Acts That Kill Live–And Acts That Bomb


Concerts are a big deal. It’s a real test to see if the artist bombs or succeeds, and if all their success is just from overproduced albums or if they can really back it up. Good money is spent on a live show and if they don’t live up to expectations it leaves you feeling empty and ripped off. A lot of musicians have perfected their live shows. Keep in mind not all of them have.

Florence and the Machine

Florence Welch has such a haunting voice, which is only amplified live. The 25 year old frontwoman has killer pipes that with every pitch and note send shivers throughout your entire body. Not only does she kill it live, she gets the entire crowd involved, bouncing across the stage encouraging audience members to sing back to her. With a huge smile and strong presence, the small British native seems larger than life. Welch and her band do not miss a beat with delivering one of the most epic shows I have seen in a long time. Welch solidified her credibility as an artist to perform live, and sounded better than on any of her records.

Foo Fighters

You can’t really go wrong with seeing a Foo Fighters show. Big choruses and power chords are exactly what you want from a rock show and the Foo Fighters still deliver. Chances are you know most of the songs on the set list and will sing at the top of your lungs to ‘My Hero’. Dave Grohl has a manic stage presence that you feel pulled into. He makes it look easy, controlling the crowd with loud growls accompanied with heavy guitar riffs. The rest of the Foo Fighters back him perfectly: Taylor Hawkins is a beast on the drums. Not only do the Foos put on a great show, they also put on a long one. At the end of the concert there is no way anyone would feel ripped off. The Foo Fighters definitely give you your moneys worth.

No Doubt and Paramore

Both bands have an excellent female lead singer. Gwen Stefani can obviously carry a tune while running all around the stage and Hayley Williams is the exact replica, just 20 years younger. Both Williams and Stefani hit all the right notes while engaging the crowd, and there is never a dull moment. It was clear to see why Paramore was the choice opener for No Doubt a few years back. Paramore can pump up the crowd, while No Doubt with their longevity as a stable band can hit it home.


Seeing live music is hit or a miss. The biggest disappointment is seeing a band you like and within minutes on stage realizing they suck live. Deftones were terrible. The entire band was sloppy and not in sync with each other. Lead singer Chino Moreno was clearly drunk, stumbling and forgetting lyrics to his own songs. Interactions with the crowd are another big deal breaker. Those people came out to see you, please recognize that.

Bedouin Soundclash

The Toronto band sounds pretty good live, but they have a boring show, with minimal shout outs to the crowd or even acknowledgement of song titles. If you’re leaving halfway through a concert, it’s not a good sign.

Concerts are either a great experience or a miserable one. Hopefully over the years musicians have kicked it up a notch to deliver an epic show. It’s a gamble going to concerts, whether good or bad maybe you can pick up a nice t-shirt at the end of it. 


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