As the pandemic ever so slowly draws to it’s end, here’s a rundown of the best live shows to watch if you’re still socially-distancing.
Spanning from the most iconic concerts of all time to the most impressive displays in recent years, check out the list below to see our pick of the top performances in the world of rock and metal!
1. Metallica- Live in Moscow (1991)
Marking the run-up to the monumental dissolution of the Soviet Union, bands including Pantera, AC/DC and Mötley Crüe all gathered at the once-in-a-lifetime show in Moscow, Russia.
The concert that took place that night is historically marked as one of the biggest performances throughout history- however, out of all of the notorious bands that played that night, none stole the spotlight more so than Metallica.
Taking place on September 28th 1991, the band played a total of 13 songs, including hits such as ‘Enter Sandman’ and ‘Master of Puppets’.
Aside from the rambunctious energy that the Thrash band bring to the stage, something even more impressive about the concert is the staggering crowd of over 1.6 million people. Keep an eye out for military personnel and police helicopters watching from overhead!
Metallica Live In Moscow, Russia is available to watch on YouTube Now.
2. Red Hot Chili Peppers- Live at Slane Castle (2003)
Hosting bands such as The Rolling Stones, Guns N’ Roses and Queen, the renowned open venue was headlined by California funk-rock band, Red Hot Chili Peppers back in 2003 for their most famous show to date.
Following the release of their chart-topping album, By The Way, the year prior, the band played to an 80,000 strong crowd at the historic Irish venue.
Opening with the hard-hitting, fast-paced hit, ‘By The Way’, and slowly transcending into their more sincere hits ‘Venice Queen’ and ‘Under The Bridge’, the set provides something more than the standard rock show.
Something that made the show so memorable was the brief, exclusive improvisations between the members, most notably, the introduction to ‘Californication’.
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Live at Slane Castle is available to purchase now on Amazon.
3. Led Zeppelin – Madison Square Garden (1971)
Of course, we couldn’t make a list of the best live performances of all time without including the pioneers of rock n’ roll, Led Zeppelin.
Their most famous concert, the 1971 show at Madison Square Garden, is a sight to behold. With the unchallenged talent of Jimmy Page and the effortlessly powerful vocals of Robert Plant, the performance perfectly shows the band at their prime.
With their original line-up, the band’s renditions of ‘Dazed and Confused’ and ‘Stairway to Heaven’ exemplify how nothing can beat the classics when it comes to rock music.
Led Zeppelin Live at Madison Square Garden is available to watch now on YouTube.
4. Iron Maiden- Live Waken (2016)
Renowned for consistently putting on the most impressive concerts of all time, no list regarding live performance would be complete without Iron Maiden.
After much deliberation, the band’s performance in Germany back in 2016 comes out on top. Blending the perfect mix of their old classics with their newer, fresher work, the show proudly demonstrates that Iron Maiden are deserving of their high status when it comes to creating a spectacle.
From the incomprehensible set-up of the stage, to the sight of Bruce Dickinson singing whilst ripping the heart out of a ten-foot, mechanical ‘Eddie’- it’s fair to say that this is one performance that you won’t get bored by.
Iron Maiden Live at Waken 2016 is available to watch now on YouTube.
5. Pearl Jam: MTV Unplugged (1992)
When it comes to acoustic performances, they don’t often sound like the most entertaining way to be spending your time.
Pearl Jam, on the other hand, use their stripped back set to bring something new to the plate. Showing off the songs from their epic debut album, Ten, the band’s acoustic set showcases their discography in a way never-before-seen.
From the most stunning performance of their biggest hit, ‘Black’, to their lively, politically-strung rendition of ‘Porch’, the grunge band construct a rollercoaster of emotions throughout the short set.
Pearl Jam Live at MTV Unplugged (1992) is available to watch now on YouTube.
6. Slipknot- Live at Download (2009)
One of the most influential bands of the past 30 years, Slipknot have always been one to take it to the next level when it comes to live performances. The most stand-out show of all has to be their iconic appearance at the notorious Download Festival back in 2009.
Playing hits such as ‘Duality’ and ‘People = Shit’, the band have perfected the meticulous art of getting as much energy out of their crowds as humanely possible and watching the show, you too will forget that you’re enjoying it from the comfort of your living room.
Slipknot Live At Download Festival (2009) is available to watch now on YouTube.
7. Korn- Woodstock ’99
Since forming in 1993, Korn has been the pioneers of the Nu-Metal genre and made their unique, disturbing sound the perfect hybrid of being distinguished, yet mainstream.
Bringing a disjointed eeriness to their sound, the band’s performance at Woodstock in 1999 allowed Korn to stand out more than any other band in their proximity.
From, their incomputable image to the sea of hippie-metalhead fans before them, this is one performance that doesn’t only show the band at their prime, but also shows one of the most chaotic, energetic concerts of all time.
Korn Live at Woodstock ’99 is available to watch on YouTube now.
8. Alice in chains- Live at the Moore (1991)
Alice In Chains has always been one of the best bands to see live, but for those fortunate enough to see the band with their original line-up, no-one can deny how incredible the grunge band were back in their heyday.
Nowhere was this better seen than in their show at The Moore Theatre back in 1991. In their hometown, the band demonstrated the immense power of Layne Staley’s vocals and the impact that the band can make on their audience.
We recommend particularly the rendition of ‘Love, Hate, Love’- the most captivating and impressive performance of the band’s most under-appreciated song.
Alice In Chains: Live at the Moore (1990) is available to watch on YouTube now.
9. Pantera- Live At Ozzfest (2000)
Featuring one of the most well-renowned guitarists of all time, Pantera has always been one of the most essential bands on any metalhead’s playlist.
Bringing an unchallenged ferocity to each one of their shows, the band were one of the few who actually got heavier throughout their career. So, it comes at no surprise that, 10 years after the release of their iconic Cowboys From Hell album, Pantera showed themselves to be a force to be reckoned with at their 2002 performance at Ozzfest.
Featuring their greatest hits, including ‘Cowboys From Hell’ and ‘This Love’, the gig that night was one of the most brutal shows in metal history.
Although our dreams of seeing the band perform live again have been undoubtedly shattered over the years, the vigour of this show will transport you away from your social-distancing, right back to the concert itself.
Pantera Live at Ozzfest (2000) is available to watch now on YouTube.
10. Opeth- Live at Rockpalast (2017)
Opeth has always been the masters when it comes to songwriting, but in this performance in 2017, they have also proved themselves to be just as skilled in the field of live performance.
From their perfect unison in songs such as ‘Deliverance’ and ‘Sorceress’, to the effortless growls of frontman, Mikael Åkerfeldt throughout, the technicality of the band allows them to stand head-and-shoulders above most metal bands of recent years.
‘Ghost Of Perdition’ and ‘In My Time Of Need’ are standout songs on the set, with the band demonstrating how they can transition between the earth-shaking aggression and melancholic lullaby with complete ease.
Opeth Live at Rockpalast (2017) is available to watch now on YouTube.
Is there anyone else that you think should have made the list? Comment below or get in touch to let us know what you think!