View Full Version : Rate the 2012 Artists As Live Performers!

01-27-2012, 04:59 PM
Obviously, please limit to acts you actually seen before. For me.

Radiohead- Excellent - far from the most personable or engaging of acts, but songs and live sound quality or so f'ing exceptional it just doesn't matter.

Florence & The Machine - Awesome - new album leaves a lot to be desired, and Flo is hardly the most disciplined of singers, but like a young, white Sharon Jones in training she's an absolute force of nature on stage. If you haven't seen her, even if you hate her music, this is a must see.

Cat Power - Ughh! One of the worst live performers ever. Great voice, excellent if monochromatic songs, but just physically as awkward and spastic in a bad way as they come. Think Joe Cocker but with the spasms toned down just enough to make it off-putting rather than freak show interesting.

Girls - hit and miss, basically just as good as whatever song they are playing, and they've got some great ones, but not a band that elevates their material live.

Arctic Monkeys - Solid, good energy but not particularly impressive chops outside Alex Turner. Like Girls, as good as whatever song they are playing, but rarely better.

Band of Skulls - See Girls/Arctic Monkeys, but not as strong as their songs aren't as good.

Lizzie -old School female singer-songwriter, just okay, surprised to actually see her on bill. Even at 11:00 am she doesn't strike me as Coachella Caliber yet.

Beirut - love their sound, but kinda lame, snotty stage presence. Expect a Cut copy level of enthusiasm from crowd though. This band definitely has a devoted following.

Sheepdogs - better than some might expect. They've got their late sixties/early seventies jam rock and country rock tropes down and their vocals, both lead and harmony, are excellent.

Andrew Bird - Excellent. Like Zachary Condon of beirut, can come off arrogant, but he's a super talented
Multi-instrumentalist and unbelievable whistler, and watching him keep a song going while changing instruments every four measures is a kick.

St. Vincent - Very Good. Like watching a Heroin Chic model who can also rock. Beauty, attitude, talent and brains all locked up in one very compelling 110 pound package.

M. Ward - Lame - bad combination of arrogance and casualness, has some great songs, but a lot of dull, sleepy ones too. A definite skip IMHO.

Black Lips - Impoosible to know, depends on how drunk they are and whether or not on that day it's a good or bad thing. Has potential to be best set of fest or worst or anywhere in between.

Black Keys - Very Good. I'm not in love with many of their songs, but if they break loose, Auerbach can solo like a previous generation blues-rock guitar god...

01-27-2012, 06:48 PM

01-27-2012, 06:58 PM
I vote yes.

01-27-2012, 07:26 PM
I agree with that black keys thing. I've seen em a few times and last years Coachella was bad to judge. They need to be loud. Get up close though. Sound bleed ruins those solos

Im interested in the sheep dogs. I want to see some jamming.

Andrew bird too. Tenuousness. Wanna be there.

01-27-2012, 07:32 PM
I've heard people say otherwise, but EMA was the worst show I saw in 2011. It may have just been an off night for her. I do like the album.

01-27-2012, 07:56 PM
Haven't seen many but here we go...

SebastiAn: Amazing! His set was unique and exciting. Saw him at a Hard event and he was wayyy better than a lot of the other acts, IMO. Not planning on missing him.
Miike Snow: Haven't actually seen them but I did see Karlsson and Winnberg last summer. Super fun to watch. Good variation in tracks and the crowd was super pumped.
Destructo: Never super exciting, but he usually puts on a decent set. The most recent one I saw was much improved, though. I'd watch him just in support of all the great events he's held.
Justice: Seems like everyone either loves them or thinks they're over-rated. I personally love them and they were fantastic when I saw them. I will watch them any chance I get. I'm excited to see what they do with the new album too.
Gaslamp Killer: I thought he was terrible. I couldn't have been more bored.

This kind of makes it seem like I only listen to electronic music, which isn't true at all. I just haven't seen (enough to judge of) anyone else on the lineup. Haha.

01-27-2012, 09:33 PM
IlliniQ: Great analysis. Love it! This thread needs more life.

Black Keys: Apparently the front speakers were not working well last year. I was way in the back and it was loud and lucid. Dan and Patrick blew me away. With a tour set as headliners behind what will be a "play the hits" album in 20 years, I'm really looking forward to this.

Grouplove: Saw them play a 30-minute set as an opening act in September. Good energy and sound. Playful and energetic.

fIREHOSE: Saw them 6 times in the late 80's. The songs jump off their albums live. One of the best acts of the L.A. 80's club scene. Don't miss it.

M. Ward: IlliniQ is on the right track but a bit harsh. Needs better stage presence but does have talent + some good songs.

That's all I got. Hope more of you have some input. Always appreciate reasoned opinions on acts.

01-27-2012, 10:11 PM
Flying Lotus - he puts on a GREAT live show and if you are into electronic music you don't want to miss his set. Saw him at Coachella in 2010 and was one of my favorites of the weekend.

Beats Antique - GREAT live performers, they have all kinds of instruments they play live including an electric violin and they interact with the crowd really well. Saw them in Lake Powell at Powellapalooza which if you haven't heard about it is an awesome music fest in September AZ that just had its 2nd year. If they threw it down there I can't imagine what they will do at Coachella.

Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg - I saw these two the last time they toured in 2001 (Up in Smoke Tour) and it was a great performance if you like Snoop and Dre. I know Snoop still has the stage presence and I am hoping Dre does too. Already confirmed Warren G will be there so I am not going to miss this performance. Could be Dre's last ever.

Flux Pavillion and Doctor P - If you like dubstep these guys will make you happy. Saw them here in Phoenix when they came through and the place was packed and they had the crowd packed onto the dancefloor. When I saw them they performed separately so I am curious if they will perform together since they are billed together.

David Guetta - saw part of his set at Coachella in 2010 and he is a crowd pleaser for sure, plays top 40 stuff basically. Unless you want to hear a radio mix or your girlfriend wants to hear some of her favorite tunes don't waste your time.

Black Keys - Again? Saw them last year I was sure of it....anyway, they are good for sure, I heard the people in the front couldn't hear very well last year but from the middle it sounded fine. It is nice to see them get headliner billing but I don't think I will go see them unless nobody else I want to see is playing.

Everyone else is new to me! Should have some great conflicts to break my brain over.

01-27-2012, 10:29 PM
Ok I saw Black Keys but enough people have described it well enough.

M83- Awesome experience. Don't believe people about saying they butchered songs. That's nonsense. They had all their sounds and production mastered. Full of energy. Anthony Gonzalez was into it the whole time and was super pumped. Guitar had it's insane moments and if you like what you've heard on the records you'll have a blast.

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds- Didn't know what to expect but figure i see them because of future Coachella conflicts. Overall I was really impressed. Songs from the new record were spectacular. Oasis covers were awesome and you got to hear some rarities. There will probably be a huge singalong during Don't Look Back in Anger. It's definitely worth checking out.

01-27-2012, 10:33 PM
Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg - I saw these two the last time they toured in 2001 (Up in Smoke Tour) and it was a great performance if you like Snoop and Dre. I know Snoop still has the stage presence and I am hoping Dre does too. Already confirmed Nate Dogg will be there so I am not going to miss this performance. Could be Dre's last ever.

Not to be a buzz kill, but it's Warren G that is confirmed. Nate Dogg is dead.

01-27-2012, 11:10 PM
Not to be a buzz kill, but it's Warren G that is confirmed. Nate Dogg is dead.

Whoops you are correct I miss typed. Must be wishful thinking. Sorry Nate, RIP.

im so indie
01-28-2012, 12:11 PM
A couple bands that haven't been mentioned yet:

GIVERS - Saw them play the Doug Fir in Portland ~5 months ago. They're a young band and have lots of energy on stage. Excellent live sound. A little erratic because of all the jumping around which might annoy some people. If you like their sound you should not miss it because they really put on a show and have a ton of fun up there.

The Head and the Heart - Opened for Iron and Wine last year. I was extremely impressed with their sound and songwriting. Some songs have one too many parts in them, so it can feel like they are meandering a bit. Otherwise a wonderful band with lots of talent.

Would love to hear reviews on: Metronomy, Gary Clark Jr., Real Estate, Gotye

01-28-2012, 09:14 PM
The Black Keys- solid. Only saw them at Coachella in 09. Decent enough. They have great chemistry, have no idea how they are now.
Afrojack- For what it’s worth, he’s got some decent mixing skills and can really get a party started, but jeez, he plays such terrible music. If you like your electro sets to be like a constant stream of build-ups and drops and fist-pumping, then you’ll love him. As for me, I’ll be somewhere else. Somewhere far away.
Explosions in the Sky- wow. Their set at FYF was incredible. Super LOUD, the members just play off one another so well. Lots of emotion behind their music. Loved every minute of it.
M83- Was a while ago, I think 2008, and I was really drunk, but I loved it. Been a fan ever since.
Cat Power- Meh. I mean, she’s a great musician and all, and sounds great on record, but she really didn’t seem comfortable performing in a live setting. Sounded alright but not much stage presence.
Girls- Their set at fyf is one of my favorite concert-going experiences of my life. Just perfect.
Radiohead- Pretty much what the OP said. They sound so amazing live. Really excited for this.
SBTRKT- Personally, I liked his Dome set last year but I know a lot of people didn’t. I liked his album so I’m curious to see how his live performance will turn out.
Flying Lotus- Living in Los Angeles, I have had the privelege of seeing Flylo something like 6 times in the last two years, and honestly, I will never get tired of him. He always manages to mix things up, almost every performance I’ve seen has been radically different from the last…probably my most anticipated set of the weekend, since he’ll be debuting his new album.
Justice- They killed it when I saw them in 08. Nonstop dance party. Did not like the new album at all though.
The Growlers- Love this band, they have TONS of energy when they perform. Always a quality live act.
Gaslamp Killers- VERY hit or miss. Has incredible stage presence in that he seems to be spazzing out while spinning. I’ve just seen his residence sets at Low End Theory in which he pretty much just fucks around. Mostly pretty mundane, but if you see him at a prime show, such as opening for Flylo or at Eagle Rock 2010, then he fucking kills it.

01-28-2012, 10:15 PM
Explosions in the Sky-- If you like the albums, you will love them live

Cat Power-- Saw her back in '08 and I enjoyed it. She's not super flashy, but dammit if she isn't super cute. She had a crack band playing with her too for that tour, but I am hoping she strips it down this year

M.Ward-- Saw him play "Post War" in its entirety at Outsidelands and, much like Cat Power, it was enjoyable if not exciting. The guy know's how to play a guitar too

Black Angels-- I see these guys get a lot of love on this board, but I don't get it. I saw them open for the "new Smashing Pumpkins" and I thought they were a total buzz-kill (but not in a good way, like I bet Godspeed! will be)

Radiohead-- always impressive

Bon Iver-- Went to his show when he (they) came through Berkeley, and it was totally beautiful. I could not believe how well they were able to translate the S/T album live.

Andrew Bird-- Fun show. Quirky guy playing quirky indie music.

Kasabian-- I'm not a fan, but I bet if you are you will like them. A lot of energy.

01-29-2012, 09:10 AM
The Black Keys- I know everyone has already stated their perfomance level, but everytime ive seen them (3 times) they have blown me away!! Cant wait for their set friday.
Arctic Monkeys- Saw them at Outside Lands and it was pretty much my first time actually hearing them...fucking righteous performance, must see
GIRLS- Just recently experieneced a live set and their chorus singers actually gave me the chills at one point. Id love to see them on the outside stage this year. Kinda hard to understand the singer sometimes cause he muffles alot but play good together.
The Shins- If you like them see them, if you dont go play around somewhere else! Hoping for a sunset performance to ease my mind

01-29-2012, 10:11 AM
LA Riots- they put on a decent electro set but not very unique
St. Vincent- saw her at Bonnaroo '09 and she put on an amazing performance. Had no idea who she was or any of the material and was still one of my favorite sets of the weekend, amazing stage presence and live sound. Very entertaining.
Sub Focus- very fun live show, not really a fan of the recorded stuff but they have a pretty cool live setup.
Dragonette- Saw them in Puerto Rico and they sounded very good. They have some corny material but its still a fun and energetic live show.
Florence and the Machine- Flo's voice can be a little sporadic but it really doesn't matter because of the power behind it. Better live than on record.
La Roux- Elly's voice is sometimes hit or miss
Girl Talk- the first time I saw him I had a great time, the second time not so much. Kind of gimmicky but I would check him out at least once, the crowd is always very into it.
Santigold- great live performer, her voice sounds perfect live. If you are a fan of her music then you will have no disappointments whatsoever.

01-29-2012, 10:36 AM
Radiohead - the best of the best
Pulp - Primavera was the best live experience ever, even more gratifying than any of the Radiohead sets I've seen, but what made it the best gig ever was the crowd and the atmosphere, which can never be replicated here. Nevertheless, Jarvis Cocker is still the top showman and it's like there's more urgency behind the songs now than ever. The kind of sleazy brilliance that necessitates a shower and a cigarette after the set.
St. Vincent - One of the best live acts around. Witnessing her angelic vocals versus wicked guitar chops is an intensely, overwhelming experience and makes for some literally jaw-dropping moments.
Jeff Mangum - You'd think an awkward guy with an acoustic guitar couldn't be so engaging, but there it is.
Cat Power - Saw her in 2007 and she had a surprisingly engaging stage presence that was more confident than expected (some great goofy dances), and while her voice wasn't 100% since she had a cold that night, she still sounded great. Definitely want to see again.
Feist - When I saw her, she had the double misfortune of playing the massive Hollywood Bowl instead of a theater and following a smashing, everyone-got-out-of-their-seats-to-dance set from Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, but I dug her charming, subdued style, and her voice sounded especially fantastic.
Explosions in the Sky - One of the post-rock greats. Like the albums but much more intense.
M83 - I saw M83 way back in 2005. Sadly, I now consider M83 to be an act that disbanded years ago. If you didn't know what M83 was until recently and/or are a big fan of Passion Pit and the like, you'll probably enjoy.
Yuck - Was a pretty fun (and loud) way to start the day at Primavera. If you like the album, they're definitely one to check out. If not, you'll probably remain unconvinced.
Flying Lotus - Don't really care for this kind of electronic music, but I had a great time at his set when opening for Atoms for Peace.
The Big Pink - Their Glastonbury set was great; lots of energy and very loud, and the crowd was going bonkers, but I'll probably skip them because I'm not digging the new album.
Oberhofer - Ever go to a show where you've never heard of the openers but end up enjoying their sets anyway? This is one of those.
Florence + the Machine - Always thought her style was more grating and shrill than not, but like some of the live videos I've seen. Still undecided because I couldn't hear anything for most of the set from outside the Gobi, so she's on my "maybe" list once again.
M. Ward - he's good at what he does, but what he does bores me for the most part
Girls - Saw them open for Los Campesinos back in 2009 and it wasn't memorable at all. I like some of their recorded material, though, so would consider giving them another try if nothing better is on at the time.
La Roux - Saw the last song in 2010 while trying to squeeze into the tent to get a head start on a spot for Little Dragon and it sounded horrendous. Of all the acts from 2010 that could/should have returned, this was near the bottom. Crowd seemed into it, though, go figure.
Band of Skulls - Saw them open for Metric, but I don't remember.
The Horrors - Saw them twice in 2009; nothing remarkable.

Wow, I've seen a lot more of this year's acts than usual.

01-29-2012, 11:49 AM
The Horrors - Personally, I thought their set was really good back in 09. They only played 8 songs, all from Primary Colours, so the set was pretty short. Unfortunately, the lead singer was acting like a little bitch for the entire set now that they were scheduled at the same time as My Bloody Valentine in the main. Many in the crowd did not like this pissy attitude. If there are no conflicts this year, I would definitely see them again.

Band of Skulls - I really enjoyed their debut album but for some reason, I think their set in 09 was really bland. They played the Gobi really early in the day. I was in the back and I was just not feeling it at all. I will give them another shot this year because some of the new material is really good.

Justice - They closed the Sahara after Waters closed the main in 08 and it was a great way to end the weekend. Same will happen this year. Judging from the recent youtube vids of their new live set up, it doesn't seem that they've changed it much. Not that excited to see them as I was 5 years ago, but I really don't give a shit about Dre or Snoop so, they are my sunday Headliner.

01-29-2012, 12:52 PM
Santigold- great live performer, her voice sounds perfect live. If you are a fan of her music then you will have no disappointments whatsoever.

So glad to hear that about Santigold! I am SO excited for her!!

01-29-2012, 01:00 PM
I'm looking forward to seeing Amon Tobin again. Don't miss the show. It was great in Amsterdam last June.

Honestly, I'm looking forward to seeing every act I can. I'm even going to try and see some of Snoop Dog!

Yeah! Coachella!

01-29-2012, 04:04 PM
Fitz and the Tantrums are fantastic. A must see, for sure. Awolnation...they are a very nice group. That is the best I can say about them. They were truly nice.

01-29-2012, 06:49 PM
tUnE-yArDs - Honestly, she put on one of the most impressive shows of 2011 for me, saw her at the Music Box and she showcased both her ability to stand out by making such amazing sounds with just that looping pedal and her voice. She managed to get the crowd way into it from start to finish and even though I'm catching her again with St. Vincent (favorite artist on the lineup) on the 18th of April in San Diego, I still refuse to miss her Coachella set.

01-29-2012, 09:15 PM
Beats Antique should be considered a must see. Their set at Outsidelands in 2010 was amazing, their finale alone was outlandish and drove the audience insane.