Top Five Famous Live Performances


If you haven’t seen any of these historic stages yet, now’s your chance!

In this feature: Nirvana, Janis Joplin, David Bowie, Joy Division, and Manic Street Preachers. Photos via Alternative Nation (Nirvana), Wikipedia (Janis Joplin), GQ Magazine UK (David Bowie), ZME Music (Joy Division), and Uncut (Manic Street Preachers).

It’s long been established that the World Wide Web is a goldmine: you’re most likely to find whatever it is that you’re looking for, even the most obscure ones, if only you’ll look very, very persistently. In popular video sharing website YouTube alone, you can find everything – literally anything between officially released trailers and music videos to tutorials, self-released tracks, a myriad of hilarious clips, and, astoundingly, full-length movies and several performances that people have been abuzz about.

Now, anyone who’s ever been a fan of any musician knows the feeling of missing a concert for one reason or another – say, due to distance, lack of funds, or you simply were too young or weren’t even born yet at the time it was held – especially when it’s the one that ended up being the much-talked about performance of said artist.

If that’s the case, fear not! In this list, we’re sharing with you five clips of some of the most important stages performed by your favorite musicians in no particular order. So sit back, turn up the volume, and watch these gems right at the comfort of your own homes right now!

Video by Dave Makey on YouTube

Nirvana’s final gig in Los Angeles
Great Western Forum / December 30, 1993

Only recently, right on its 20th anniversary, documentarist Dave Makey uploaded this rare footage capturing what is now known as the last gig influential rock band Nirvana held in Los Angeles, California. It was a mere two months before Kurt Cobain died, and just right before they went on a European tour.

Of this footage, Makey wrote:

20 years ago tonight (December 30, 1993) I stood on Kurt’s side of the stage at my hometown’s Los Angeles Forum and captured the last set I would see of this band. A band that I had worked with, toured with; people that I would call my friends. A band that both the world and myself really loved (can’t really say this has happened since.) Within just a few short months it would sadly all be over.

Nirvana’s setlist here comprised of covers of The Vaselines’ “Jesus” and David Bowie’s “Man Who Sold the World,” and their very own “All Apologies.” On a side note, it was announced just last December that Nirvana is set to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 10 this year.

Video via YouTube

Janis Joplin, together with band Big Brother and Holding Company, performs at the Monterey Pop Festival
Monterey, California / June 16-18, 1967

Before she made a name for herself as a solo artist, Janis was part of the band Big Brother and the Holding Company. This was said to be her “first large-scale public performance,” and her rendition of the blues song “Ball ‘n’ Chain” by Big Mama Thornton was highly-lauded by the audience. It must have been really astounding, as this alone was said to be the basis of Columbia Records’ decision to sign them on!

Video via YouTube

David Bowie’s last performance as Ziggy Stardust
Hammersmith Odeon in London / July 3, 1973

David is best known as an eccentric performer who took on on a number of personas, one of them being Ziggy Stardust. Ziggy Stardust officially made his “debut” in February 1972. However, in July 1973, after a year of non-stop touring and promotions, David as Ziggy announced his “retirement.” “This show will stay the longest in our memories not just because it is the end of the tour, but because it is the last show we’ll ever do,” he was quoted to have said.

The video clip above was from their “last” show at the Hammersmith Odeon, with Ziggy Stardust and his band the Spiders from Mars performing “Ziggy Stardust.”

Video via YouTube

Joy Division performs ‘Transmission’ on ‘The Wedge’
Britain / late 1970s

Rock band Joy Division may have lasted only a good few years in the industry (the band was renamed to New Order after lead vocalist Ian Curtis’ suicide in 1980), yet they managed to leave a lasting mark in the music industry. Now, videos of the bands’ performances were said to be rare, and this clip is one of the very few that can be found in the Internet. Here, Joy Division made a live performance of what would become one of their greatest hits “Transmission” on the British music show “The Wedge.”

Video via YouTube

Richey Edwards performs with band The Manic Street Preachers shortly before his disappearance
London Astoria / December 20, 1994

This gig is famous for being member Richey’s penultimate performance with The Manic Street Preachers; on February 1, 1995, he disappeared and remains so to this day (he was “presumed dead” on November 23, 2008, though). The Manic Street Preachers continues to be active in the scene, only now they are composed of only three members James Dean Bradfield, Nicky Wire, and Sean Moore.

This list was based on Flavorwire’s *10 Historic Live Musical Performances You Can Watch on YouTube*. Additional information in this article were sourced from NME, Monterey Pop Festival on Wikipedia, Nirvana on Wikipedia, Rolling Stone, David Bowie on Wikipedia, Joy Division on Wikipedia , Consequence of Sound, Manic Street Preachers on Wikipedia, and Richey Edwards on Wikipedia.

Like this article? Check out our Top Five List series in the Lomography magazine!

written by chooolss on 2014-01-17 in #lifestyle #videos #ziggy-stardust #nirvana #janis-joplin #spiders-from-mars #top-five-list #big-brother-and-holding-company #joy-division #david-bowie #manic-street-preachers

One Comment

  1. stolosapo
    stolosapo ·

    .. dance dance dance dance dance to the radio ....

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