TOP 5 ROCK SONGS TO HEAR LIVE
Really, this list is 99% taste. Obviously someone who doesn't like Coldplay would hate seeing Yellow live (and yes, I've seen that song live. I'll give it a 5/10), just as someone who despised Neil Young (who I have not seen) would hate to see him live. But still, there are some songs that everyone who sees live music on a regular basis cannot deny shine through. Tonight I witnessed a band I've been dying to see for quite a long time (Surfer Blood) and man, oh man, were they fantastic. Even in a venue with terrible sound (The Summit, Columbus, OH) they showed they really knew their stuff and had a special sound. This post isn't just about the top 5, it's about the stories that go with them. So lets hear your why your songs are there, and what made them special to begin with.
Also, note that it's ROCK. We'll do a rap list later.
And…without further ado, I present my top 5 live rock songs:
5. 100% — Sonic Youth: Rock and roll at its best, this song absolutely fucking rocks. I've seen them a bunch of times, and they almost always play this number, supposedly because they really just enjoy playing it. Thurston's voice really shows why it's so iconic, as
do his and Ranaldo's guitars. It's no wonder is sounds so unbelievably good, on record or live.
4. Teenage Girl — Darlings: A band I've seen many times live, and I always look forward to seeing them play this song. On record, their lead guitarist/singer (whose name I cannot find and completely escapes me) wails and plays hard, but live her cranks it up a notch, especially when he slams his semi-hollow body electric guitar on the ground, neck first. Amazingly, the guitar stays perfectly intact, and creates a really amazing sound. If this band is playing in your home town anytime soon, be sur
e to catch them and request this song!
3. Blackbird — Paul McCartney: There really isn't much to say about this pick. McCartney is a legend, and this song is so simple and sweet and perfect, and even after all these years, with his voice having changed so dramatically, Sir Paul still stops the show with this number. With the crowd singing along, you can feel their collective goosebumps growing. If only I could have seen it performed 45 years ago instead of 4 years ago. Still, what better place to see him the Madison Sq. Garden? – VIDEO FROM PERFORMANCE
2. Walcott — Vampire Weekend: The setting: Central Park, pouring rain, packed show. The band: The newly crowned princes of indie pop. Though I was working, and completely soaked and exhausted, these two elements combined created one of the most unbelievable concert experiences ever. I have never experienced such hard rain in my entire live, and probably never will. But it was all worth it to be standing next to that stage, shouting the words to my then-favorite Vampire Weekend song. And the fact that these boys can really, really play, especially this wonderful song, certainly did not hurt. Bouncy and joyous, as long as you're in good spirits, it'll always have a place on this list. — VIDEO FROM PERFORMANCE
1. Birdhouse In Your Soul — They Might Be Giants (NOTE — THREE CLIPS!!!!): The specific show that stands out in my head certainly plays some part in my choosing to put this as number one — I had just booked them at my university — the first big show I had ever booked, and the moment they played this song, the entire, exhausting day felt with it. Still, take away that day and this song completely holds this place. They Might Be Giants may be old and rather outdated now (arguable, given their success with children's songs) but completely past their prime they are not. This song is definitely legendary, and whenever they play it live, they show why. They've perfected it, and there is no other way to say it. – VIDEO FROM PERFORMANCE
And seriously, a special shoutout to Surfer Blood, who will probably soon be headed for this list. Really really REALLY great band. Favorites from this show had to be Swim and Twin Peaks, but, honestly, everything was great.