View Full Version : Top 5 Live Acts

01-30-2007, 10:30 AM
Festivals, concerts, local gigs, pub sets, whatever. Whate are the 5 best performances you've seen a band give?

1) [spunge] - Seen them 4 times now and every time they've put such a great amount of energy into their set. Their music is so happy and upbeat it's nigh-on impossible not to get into it. Came out of their last gig dripping with sweat... nice.

2) Foo Fighters - Saw them at Leeds '05. The whole set was brilliant, but what made it for me was Dave Grohl's solo acoustic performance of Everlong. Simply put, it was beautiful.

3) Children of Bodom - London Astoria last January. In my opinion, Alexi Laiho is one of the best guitarists I've seen (along with Morello and Herman Lee) and I was soo excited when he came out and beasted out some breathtaking fretwork.

4) GreenDay - They were my original "Favourite band in the world ever!" when I was 14, and headlined the first festival I went to. I've seen them twice sinse, and regardless of your opinion on their integrity (with regards to American Idiot), if you've seen them live, then you'll know that Billy-Joe has a great talent at working the crowd (even if they are now 13yr old girls who "hate Bush... 'cus he's uuurr just a dick ain't he?").

5) Lostprophets - Leeds '04. I was so into them at the time that their set just blew me away from start to finish. The pit was pretty insane, despite them not being a heavy band. Such a shame about their most recent musical direction.

Not as an eclectic collection of performances that I'm sure will be mentioned by some on this forum, but hey, each to their own.

01-30-2007, 12:28 PM
1: radiohead, glastonbury, 2003. need i say anymore? perfection in a gig.

2: nine inch nails, manchester apollo, 2005. i had been a fan since i was about 15, and had waited years for them to come around to the UK. when they finally did, it did not disappoint. one of the best setlists ever, energy was amazing, i was on the front row, the support act was saul williams, i got to shake trent's hand AND i saw the soundcheck. what an awesome day.

3: greenday, leeds festival, 2004. like the thread starter said, this band are amazing live. they are so fun to watch, getting the crowd going, elongating their songs to often double length, full of bounce and energy, are perfect at their live skill, and completely comfortable in front of thousands of people. they do many and varied covers, which are pretty wicked. 2 hours of happy-happy-joy-joy.

4: system of a down, download festival, 2005. like the other bands - perfectly comfortable in front of thousands. joking and bantering with the crowd, playing a long and excellent setlist. many sections of improvisation, and generally a good time to be had by all. the intro of soldier side and BYOB was probably the best intro to any gig i have ever seen. the lights how was, at times, mindblowing. excellent live sound quality, too.

5: muse, leeds festival, 2006. this was the second time i saw them, and definitely the best. everyone was chilled to the bone by the incessant rain that went on throughout the set, but we didn't care. muse were fucking heavy that night, the set was so relentless. the improv sections were joyous to dance to. i have never been so happy to be soaked by rain in my life.

honourable mentions go to:

oasis, beck, feeder, placebo, amen, slipknot

01-30-2007, 12:37 PM
1: Tenacious D, Pick of Destiny Tour, 2006. Amazing blend of concert and stage show. It was like a concert with a plot. And who doesn't love Jack black up on stage running aournd doign sommersaults and whatnot?

2: Death Cab For Cutie, Greek Theatre, 2006. So much energy onstage for such a mellow band. They really get the audience into the show. It was a long set that had every song you would want to hear plus more.

3: Reel Big Fish, Any LA show in 2006. One of the most amazing Live bands out there today. THey get really into the music, and they have one song that they do 10 different versions of, such as the emo version and the disco version and the old school rap version. They are just so much fun to watch.

4: Brian Wilson, Long Beach Terrace Theatre, 2007. He is a musical genius, and he puts on an amazing show. There were 12 musicians up on stage playing all the good beach boys songs and then after a short break they came back and played Pet Sounds from begining to end. Very fun show even though i think i was the youngest person in the audience by about 35 years.

5: Aquabats, El Rey Theatre, 2006. Such a fun experience. THe guys are just crazy live. They have battles with powdered milk man, and they are running around in their ridiculous costumes the whole time. Just a whole lot of fun to be a part of. If they ever play near you then go. don't think about it just go.

other greats: Matt Costa, Foo Fighters, Weezer, and Goldfinger

01-30-2007, 12:48 PM
I've never seen spunge, but sponge wasn't too bad.

01-30-2007, 12:49 PM
1. Radiohead - seen them in Vancouver, at Coachella, Toronto and Montreal. Simply amazing. I think the first time I saw them was the best but seeing them on the latest tour in small venues (in T.O. and Mtl) was pretty cool. The are just so tight - watching Johnny wail on the guitar, then flip to the Ondes is the coolest and Thom has the best live voice around. Their Coachella set was bad for their standards and still rocked everyone's faces off.

2. Arcade Fire - saw them at Coachella, small fest in Guelph Ontario and opening for U2 (my wife loves them ok).. Their Coachella set has been talked about too much to add anything to. Seeing them at the small fest in smalltown Ont. just ruled though. They are so fun on stage yet never miss a note. They definitely work the hardest out of any band I've seen to give you a good time..

3. Broken Social Scene - i've seen them a bunch and they can be a bit 'hit or miss' but their Coachella set was amazing. Just loads of fun/love built into dreamy/trippy jams. Plus Emily is a goddess....

4. Muse - seen them twice (small venue in Edmonton and Vfest in Toronto) and they rocked my face off both times. Its a shame the way they get marketed nowdays - talk about a way to lose cred quickly... You just can't beat the dude's voice live though - just perfect....

5. hmmmm tough call but I'll go with Canadian fav the Tragically Hip. Gordie rules, 'nuff said...

01-30-2007, 12:50 PM
1.Joanna Newsom, El Rey, 2006-Started with some old songs solo on the harp, brought out two guitar players, a Tambura player, Accordion and singing saw and proceeded to play reconfigured versions of the whole of Ys. Breathtakingly awe inspiring

2.Daft Punk, Coachella, 2006-Hot damn it was amazing. Everyone already knows that though.

3.Arcade Fire, Coachella, 2005-What a star-making performance. They destroyed everyone in the audience and completely took control of the stage. The show will be legendary in 10 years.

4.Olivia Tremor Control, Arthurfest, 2005-They only played around 40 minutes, and didn't do the Green Typewriters suite, which would have been amazing. Still, they played every other song I wanted to hear and sounded so amazing that I'll never forget it.

5.Slint, Avalon, 2005-My favorite group at the time, their first show in LA ever, and they closed with Good Morning Captain. Sent chills down my spine.

No Radiohead, No Cure, No LCD Soundsystem. but still.

01-30-2007, 01:03 PM
1. Genesis
2. Ramones
3. Earth Wind & Fire
4. Jethro Tull
5. Heart

01-30-2007, 01:18 PM
1. Pink floyd
2. Radiohead
3. Greatful Dead
4. Tool & RATM not the same show just could not decide
5. Fishbone

01-30-2007, 01:24 PM
which genesis?

01-30-2007, 02:01 PM
My top 5, non-festival edition

Spiritualized, Apr 6, 2002 at Cane's (San Diego)
Sigur Ros, Apr 5, 2003 at the Joint (Las Vegas)
Sleater-Kinney, Feb 8, 2003 at Henry Fonda (Hollywood)
Radiohead, Oct 20, 2000 at the Greek Theater (Hollywood)
the Mountain Goats, Sep 29, 2003 at Modified Arts (Phoenix)

Honorable mentions: Guided by Voices, the Dandy Warhols, Sonic Youth, the the Thermals, the Secret Machines, Two Gallants...

01-30-2007, 03:18 PM
1. Damien Rice
2. Daft Punk
3. Broken Social Scene
4. Sigur Ros
5. The Frames

Honorable Mention - RxBandits

01-30-2007, 03:35 PM
yeah I should have thrown in Pixies.

01-30-2007, 03:36 PM
1. Brian Wilson @ the Greek in Berkeley, 2005

Performed like 25 songs plus Smile in its entirety. Totally amazing music, and it just didn't stop. Incredible.

2. Mogwai @ Coachella 2006

I laughed afterwards for about 10 minutes. For no reason. I couldn't stop. They totally blew my mind.

3. The Strokes @ Bill Graham Civic, 2002:

My first "real" concert. Halloween. The Realistics, The Mooney Suzuki and The Strokes. They sold out the Civic if I remember correctly, which is crazy for a band that had one record to their name. The Mooney Suzuki were great, and The Strokes were loud and awesome. Brilliant first show.

4. The White Stripes @ Warfield, 2003

My first White Stripes show. They played like 28 songs and the crowd ate it up. Afterwards, they threw roses into the crowd.

5. Air/Pixies @ Coachella 2004

Air was the perfect way to wind down after an exhausting weekend. Setting and sound were perfect. The Pixies set was what I had always pictured a festival being like. I'm glad I was there.

01-30-2007, 03:49 PM
(in chronological order)
1.U2 at the Us Festival - Devore,CA 5/30/1983
2.Jane's Addiction at the Roxy - Hollywood,CA1/26/1987
3.Ramones -Hollywood Palladium,CA 9/18/1987
4.Pixies w/Pere Ubu- Hayden Square,Tempe,AZ 11/1/1991
5.Sugar at Brixton Academy - London,UK 2/10/1994

01-30-2007, 03:53 PM
1. superchunk/rocket from the crypt @ the palace. '93 or '94. i had a night class at the time. i packed up and bailed right in the middle without asking. i stayed up front for the whole thing without restroom breaks. this was after pounding a 40 in the parking lot. i nearly burst.

2. sebadoh/tsunami/further/discothe-q @ the whisky. '93. i remember feeling so weird at this thing. there was such an unassailable aura of coolness enveloping the place. it seemed like everybody was in the industry.

3. afghan whigs/love jones @ the whisky. '94. i love this memory because i stayed up the entire night before finishing a paper i had almost given up on. and love jones used to be one of the funniest acts ever. i miss them.
also, there was a moment when greg dulli improvised lyrics during an extended bridge: (remember, its '94)

can you treat it like an oil well
when its underground, out of sight...

everybody, i mean, everybody gasped.

4. janes addiction/pixies/primus @ the hollywood palladium. '90. one of the most highly anticipated nights of my life and i wasnt disappointed. the ads and marquee said "plus two very special guests". it wasnt till the night before we found out it was the pixies and primus. never was too big of a primus fan, but still.

5. pavement @ the "acid palace" in '94. my first pavement show. their shows since this one have ended up sloppy and not so great at times. but this one was tight and featured all the hits as well as new ones at the time. "dude! what was that rap one?" (easily fooled)

and scott began the night by saying, "welcome to the acid palace." everybody was blottered.

01-30-2007, 03:56 PM
arcade fire
wolf eyes
animal collective
tim hecker

01-30-2007, 04:00 PM
1. Radiohead
2. Sigur Ros
3. Arcade Fire
4. Dresden Dolls
5. Daft Punk

01-30-2007, 04:07 PM
5. pavement @ the "acid palace" in '94.
I am profoundly envious of this experience.

01-30-2007, 04:09 PM
I am profoundly envious of this experience.

i wish i could have seen at least one show where they were a four piece. they also opened up for sonic youth in castaic (w/mudhoney). were they a four piece then? (i was waiting to get in the entire time they played)

01-30-2007, 04:28 PM
I almost saw them in London when they still had Gary Young as their drummer,but the stupid ticket scalpers kept me out.

like a caesar
01-30-2007, 04:59 PM
1. best live band i've ever seen was a small band out of michigan called bear vs shark. i saw them three times in their short career and they ALWAYS had more energy and fun (and usually better music) than anyone else i've ever seen.

2. public enemy - bumbershoot 2004 - excellent hip-hop performers - and the best part was chuck d getting a huge stadium full of people to shout "fuck george bush" in unison after him.

3. rolling stones - seen them twice and i'm still confounded as to how people that old (not to mention people who should have by all rights been dead at least 20 years ago) can still run around and play so amazingly for hours on end.

4. the blood brothers - i've seen them three times and they just put on too fun a show to be ignored.

5. elton john - yeah, it's elton john, but he's a damn good musician and songwriter and the guy's got some amazing stage presence and tricks (laying flat on his back on top of his piano and mad jamming - kinda badass)

i'm sure there are some people who i'd rather pick but these are the folks that just came to mind first

01-30-2007, 05:33 PM
1. best live band i've ever seen was a small band out of michigan called bear vs shark. i saw them three times in their short career and they ALWAYS had more energy and fun (and usually better music) than anyone else i've ever seen....

I love Bear vs Shark...when did they break up, it had to be pretty recently.

EDIT: Never mind just read your signature. Just as I suspected. Pretty recent.

01-30-2007, 05:40 PM
1. Pearl Jam 07/08/2003 & 07/09/2003 Madison Square Garden, New York, New York. Both nights were sold out and it was so intense I almost collapsed a few times

2. Daft Punk yeah....

3. Stone Temple Pilots, 2000 SLC, UT

4. Engine Down (Saw them five times and I dont think I could choose just one)


I feel bad leaving out Rochelle Rochelle in 2002, they were so good, but I only saw them once and they only played a handful of songs, but the songs they played had so much energy.

01-30-2007, 05:59 PM
1. Radiohead - Osaka, Japan 2004 & Bonnaroo 2006
2. Sigur Ros - Tower Theatre, Philadelphia 2005
3. Phish - Philadelphia 2002, etc.
4. Foo Fighters - Philadelphia 2005
5. Muse - Curiosa Festival

01-30-2007, 06:03 PM
1. Pretty much everything I saw at Coachella last year (D. Marley, Atmosphere, Bloc Party, Coheed & Cambria, Matisyahu, Lyrics Born, Imogen Heap, Daft Punk, Digable Planets, etc.)

2. Gogol Bordello & Crown City Rockers at a tiny festival in Vermont

3. Gorilla Biscuits reunion show at CBGB - summer of 2005

4. Spitkicker tour - summer of 2000 (De La Soul, Pharoahe Monch, Common, Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek, Biz Markie, etc.)

5. Earl Greyhound (http://www.coachella.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1686)

01-30-2007, 06:58 PM
1. Green Day @ The Home Depot Center '05
2. Placebo @ The Palace '03
3. T.M. Revolution @ PMX '04
4. The Dresden Dolls @ Echo Rec Center '05
5. Papa Roach @ The Avalon '05

01-30-2007, 07:56 PM
The Cure



01-30-2007, 07:59 PM
1. NIN
2. Guns n Roses
3. Neil Young and Crazy Horse
4. Flogging Molly
5. Sugar Ray. 8 long years ago! those were the rockin days.
GWAR is entertaining also.

01-30-2007, 08:10 PM
I got a few good ones -- here goes

5) Pearl Jam with Death Cab for Cutie opening @ Boston Fleet Center 2 weeks before '04 elections .

4) Simon and Garfunkel - at the Roman Colosseum July 31st 2004 -- I was there by accident and stuck around for the show ; it was free - how could I say no to free?

3) Queens of the stone age ( original line-up) with nick as bassist and a random drummer 3/26/03 at Webster theatre in Hartford, CT. Bonus: kick-ass openers - Turbonegro- 'nuf said.

2) Pearl Jam - MSG night 1 from the Binaural tour ; Ben Harper comes stage and joins the band for 2 songs at tail end of set. sic.

1) Radiohead - 'roo 06

01-30-2007, 08:17 PM
1. NIN
2. Guns n Roses
3. Neil Young and Crazy Horse
4. Flogging Molly
5. Sugar Ray. 8 long years ago! those were the rockin days.
GWAR is entertaining also.

if you haven't seen GWAR, and ever have the chance..please do yourself a favor and see them. awesome live show; it's absolutely hiliarious.

01-30-2007, 10:39 PM
2) Pearl Jam - MSG night 1 from the Binaural tour ; Ben Harper comes stage and joins the band for 2 songs at tail end of set. sic.

Yeah! I was there too. I listed both of those nights as my #1 (a few posts above yours)

01-30-2007, 11:50 PM
Not in any particular order :

Green Day - just when "Dookie" had first come out - small club, front row - excellent

Erasure - early 90s - very theatrical show and classic synthesizer music.

Joe Jackson - went from "angry young man" to serious musician - saw it happen in his live shows - they were all great on different levels.

Social Distortion - They rocked every time

NIN - Seen them solo and at Woodstock - both shows equaled in intensity and sex appeal

Runners up: Henry Rollins, INXS (original!), Elvis Costello, and the 'Dead

All That I Am
01-31-2007, 12:24 AM
1. Radiohead - Shoreline 2001 was amazing.
2. NIN - Fagility tour at the Cow Palace
3. Arcade Fire - Coachella 2005
4. Tool - Aenima Tour Fresno CA
5. Wyclef Jean - Street Scene San Diego

11-17-2008, 11:47 PM
1. Pixies at Coachella 2004.
2. Radiohead at Coachella 2004.
3. Swervedriver at Coachella 2008.
4. Ride and Slowdive at the Graduate in Santa barbara in 1992.
5. the Strokes at the Gibson Ampitheatre in 2006.

11-18-2008, 07:20 AM
Radiohead at Cynthia Woods Houston Tx
RATM at Lolla 2008
The Prodigy at Coachella 2002
Oasis at Verizon Wireless Houston Tx 2005
NIN at Lolla 2008

11-18-2008, 07:28 AM
Roger Waters
Nine Inch Nails
Marilyn Manson

11-18-2008, 07:30 AM
Holy monk, Ride and Slowdive?

Current top 5 (a lot has changed since January 07):
1. Radiohead
2. Sigur Ros
3. Arcade Fire
4. Portishead
5. Prince

11-18-2008, 07:33 AM
Ride is one of my favorite bands of all time.

11-18-2008, 08:26 AM
1. The Hold Steady- I’ve seen them 3 times and will be seeing them in about a week. They just kill it every single time, they have so much energy and they are having such a good time playing it’s hard not to get caught up in the fever.

2. Radiohead- Seen them 5 times, they never cease to amaze me. Just a fantastic live band.

3. Basement Jaxx- Their performance at Coachella ’04 was one of the highlights of that weekend for me, again just so much energy and so many good vibes coming from the stage, it was like getting swept up in a wave.

4. The Roots- The best live hip hop act going.

5. Pearl Jam – its been a while since I have seen them live, but god damn this band is amazing.

11-18-2008, 08:30 AM
The Who are famous for being a great live band back in their prime, I do not know about now. There performance at the Rock and Roll Circus was legendary. They blew the Rolling Stones off the stage, which caused the latter enough embarassment to the point the video of the show was unreleased for decades.

11-18-2008, 09:11 AM
1. Radiohead - Bonnaroo 2006
2. Sufjan Stevens - Town Hall NYC September 2006
3. Bon Iver - St. Giles-In-The-Church June 2008
4. My Bloody Valentine - Roseland Ballroom September 2008
5. Arcade Fire - Radio City Music Hall May 2007

11-18-2008, 09:16 AM
I am jealous I have not seen My Bloody Valentine so far. It sucks they were not at Coachella this year and I was not able to see them at that venue in Santa Monica.

11-18-2008, 11:08 AM
Is this Top 5 Live acts at Coachella or Just Top 5 live acts well here are both..

Coachella top 5 (That I witnessed)

1) Radiohead 2004
2) Daft Punk 2006
3) Portshead 2008
4) Rage Against The Machine 2007
5) Prince 2008

Top 5 Live all Time: (That I witnessed)

1) Radiohead (san diego embarcadero park 2006)
2) Ramones (kroq wennie roast 1995)
3) Rage Against The Machine (olymic velodrome cal state dominquez 1995)
4) Sade (The Forum 2001)
5) Daft Punk (Vegoose on my Birthday 10/27/07) What a great day that was! Best Birthday EVER!