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SPIN's Top 25 Live Acts


JohnO

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God, am I getting too old for R&R music or what? SPIN magazine just listed their top 25 live acts (see below)....I've personally seen 16 of these acts, and maybe I'd put 5 or 6 of them in my top 50 list, probably 3 (Turbonegro, The Hives, and definitely The Stooges) in my top 25 list. And I'd only mention The Stooges in the same breath as the Rasberries' reunion shows.

Their list, from 25 to 1, with my comments:

(25) Comets On Fire (never seen them or heard their material);

(24) Mars Volta (seen them - bad Led Zep);

(23) AFI (when I hear "AFI", I'm thinking American Film Institute.....never heard of 'em);

(22) LCD Soundsystem (who?)

(21) Against Me? (ditto)

(20) Gogol Bordello (saw them as an opening act one time, don't remember much);

(19) Art Brut (never heard their stuff);

(18) My Morning Jacket (saw them once, great light show...);

(17) The Roots (never saw them);

(16) Flaming Lips (great props, special effects, don't remember much about their music);

(15) Riverboat Gamblers (have seen them - great old school punk band, lots of fights and injuries at their shows...surprised SPIN included them...);

(14) Yeah Yeah Yeahs (seen them, wasn't impressed);

(13) My Chemical Romance (haven't seen them);

(12) Turbonegro (seen them 3 times - the Village People of hard rock, these guys kill live...);

(11) Queens Of The Stone Age (seen them twice - a very good live act, but I'm ambivalent about their CDs);

(10) Dirtbombs (the best of the recent Detroit acts...with a weird lineup - 2 drummers, 2 bassists and 1 guitar - Mick Collins is great live, regardless of which band he's in - Gories, Screws, Dirtbombs, etc.)

(9) Prince (still a great live act, although I haven't seen him in over 10 years);

(8) The Hives (old school garage act ala the mid 60's Stones....electrifying live);

(7) Green Day (saw them once, don't particularly want to again - NOT a punk act, more arena rock at this point);

(6) White Stripes (saw them once, never again - White Hypes is more like it; Meg White is an abysmal drummer....the drummer should drive the music, not leave it hanging in the air, like she does...)

(5) Radiohead (haven't seen them; am so-so about their albums)

(4) Red Hot Chili Peppers (have seen them numerous times - always a treat live);

(3) Arcade Fire (Sadly, I'm not familiar with these guys at all....);

(2) The Stooges (Yes! Iggy is God....perhaps the best live act on Earth...then again, Eric, Wally & co. on a good night....);

(1) U2 (I last saw them about 20 years ago - they were great live back then.....nowadays it's a hassle scoring tickets for their shows...still, I wouldn't put them in my upper echelon of live acts....)

Noteworthy omissions - Raspberries, of course, - Springsteen, The Black Crowes, reunited New York Dolls, Dylan (on a good night), Oasis (especially when the Gallagher brothers are fighting)......but clearly, these are too old school/dated for SPIN......

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Hmmm. Obviously written by some 28 year old who surely had alot of experience seeing the Stooges concerts in their prime! Right, how rediculous. SPIN is one of those "hipper than thou" rock mags, always trying to tell readers that some piece of junk is going to be the next Clash, Pretenders, or Rolling Stones. There's just one small problem: many of these bands cant write tunes so it makes it unlikely they will achieve those levels of influence. Ok, Coldplay and Radiohead arent bad but theyre no Raspberries.

Ive bought CDs on the recommendation of a couple bombastic SPIN reviews and was totally let down.

Shows how much I know about their hjip and trendy and "meaningful" bands, I thought Art Brut was some guy that played shortstop for the Pirates.

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"Hmmm. Obviously written by some 28 year old who surely had alot of experience seeing the Stooges concerts in their prime!"

OK, agree that SPIN magazine is, for the most part, idiotic....but the point of the article is to simply name the 25 best live bands/acts now....and, personally, as a 55 year old who DID see the Stooges in their prime in the 70's, and twice more in the past 3 years, they may be the absolute best live act going now.....(I hesitate to call them the best ever - I saw James Brown in the 60's and 70's, and IMO, I doubt ANYONE could ever top him in his prime....)

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  • 2 weeks later...

a lot of Spin's list makes sense:

Turbonegro

My Chemical Romance ... great live band

Radiohead ... definitley

My Morning Jacket ...saw them on Conan & they were amazing amazing

Mars Volta

Green Day

Queens Of Stone Age

Arcade Fire ...maybe

Hives ...overhyped, 'cause the singer can't cut it live, vocally, that is

and of course:

U2

Prince

Stooges

bad or questionable:

AFI ...maybe "good" live but their music is dreadfully overwrought...

Art Brut ...are a novelty punk band

LCD Soundsystem ...are alright

White Stripes ...?

Flaming Lips ...good records, decent live show

Yeah Yeah Yeahs ...i'd get bored pretty quick, despite liking them

Red Hot Chili Peppers ...luckiest band on earth

the rest i don't know....

if the 'Berries were a band that toured the whole country, I'd list them...

everytime i saw Oasis i was bored, even at Maxwell's in Hoboken '94...

I've never seen any live footage of Dylan after 1966 that was all that good or exciting...

Springsteen should be #1 over U2, he's that much more powerful... and I actually don't like him that much

other big omissions:

Dictators ... but they've stopped playing live

Marjorie Fair ... a personal fave

Cheap Trick ... definitely

Jesse Malin ... just saw this week... incredible

Jon Brion

Trashcan Sinatras

Pernice Brothers ... only in small venues 200 & under

Prefab Sprout ... their 2000 Fleadj fest footage on youtube made me wish i flew there to see them...

Flashcubes ... always godhead live!!!! Tommy Allen rules

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"if the 'Berries were a band that toured the whole country, I'd list them..."

Agreed

"everytime i saw Oasis i was bored, even at Maxwell's in Hoboken '94..."

BUT...if the G Bros. are fighting, it's just like the 60's/70's Kinks....fisticuffs and/or other assaults are not out of the question!

I've never seen any live footage of Dylan after 1966 that was all that good or exciting...

"On a good night, he's every bit as good as '66...but sadly, I think such nights are getting fewer and farther in between....."

"Springsteen should be #1 over U2, he's that much more powerful... and I actually don't like him that much"

Frankly, I thought Bruce was superb the first time I saw him, great the second, and rather predictable from that point on.....U2, I just plain find boring nowadays.....

The Dictators last played in '05....Agree that they're great live, but their set lists the last 3-4 times I saw them were getting a bit predictable (versus in the past, when they used to pull out great old covers).

I just saw Aussie rockers Radio Birdman twice in the past 5 nights, and would rank them higher than anybody here except The Stooges. Four of them are in their 50's and they put out more energy than five Green Days!....not to mention that Deniz Tek and Chris Masuak (especially the former) are both world-class guitarists.

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