The 19 Hardest Working Bands of 2013…

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(number of shows played)

A.K.A., the 19 most jet-lagged bands of 2013.

The data comes from Songkick’s yearly infograph featuring bands tracked on their platform. Listed are the artists that played the most shows and how many kilometers they traveled going venue to venue.

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(kilometers traveled)

1. Local Natives

2. Kendrick Lamar

3. Alt-J

4. Imagine Dragons

5. Foals

6. Papa Roach

7. One Direction

8. Willie Nelson

9. Two Door Cinema Club

10. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

11. Justin Bieber

12. Bonobo

13. Miguel

14. Tegan and Sara

15. The Lumineers

16. The Band Perry

17. Ellie Goulding

18. Pink

19. Asking Alexandria


Interesting facts: Big name bands covered 15 percent more distance than in 2012 and One Direction is the first boy band to be included. Willie Nelson and Two Door Cinema Club have been featured in Songkick’s yearly graph since 2011. In those three years Nelson played a total of 442 shows and Two Door Cinema Club traveled 346,328 miles. Local Natives topped the list, playing 188 shows. Alt-J covered the most ground at 156,239 miles. Foals played shows on every continent except Antarctica.

22 Responses

  1. Bruce Burbank

    And ya know what’s interesting? There’s a few artists on this list that I’ve never even heard of (Local Natives, Alt-J, Two Door Cinema Club, Ellie Goulding) and even though I’ve read/seen the names of the others in various publications or websites, I can’t say I’ve heard a single song from any of them (other than being familiar with what Willie Nelson’s voice sounds like, and the one radio hit Papa Roach had back in the 90s). And I’m one who scours the local rags and sites every week just out of curiosity to see who’s playing around town (San Diego).

    Which begs the question, is all that touring really worth it? All the expense, all the time on the road, all the physical wear and tear, all the contracts, all the crappy hotels and crappier food. Depends on what they want to get out of it, I guess. But if exposure / toehold / awareness is their goal, even though I’m just one anecdotal case, I can’t see how you’d call any of their efforts and time and money spent a worthwhile endeavor.

    Maybe it’s just that I have really weird tastes in music and I’m not looking in the right places to be exposed to artists like these. I dunno.

    • Anonymous

      Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard an Ellie Goulding song. Trust me.

    • Anonymous

      Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard an Ellie Goulding song.

    • Nina Ulloa

      Well, Ellie Goulding has gone triple platinum and is dominating the charts. She’s already done the same in UK. So I’d say she’s workin’ it.

      • BP

        One thing that’s sometimes lost on non-artists (and taken advantage of by others) is that many artists love to perform, need to perform – some will actually perform at a financial loss. Shitty food, crappy hotels, paperwork, wear & tear? Bring it on – that hour and a half on stage each night is totally worth it.

    • Lynch

      “Maybe it’s just that I have really weird tastes in music and I’m not looking in the right places to be exposed to artists like these. I dunno.”

      I’m going to have to go with that, because those are some pretty huge names.

    • Jay

      You know what they say about basing a broad opinion on personal experience…

    • GGG

      Local Natives are pretty much as big as they come with still being an indie. They headlined two nights at a 3K cap room here in NYC this years. Atl-J won the Mercury Prize last year, see Nina’s post for Ellie Goulding, Two Door Cinema Club as 1.6M Facebook fans, etc.

      So 1) maybe San Diego doesn’t have the demand for those type of acts? I would think they do, but I don’t know that market. 2) You read very niche websites if you haven’t heard of 99% of those acts. 3) They tour this much because there is demand. Look up these acts’ tour dates. They are playing good size rooms, ranging from theaters to arenas, not like playing shit bars to 50 people.

      The beauty of the internet is that bands don’t have to be worldwide phenomenons to have a career. For example, I can’t stand most Warped Tour music, so I know very few bands. But I love coming across one, looking them up and they have hundreds of thousands, if not a million+ followers. Just proves what I said before.

      Also, if you formed a band in the last ten years and don’t plan on or want to tour, you’re gonna have a hard time.

    • Anonymous

      Alt-J had the largest crowd at Lollapalooza this year that wasn’t a headliner. Listen to more than the radio and top 40

  2. FarePlay

    Springsteen just came off the road after a year and a half and is going back out early next year to NZ, Australia and Asia. How could he not be on this list?

  3. TuneHunter

    All bands should anticipate more and more hard work!
    There is more musicians and monetization of music thru subs and advertising is organically limited.

    Current streaming and Veevoo stampede will deliver approximately 50% of 1999 in 2025.

    Ole! Universal

    Time to interrupt shrinkage of the industry.

  4. @mattadownes

    All of these artists, Local Natives, Alt-J, Two Door Cinema Club and Ellie Goulding are making 10’s of thousands of dollars per show. Ellie does well with recorded music sales, but the others need to continue touring to generate income.

  5. Chris

    Local Natives, Alt-J, Two Door Cinema Club – All fantastic bands that show you how far out of touch with good music the average American is if you’ve never heard of them…

  6. Bruce Burbank

    Hey, why don’t all you whipersnappers just get off my lawn! Don’t make me go get my cane and chase you off!

    Ya, I guess I do live under a rock. So be it. In the meantime, I’m driving up to LA today specifically for a little $5 club show with Bestial Mouths and off to Phoenix in January for Author & Punisher. Would I make these trips for any of these ‘major name’ artists? Of course not. I’ve never heard them. Why would I? I’m wrapped up in my own little world of noisy, underground electronic artists, and I’m no less a fan of those artists than the ‘average American’ is of those so-called major acts.

    I guess I’m just not in the bell curve.

    (And yes, San Diego is pretty much a minor league town, as far as the touring circuit goes. Unless you’re an arena act, once bands hit LA, that’s good enough for them.)

    • GGG

      But that’s the beauty of it. You could probably list 50 electronic artists people like me have never heard of, who have relatively great careers. Doesn’t mean I should think any less of them or not be happy since I’ve never heard of them.

      The articles on here about the long tail being a myth are certainly correct to the extent of comparing the mainstream to the niches, but the niches have still grown exponentially due to the internet. Chances are you and 99% of Bestial Mouths or A&Ps audience would have no idea they existed were this 10 years ago, let alone 15-20+.

    • Anonymous

      What I don’t get how the fuck can you have never heard of Ellie Goulding? Every third song on pretty half the radio stations in the country is a Ellie Goulding song. She’s not an obscure or even mainstream indie. She’s mainstream mainstream. She’s possibly the most powerful women in EDM. And you are into music enough to visit a music blog and still never heard of her?

  7. And we lyubimvas

    Почему Asking Alexandria последние?! Они всегда далжны быть самыми первыми!! Они свмые лучшие и сасые любимые!!! <3

  8. Minneapolis Musician

    Maybe we are all behind the times thinking that only the bands we “hear of” are successful, popular bands.

    A thousand smaller circles out there, but each with enough of a fan following to make some sort of living and have fun

    And if it’s no longer fun (or if you cannot pay your bills responsibly and don’t have health insurance, etc.), then stop.