Maybe it’s a reaction to the explosion of festivals, which is now putting tens of touring acts in one park/arena/desert every weekend for a party. Maybe it’s a reflection of the death of “battle culture” and a softer time, when the obsession among artists with being the best is at an all-time low. Or maybe it’s an admission that a fractured pop culture landscape just doesn’t allow one act to sell 75,000 tickets for a single show anymore.
Whatever it is, the past four years have seen an uptick in dual-headliner shows in massive arenas. Artists at the top of the charts are teaming up to combine their fanbases and play the largest venues in the country. With sensitive Canadian Drake and Billboard record holder for most charting tracks (no, really!) Lil Wayne hitting town Tuesday, here’s a guide to the duos bringing down the biggest of houses in the recent past:
Drake and Lil Wayne
Tour Name: Drake vs. Lil Wayne
Collaborative Tracks: New single “Grindin'” and too many more to mention — from “Forever” up to and through “The Motto.”
Best Side Benefit: Fans can get a tour-specific app, designed as a takeoff on Capcom’s popular “Street Fighter” series, which will be a part of the performance.
Success? In progress.
Beyoncé and Jay Z
Tour Name: On the Run Tour
Collaborative Tracks: “Crazy in Love,” “Drunk in Love,” “’03 Bonnie and Clyde” and “Part II (On the Run),” among others.
Best Side Benefit: Gossip rags haven’t had to worry about filling space in months.
Success? The recently-concluded tour ended up bringing in more than $100 million, according to reports.
Jay Z and Kanye West
Tour Name: Watch the Throne Tour
The Collaborative Tracks: The entire “Watch the Throne” album, “Run this Town,” “Diamonds from Sierra Leone”
Best Side Effect: Underground betting rings stayed busy with nightly wagers on how many times in one show ‘Ye and Jay would play “[Expletives] in Paris.” (The duo reportedly performed the track double-digit times in one show in Paris.)
Success? Set the standard for these tag-team tours, and was a hit at the box office and with critics.
Eminem and Rihanna
Tour Name: The Monster Tour
Collaborative Tracks: “Love the Way You Lie,” “Love the Way You Lie (Part II),” “Numb,” “The Monster”
Best Side Effect: Even with such a limited schedule — six shows combined in Los Angeles, New York and Detroit — it’s the longest tour Em has done in the U.S. in years, meaning the first time many will see recent songs live.
Success? In progress.
Jay Z and Justin Timberlake
Tour Name: Legends of the Summer
Collaborative Tracks: “Suit and Tie,” “Holy Grail”
Best Side Effect: As the tour took place directly after the release of Hova’s mediocre “Magna Carta Holy Grail” album, it meant no solo tour where that album’s tracks would make up the bulk of the set list.
Success? It averaged nearly $5 million per show in ticket sales across 14 dates.
If you go: Drake and Lil Wayne perform at Forest Hills Stadium Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., 1 Tennis Place, Forest Hills, $69-$150.