It doesn’t look like concerts are going to make a comeback any time soon, but why should that stop you from enjoying ones from the past? There are a million reasons to love concerts, but one of the best has to be when artists experiment and develop songs further than their studio recordings. There’s something so inexplicably powerful about hearing music live. It doesn’t seem like we’re going to be moshing in the near future, but here are some of my favorite concert recordings to get you through until we can.
1. Led Zeppelin – How Many More Times (Danmarks Radio 1969)
I don’t even want to admit how many times I’ve watched this video. Shot before Zeppelin became the rock superstars they’re known as today, it’s hilarious to see only about 100 confused teenagers sitting at their feet cross-legged. Nevertheless, it’s an otherworldly performance. Their extended solos and improvisations add so much depth to “How Many More Times,” the last song on the first album.
2. Thundercat – NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert (2017)
This was the first Tiny Desk performance I’ve ever seen, and it’s honestly been the best. Thundercat is an incredible performer, live and in the studio. Though this video doesn’t quite meet “concert” criteria, it’s great to see Thundercat and his band performing together. They’re so wonderfully in sync, which really highlights Thundercat’s talent as a vocalist and bassist.
3. Greta Van Fleet – Lover, Leaver (Taker, Believer) Live in LA (2018)
I have mixed feelings about the up-and-coming rock group, but this concert is fantastic. It was filmed shortly after the release of their first album, “From The Fires.” I love how they seamlessly transition into different songs, creating the effect of the concert being one long track. My absolute favorite part is when they cover Muddy Waters’ “Rollin’ and Tumblin.'” You can really tell how powerful their sound is, especially from their guitarist, Jake Kiska.
4. Erykah Badu – Planet Groove Live (1997)
Wow, wow, wow! Miss Badu really came through on this one. She always has had the most amazing energy to her performances. This live recording shot for Plant Groove in 1997 is filled with so much emotion and power. Her backup singers are amazing too! Even though this specific video cuts off at the end, my favorite part is when she performs “Other Side of the Game.”
– DJ Butter