Studio albums are great and all, but the true test of an artist’s mettle is the live show. Do they sound as good live as they do on a CD? Do they, in some cases, even sing live? Do they use auto-Tune out the butt? This week we present the top five live shows we’ve been to, and the selections are quite eclectic. Tell us your top five in the comment box below.
Tina’s Top 5:
5. Meatloaf – # of times seen – 1. Meatloaf was my favorite band while growing up. I saw the ‘Born to Rock’ world tour when I was in 4th grade – priceless.
4. The Living End – # of times seen – 1. The Living End never made it to the tri-state area on Warped Tour ’06’, so they rocked the shit out of The Stone Pony, and it was a night I’ll never forget. I also got to meet this Australian punk trio outside and they all signed the article I wrote about them.
3. Joan Jett and the Black Hearts – # of times seen – 1. Joan Jett was on Warped Tour ’06. This female American bad-ass road up on her Huffy for a sound check, and when she finished, I asked her to sign the article I wrote about her. We ended up having a heart to heart right before she took the stage, even though she didn’t do interviews or any other press that day.
2. The Get Up Kids – # of times seen – 4. My favorite band of all time. So many emotions go through me when I hear their music, and that is tripled when I see them live.
1. Metallica – # of times seen – 4. They get better every show, but nothing beats the first time you see Metallica live. It’s like an out-of-body experience; prepare to rock!
Honorable mentions: Green Day, The Dead, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Flogging Molly, No Doubt, and Story of the Year
Dan’s Top 5:
5. Men, Women & Children – Another band that no one has heard of, but their shows were one big dance party.
4. Electric Six – If you’ve ever listened to their music, you have an idea what you’re in for at their live shows: lots of drunken dancing.
3. Metric – I just started listening to Metric, but I jumped at the chance to see them live. Emily Haines is such a pleasure to watch on stage as she headbangs her way through some of the harder songs and goes acoustic for songs like “Combat Baby”.
2. Lola Ray – Even though there were only a handful of people at their shows, Lola Ray put on a fantastic live show, complete with a little tongue-in-cheek dancing. And having the ballad “We’re Not Having Any Fun” sung to you makes it even better.
1. No Doubt – By far my favorite band of all time, I’ve seen them three times and they never fail to deliver a fun, high-energy show. And Gwen just rocks.
Honorable mentions: The Donnas, Passion Pit, Tokyo Police Club, Paramore
Dave’s Top 5:
5. Coheed & Cambria – (# of times seen – 1) It won’t be the last. These guys shook Roseland to the foundation when I saw them in ’08.
4. Our Lady Peace – (# of times seen – 4) Canadian band that had a major hit in the US with “Superman’s Dead”. They have a serious cult following in NYC, and at their last show, they really realized that when the crowd serenaded them during their power-ballad “Is Anybody Home?”
3. Ozzy Osbourne – (# of times seen – 2) What makes an Ozzy show is the fact that the man can still sing and jump around, even though in interviews and on TV he sounds like a walking vegetable. Legends die hard.
2. Limp Bizkit – (# of times seen – 2) Fred Durst’s on-stage antics always make their shows a memorable experience.
1. Metallica – (# of times seen – 2) Notorious for going above and beyond in live performances, they sound just as amazing live as they do recorded. This band is THE REAL DEAL in all senses of the term.
Honorable Mention: Van Halen (# times seen – 1 – FIRST ROCK CONCERT EVER), Type O Negative (# of times seen – 2), Staind (# of times seen – 1).
Mark’s Top 5:
5. Sondre Lerche
4. Charlotte Martin/Ken Andrews – Same tour…so I cheated a bit.
3. Depeche Mode
2. Gary Numan
1. The Police
Angela’s Top 5:
5. The World/Inferno Friendship Society
3. Linkin Park – Got to give it to them, they deliver live.
2. Nine Inch Nails
1. Green Day – Fantastic entertainers. They never loses the audience for a second.
Greg’s Top 5:
5. Story of the Year – Summer of ’04, just graduated high school, went to Warped Tour for the first time- I didn’t know their music before that day, but would never forget it after. “Anthem of Our Dying Day” became my anthem of that summer and I even got the chance to watch their performance from the stage.
4. Justin Timberlake – For all of the tool-baggery that Justin Timberlake can be accused of, he does know how to put on one amazing show. From the coordination of the lights, to the perfectly choreographed dance numbers, you get what you pay for – grade “A” pop music entertainment.
3. Flogging Molly – A mix of their talent, love for their fans, and their fans’ utter devotion to them make their performances come to life. While I was on stage with them at Warped Tour ’08, Anti Flag’s Justin Sane watched the show right next to me, and even handed Tina his Guinness to hold as he ran on stage to sing.
2. Cage the Elephant When I saw them perform live this past summer it catapulted me from someone who liked their singles to a bona fide fan. Matt Shultz was not just singing his songs; he was living the emotion expressed in them.
1. Green Day – Green Day is now, and always has been, my favorite band of all time. I’ve seen them twice, both on the American Idiot tour. When I saw them perform at Giants Stadium in 2005, it was the biggest show they’ve ever played at that time.
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 5?
5. Allman Brothers Band
4. Ozzy/Black Sabbath (OZZY. ‘nuf said)
3. Crosby, Stills & Nash (amazing harmony)
2. Metallica (There’s nothing like Metallica live!)
1. Lynyrd Skynyrd! (PERFECT every time I saw them, at least 15 times, maybe more)
-Honorable mention: Pantera, Clutch, Grateful Dead, Aerosmith, Kid Rock
5. Prob a tie between Lynrd Skynrd and Limp Bizkit. Lynrd Skynrd is lynrd skynrd, hands down. It was my first concert, and I loved it. Free Bird and that disco ball will be in my heart forever. Limp Bizkit was my teenage boy band phase lol They were great live and always energetic and entertaining…and im a sucker for Wes Borland.
4. No Doubt- The way all 4 of them can come together and still rock it is awesome. Gwen has always been a fav of mine and I’m glad she’s back with her band instead of her solo shit.
3. Tool- Fucking Phenomenal. Always an awesome stage set up.
2. Green Day- If you haven’t seen Green Day live, you don’t know what you’re missing. Their live performances are awesome with lots o’ crowd participation. One of my favorite bands since I was a kid, and they never let me down.
1. Metallica- 3 out of 3 times seen, everytime better than the last. Truly amazing live performances, one of the best bands who still rock my socks off. They’ve rocked the shit out of every place they’ve played, which is why they usually need more than one show since tickets always sell out. Can’t wait to see them again- next time, floor seats!
1) Radiohead/My Morning Jaket – Bonnaroo 2006
2) The Offspring- Roseland Ballroom circa 2001
3) Rage Against the Machine- Rock the Bells
4) Wolfmother- Bonnaroo 2007
5) Beck/MGMT- United Palace Theatre 2008
Honorable Mentions: Modest Mouse, Them Crooked Vultures, S.T.P, Circa Survive, Green Day (warped tour 1999 not Giants Stadium 2007)