Music has changed a lot over the years, especially how we listen to it. These days, almost everything is digital as the days of CDs, cassettes, and even 8-tracks have all died out. One thing that will never change, though, is our love for attending live concerts.
Throughout music history, there have been certain acts that people would be willing to travel across the world to see because their performances were so legendary. These five in particular are heralded as the best to see live for varying reasons, whether you’re looking to find yourself and your place in the universe or just want to down a few beverages and party.
5. The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones have been one of those bands on everyone’s bucket list since way back in the 1960s. For most bands, the shows tend to not have as much energy as the members get older, but that’s certainly not the case for Mick Jagger and the rest of the Stones as they have continued to bring it every decade.
Though the setlists aren’t as long as they were in the 1970s, the Rolling Stones have that “it” factor where you can tell that they’re truly passionate about every show that they perform. Many have said that they’re the greatest rock and roll band of all time due simply to their live shows throughout the years, even.
For most bands, there are some “cooldown” songs where much of the group takes a rest while the lead singer pulls up a stool and performs a softer track. That’s not the case for AC/DC, however, as all of their high octane songs came one after another. Angus Young is one of the greatest showmen in rock and roll history and became a must-see for music fans of all ages.
Even if you ignore the energy and Young’s live performances, you’re still left with some of the greatest set designs in music. AC/DC spares no expense for making their shows into spectacles, and their concerts are considered to be an all-out party for fans. This has been true through three different lead singers over the years, too.
3. Pink Floyd
To get through an AC/DC concert, you’re going to need a lot of adrenaline. To get through a Pink Floyd show, though, you’re going to need a lot of something else that may or may not be legal in your location. Pink Floyd is known for their trippy shows with a lot of fog machines and laser lights to go along with hits like “Comfortably Numb” and “Wish You Were Here”.
The best time to see Pink Floyd would’ve been during the years in which Roger Waters was still the group’s lead singer. Waters always had a voice that resonated well in a live setting, and those songs that we mentioned were enough to give everyone in attendance goosebumps and send them on a spiritual journey.
Sometimes you don’t have to have elaborate set pieces or even flashy outfits to be one of the greatest live acts of all time. Instead, sometimes all you need is a catchy hook and a frontman that knows how to work a crowd. That’s what Queen had in spades, especially during the prime years of Freddie Mercury before illness tragically took his life.
All you have to know about Mercury’s ability to get a crowd behind him is to watch the Live Aid concert in 1985. Mercury was a natural born showman and his energy was second to none. The current lineup for Queen isn’t half bad, either, with former “American Idol” runner-up Adam Lambert putting on a tremendous show.
It’s hard to describe what the feeling was like for a Prince concert other than to say it felt like you were transported to a beautiful purple planet where the vibes were amazing. You also didn’t feel like you were at a concert, either, but rather at a religious experience with a guitar mostly replacing an organ, but the organ was still there.
Prince was able to play just about any instrument that you could throw in his direction, which contributed to his amazing live acts. Out of all of his legendary live shows, though, perhaps none was more memorable than his Super Bowl halftime show in Miami where he shredded “Purple Rain” in a torrential downpour.