter figure, 53% went through Sales were driven mainly by the Dixie Chicks' national on-sale, which accounted for more than 700,000 tickets, and by a new run of U.S. dates for Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band.

"We were watching in awe, not only at how our system was performing, but at the sheer demand," Ticketmaster chairman/CEO Terry Barnes tells Billboard Bulletin. He says the demand for Springsteen's seven shows at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., were particularly impressive. "At one point, there were 100,000 people in queue on the Web site for Springsteen tickets." While Barnes would not comment on the value of the tickets sold March 1, sources put the figure at $70 million.

-- Ray Waddell, Nashville

BostonVeteran rock act Boston will embark on its first tour in six years later this summer. The trek is expected to encompass 48 dates, although so far only 17 are confirmed, beginning June 8 in Uncasville, Conn. Boston is touring in support of its recent Artemis album, "Corporate America," which debuted last November at No. 42 on The Billboard 200 and has sold 106,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Boston's lineup now features vocalist Brad Delp and guitarist/songwriter Tom Scholz alongside new band members Kimberley Dahme (bass, vocals), and Anthony Cosmo (guitar, backing vocals). Fran Cosmo (vocals, guitar), Gary Pihl (guitar, keyboards, backing vocals), and Jeff Neal (drums) round out the group.

Here are Boston's tour dates:

June 8: Uncasville, Conn. (Mohegan Sun)
June 10: Toronto (Molson Amphitheatre)
June 13: Mansfield, Mass. (Tweeter Center)
June 20: Camden, N.J. (Tweeter Center)
June 25: West Palm Beach, Fla. (Coral Sky)
June 29: Atlanta (Chastain Park Amphitheater)
July 1: Columbus, Ohio (Value City Arena)
July 5: Detroit (DTE Energy Music Center)
July 6: Muskegon, Mich. (Summer Celebration)
July 7: Lansing, Mich. (Adado Riverfront Park)
July 9: Mt. Pleasant, Mich. (Soaring Eagle Casino)
July 11: Walker, Minn. (Moondance Jam)
July 20: Chippewa Falls, Wis. (Valley Rock Fest)
July 22: Denver (Fiddler's Green)
July 23: Orem, Utah (McKay Events Center)
July 26: Seattle (White River Amphitheater)
July 30: Kelseyville, Calif. (Konocti Amphitheater)

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.