Concerts have often been seen as recession proof, but we've never seen times quite this bad before so acts and promoters continue to come up with tempting ways to put butts in seats.

Rock bands Staind, Shinedown, Chevelle and Halestorm embark on the "Stimulate This" tour on July 1. Tickets for most dates will be under $40, with some venues offering lawn seats for as low as $10-that's $2.50 per band, folks.

There will also be further incentives in each venue that range from discounted concessions at the venue, online merchandise discounts and tie-ins with local retailers.

There's a part of me that wonders if all this discounting will hurt concert tickets when the recession improves, but I'm pretty sure the answer is no. For one thing, we're not really seeing top ticket prices come down-and we won't. Not as long as someone is willing to pay $500 to sit in the front row of a Britney Spears concert or $300 plus to see Madonna.

What we're witnessing is acts are playing with the bottom range of tickets in an effort to draw in fans who are sitting on the fence. Any artist would much rather play to a full house, even if the majority of seats were sold on the cheap, than to a quarter house. Plus, the more people in the venue, the higher the merchandise sales so artists are making up some of the shortfall on cheaper tickets my more t-shirt sales.

Back to "Stimulate This," Atlantic Records, which is home to three of the four bands on the bill, will also give away five pairs of tickets to each date on the tour via its website, www.atlanticrecords.com.

The tour dates are below:

JULY
1 Peoria, IL Peoria Civic Center
2 St. Paul, MN Harriet Island*
4 Detroit, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre
7 Roanoke, VA Roanoke Convention Center
9 Columbia, MD Merriweather Post Pavilion
10 Gilford, NH Meadowbrook US Cellular Pavilion
12 Saratoga Springs, NY Saratoga Performing Arts Center*
14 Boston, MA Bank of America Pavilion
16 Wallingford, CT Chevrolet Theatre
17 Asbury Park, NJ Asbury Park Convention Hall
21 Pikeville, KY Eastern Kentucky Expo Center
22 Corbin, KY Southeastern KY Agricultural & Expo
24 Evansville, IN Roberts Stadium
25 Dubuque, IA Dubuque County Fair*
26 Brookings, SD Swiftel Center
28 Rapid City, SD Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Arena
29 Billings, MT MetraPark Arena
31 Rochester, MN Mayo Civic Center*

AUGUST
10 Ridgefield, WA The Amphitheatre at Clark County
13 Denver, CO The Fillmore Auditorium
14 Rio Rancho, NM Santa Ana Star Center
15 Lubbock, TX Lonestar Amphitheater
18 Laredo, TX Laredo Entertainment Center
28 Toledo, OH Toledo Zoo Amphitheatre
30 Philadelphia, PA Festival Pier at Penn's Landing