Bands to see Live!

The last time I went to see Interpol was at the Alexandra Palace in 2007, despite loving this bands sound, which I think it quite distinct, the main thing I remember about this show was the video and light show that went with it, it was simply stunning. Some shows you go to purely for the music, others you go to for the experience. I was kind of gutted (read as totally gutted) I missed out the first round of tickets, I think I was away when tickets were released but snapped up tickets to see them at the Forum in Kentish Town last week. Being low on funds at the moment means I’m having to be choosy about what gigs I want to see, which usually means by the time I’ve worked out if it’s worth it or not, they’ve sold out resulting in me pondering whether I should just jack it all in and go back to being a drone and at least have a steady income to pay for gigs and then realise that’s a stupid idea! Anyway enough sidetracking! The gig itself was good, very good, I for once had an amazing view of the stage, some woman ironically or not, collapsed during Rest My Chemistry! (seriously I hope she’s okay though) and the video backdrop faded in an out of pre recorded to onstage footage. There were not one but two encores of which I nearly missed the last because I always figure the bands only do one encore and started to leave and then had to come back to see one last song. I lost my good spot but it also meant I got to the station before they close due to over crowding from the gig! Swings, roundabouts!

Anyway the gig got me thinking about bands that are worth seeing live and I mean not just for the music. This list of course is based purely on my own experience and everyone’s gig experiences are different and people go to gig for different reasons. For instance, I went to a Matt Berry gig recently, I’ve been to a few and I love his music and I will admit that him being on the telly helped me discover what a talented musician he is but there were obviously some people their because he’s on the telly and therefore only listened to the theme song of Toast of London and then merrily (I mean drunkenly) shouted their way through the rest of the gig. Some go for the music, others go for the band! Anyhoo, here are some bands that I think are worth going to see live and not just for the music.

Queens of The Stone Age

QOTSA gigs are like one big house party, Josh is the host and he wants everyone to have fun and dance the night away, he constantly engages and encourages the audience, he makes everyone fell welcome. You will dance, you will sing and you will have a good time because it’s hard not to have fun when everyone else around you is.


Their lighting and visual technician deserves an award, they are simply stunning. Like music can dramatically charge a film, so can a lighting show at a gig.


 Regardless of whether you like German industrial rock or not I urge you to go and see Rammstein live, it is kitsch to the core and over the top camp. Things you can expect from a R are giant penis cannons, crowd surfing in a dingy which usually ends up with a request to return the band member so they carry on with the set, flame throwers, actually most gigs have a ridiculously enormous amount of fireworks and pryotechnics that will take your breathe away and maybe your eyebrows as well, oh and amazing stage sets!

Die Antwoord

The vibes at a DA gig have a 90s illegal rave feel to them. Club Kids, kigus, ninja backing dancers, blow up dolls with giant penises, it’s just one big giant party!

Flaming Lips

FL gigs are kinda trippy but that’s what you’d expect from these guys really. Monitors with psychodelic visuals, glitter cannons, giant mascots of all kinds invading the stage, LED lights, zorb balls, it’s like a mini festival!


It’s kind of hard to say why you should go and see Portishead live but you should. There is one thing listening to a great album over and over again at home and then there is listening to it live. Some songs need to be heard live, like Machine Gun, the bass on this track will leave you discombobulated and your organ slightly liquefied. Also Beth Gibbon’s vocals live in way more haunting than on record. Again another band with stunning big screen visuals (can you tell I like stunning video backdrops yet?) but more so definitely worth hearing live.

Anyway, that’s just some of the bands I think are worth seeing live, it’s a definitive list, it will change depending on who I see in the future but I’m interested in hearing what bands you love seeing live and why.

(And I promise at some point to invest in a decent camera to take better shots!)