) -- After years of subpar concert ticket sales, the music industry is hoping to sing a happy song and shake off its recessionary blues this summer.
Last year was a little bit better for the music industry on the live performance front. According to
, a trade magazine that analyzes music industry data, the top 100 concert tours in North America throughout 2011 sold more than 54 million tickets, making $2.3 billion, and sales were 6% higher than the previous year. Apparently, concert tickets are a lagging economic indicator, as sales actually held steady in post-recession 2009 before plunging 15% in 2010, the worst season in 15 years.
It wasn't just the nation's economy that hurt the concert industry. It was also the confluence of ever-rising ticket prices crashing well past the $100 mark coupled with far too many acts to choose from, all vying for consumer dollars.
We took a look at some of the tours coming to a town near you this summer (and a few that aren't) to see what insight they might offer.