5 Biggest “Final” Tours in Music History
Whenever a band starts to get fed up with each other or simply wants to go off in their own direction, they call for one final tour. There have been countless incidents of bands or performers who have said that they’re going on one final tour, helping to boost ticket sales, only to go back on tour after one more year.
Then, there have been some cases where a musician truly meant it when they said that the tour was final. Let’s take a look at the biggest tours (in no particular order) which ended up being the true final ones for legendary solo acts and bands, many of which spanned several years before coming to an end.
Genesis originally consisted of singer/drummer Phil Collins, bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford, and keyboardist Tony Banks, but they hadn’t stuck together throughout the entirety of Genesis. After 2007, it seemed that the band was done as an original trio. However, Phil Collins came out of retirement to do one final tour with the original group, and tickets went on sale just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
The original dates were all pushed back, but that didn’t seem to be a problem for the band as they were still able to play all but eight of their scheduled shows. On September 20, 2021, in Birmingham, England, The Last Domino Tour kicked off and continued through Europe and North America before coming to an end on March 26, 2022, at London’s O2 Arena.
In terms of metal bands, it’s hard to get any bigger than Slayer, who is considered to be among the “Big Four” in the genre. Slayer had been touring for more than 30 years by the time 2018 came around, which was when they started what was officially titled The Final World Tour. On May 10th of that year, Slayer played their opening show at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California.
The tour hit just about every continent over the course of 18 months. After spending the beginning of Autumn 2019 in South America, they wrapped up their farewell tour in Inglewood, California on November 29, 2019, at The Forum. All in all, the Final World Tour was able to get all 147 scheduled shows in just before the COVID-19 pandemic and giving fans the proper goodbye.
Rock and roll icon Bob Seger truly meant it when he said the Travelin’ Man Tour starting in 2018 would be his final one. Seger had been dealing with back issues that caused him to feel a lot of pain and wanted to muster up the energy for a brief final run over the course of six months.
Of course, Seger started his final tour in his home state of Michigan and kept his final tour entirely within the United States. Originally scheduled to end in March 2019, Seger added a few more shows, so the official end came at the Raising Cane’s River Center Arena in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in October 2019.
Kiss has had multiple anniversary and farewell tours over the years to the point where not many people take them seriously when they say they’re wrapping up. At the start of 2019, though, it became clear that they were planning on something big as they were dead-set on retiring after one more tour and thus introduced the End of the Road World Tour.
The band decided to start their farewell tour in Vancouver, playing in front of a sold-out crowd at Rogers Arena. They then made their way through the United States, Europe, and Japan before having to put the tour on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In August 2021, the tour resumed in the United States and continued into 2023 as Gene Simmons celebrated his 70th birthday and scheduled the band’s final show for Tonsberg, Norway.
Kiss isn’t the only musical act that has teased retirement over and over, only to come back with another long tour schedule. Elton John had done it multiple times, but after his Wonderful Crazy Night Tour in 2018 wrapped up, he said that the next one would be the last. This one was in the form of the Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour, and it would become the highest-grossing tour ever.
John wanted to go all-out for his final tour, which started in Allentown, Pennsylvania on September 8, 2018. Despite a hiccup due to COVID-19, Elton John continued on with well over 300 shows on the tour. Wanting to wrap things up in Europe, John scheduled his last show for Stockholm, Sweden in a two-night event.