There are certain moments in musical history when we all wish we could say “I was there”. Live music has the power to be so much more than simply entertainment, it is escapism, euphoric, symbolic, wonderful. Almost like a Religious journey to Mecca.
Here are ten live Music Performances You should add to your Watchlist.
(In my opinion anyway!)
Radiohead, Glastonbury 1997
Everything that could possibly go wrong, went wrong. It had been pouring for every minute of everyday over the weekend of Glastonbury, two stages had sunk into the mud, there were reported cases of trench-foot from attendees (I had never heard of this before either don’t worry).
The signs were abysmal , and when Radiohead went on stage it only got worse. The lighting rig was shining directly in Thom Yorke’s face, his monitor melted down, and they couldn’t hear themselves play.
Yet, despite this chaos delivered one of the band’s most memorable performances, for the right reasons, it was epic. Yorke seemed to feed off the rage, and persisted through their catalogue, adding twists and fire to each and every one. It was incredible.
Yet Yorke only realised afterwards. “I thundered offstage at the end, really ready to kill,” Yorke remembered. “And my girlfriend grabbed me, made me stop, and said, ‘Listen!’ And the crowd were just going wild. It was amazing.”
There is a better Quality Video on Youtube (from the BBC). Copyright Issues.
Nirvana, MTV Unplugged 1993
Nirvana’s MTV unplugged performance in 93′ is one of those instances where their most famous, definitive live show just so happens to be my favourite. I think it’s because the unplugged nature of the show pushed Kurt, Krist, Dave, and Pat Smear to be at their best. Free, yet precise. Subdued, yet electric..
Joined by the fantastic cellist Lori Goldston, the MTVUnplugged not only produced a classic Nirvana show, but also, Dare I say, the best version of “The Man Who Sold The World”? Maybe…
The Strokes – Live at Lollapalooza Chicago 2019
Arctic Monkeys @TRNSMT, Glasgow 2018
Rufus Du Sol, Live at the Joshua Tree
Queen, Live Aid 1985
I don’t think it would be too wild to suggest that the years leading up to this performance had been anything but kind to Queen. Previous to this performance the band had lost much momentum since their initial run of diverse records in the 70s. Additionally, at Live Aid in 1985 they were wedged between U2 and David Bowie — bigger and more contemporary artists at the time.
But Queen rose like a phoenix from the ashes. In 20 minutes they had re-established their legacy, delivering a performance that enraptured the audience.
They furiously delivered their greats, Radio Ga Ga, Bohemian Rhapsody, We Will Rock You — and Freddie Mercury gave an energy rarely seen before, or since in live performances.
Muse, Glastonbury 2004
Bicep, Printworks 2018