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August 08, 2007

The Best Live Bands Out There

I had the great pleasure of seeing the band Muse last night in NYC, at Madison Square Garden. If you ever have the chance to see them, do it. In fact, make that chance. It's worth it. They will blow you away. This tour in particular they have really increased the visual aspect of their concert. The lights and the video are just fantastic. Not at the level of a "zoo tv," but aspiring towards that.

Plus, the lead singer/guitarist/pianist/most freakishly talent man in the universe Matt Bellamy played the Grand Piano for about 4-5 songs and then acoustic numbers on the guitar for another 2. Best show I've seen by them (and this was the 6th one.)

(They're playing this Friday at Penn's Landing in Philly).

It made me think, what other bands can really blow me away live?

I can think of 3 others right now.

U2 – I used to say they were the definite top, but I have to say they have some very strong competition now. So this list is in "no particular order." Every time I see U2, I cannot believe the music they are able to make, and the passion they are able to summon. They are constantly re-inventing their live show, but musically and visually. I've seen every one of their tours since the Joshua Tree, and I'll keep doing that until they break up or stop releasing albums.

Boy Sets Fire – Well, you've missed out if you haven't seen them (though we'll have some awesome DVDs for you to watch...), but I had an even deeper respect for their show after following their tour in Europe. These guys bring it every night, each with their own personalities. There aren't many bands who could capture my attention for 10+ straight nights. They did it. Nathan is just an excellent showman. And honestly, I've probably never seen a more devoted, crazy obsessed crowd. One other nice thing about BSF that is unique, they let just about anybody hang out on the stage with them. Seriously, at their last show at the Troc, there must have been 50 people on the stage. It was like the old time gospel hour meeting time.

Barenaked Ladies I know they are kind of "not as hot" anymore, but I have to give credit where it's due. These guys are so creative, making up songs spontaneously at the moment, rapping, singing, covering songs, telling stories, doing dances. There is a thrill of "what's coming next" at a barenaked ladies show, because it's never the same from one night to the next. They'll change a lyric, they'll compose a new song about something ridiculous. And they are very good at doing it too. I think they got dropped from their major label, and you probably haven't bought one of their albums since "One Week," but I know you'd enjoy their live show.

So, what are your top 4? And what bands didn't impress you, even though you thought you'd like them? I have to say I actually have liked most bands I've seen live. Whether it's Thrice, Ned's Automic Dustbin, One Win Choice, the Indigo Girls, Dar Williams, Tori Amos, REM, Ben Folds, the Fray... over the years I've seen a lot of concerts and really enjoyed most of them. But back in college I was obsessed with Live, and saw them – really looking forward to it – and for one reason or another, even though technically they were incredible, I just didn't enjoy it. And I listened to their albums less and less after that.

Posted by jason on August 8, 2007 12:17 AM


With all due respect, I think, "What other bands can really blow me away live?" would be a much more interesting question if you omitted those last two words, "...away live." Just a suggestion.

Posted by: hmmm on August 8, 2007 09:55 PM

With all due respect, I think, "What other bands can really blow me away live?" would be a much more interesting question if you omitted those last two words, "...away live." Just a suggestion.

Posted by: hmmm on August 8, 2007 09:55 PM

And I will keep posting this comment until I get my point across.

Posted by: hmmm on August 8, 2007 10:02 PM

i wish i had read this post earlier.. otherwise i would be rockin it penns landing style

Posted by: jaysonjaz on August 10, 2007 09:15 PM

there is this band called the bad brains. they are an all black band that manages to mix high energy punk riffs with mello reggae with pleasing results. Anyway I saw them on thier tour for IAGAINSTI and they were just amazing.

Posted by: joshsetsfire on August 14, 2007 12:05 AM

you were there?! I was too!! Oh man I wish I'd known cause I had awesome tickets up front w/1 to spare cause of my friends
yea best night ever!!

Posted by: Poncho on August 16, 2007 11:35 PM

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