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amazing live videos of Tool, Arcade Fire, Jawbreaker & more to watch while every show is cancelled

wire
Wire

Basically no shows are happening due to the coronavirus outbreak (though some artists are doing livestreams instead), but if you’re already jonesing to see a show, or just need a brief distraction from the insanity of the world right now, thankfully there’s YouTube which has an amazing array of live footage from throughout the history of pop music, from clips from concert films, TV performances and other pro-shot footage, to tons of fan-shot video from shows. If you’re looking for a place to start, we’ve been picking some of our favorites. Here are five more:

Arcade Fire @ Lowlands Festival, Netherlands, 8/20/2005

Fresh off the release of their acclaimed debut LP, Funeral, in 2004, Arcade Fire had already earned a reputation as an essential live band. This 2005 Netherlands set came in the middle of a busy summer playing festivals for the band, but if they’re tired, you wouldn’t know it from the passion and energy of their performance. It’s goosebumps-inducing from the first notes of “Wake Up” opening the set, and never lets up. [Amanda Hatfield]

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Tool @ The Glass House, Pomona, CA 10/16/1996

The first show of a big tour in support of a brand new album could almost be a perfect storm for fan dissatisfaction. As a band, you run the risk of not having your tour “sea legs” yet and giving the audience a stiff performance. And as an audience, you’re certainly going to be nailed with a lot of dreaded “new songs.” But on October 16th, 1996 at The Glass House in Pomona, CA, Tool defied the odds and delivered as flawless a performance as they’re capable of unleashing. This gig was the first stop on their Ænima tour, which had dropped on vinyl about a month earlier, and other formats a few weeks after that. Eight of the 12 songs they performed at the gig are from Ænima and they sound as perfect as if they’d been playing them night after night for months already. Although Maynard’s voice may exhibit a bit of fatigue during the very last song, from start to finish he’s relentlessly strong, as is my hero, drummer Danny Carey. The fills this man pulls off are staggering. The uploader calls the video “remastered,” and though the audio is a 10 out 10 and the video is largely very articulate, I deduct points for stretching a 4:3 video out to 16:9 like an amateur. [Jeff Bergstrom]

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Jawbreaker @ Lupo’s in Providence, RI – 10/23/95

The late NJ ’90s punk scene fixture Tim Morris filmed tons of amazing bands back in the day, often in unconventional venues like houses and VFW halls (but in plenty of “real” venues too), and as we mentioned, Chris Haug has been digitizing Tim’s videos and adding more and more to Tim’s YouTube page all the time. This one was added just a week ago of Jawbreaker playing Providence about a month after the then-divisive Dear You had come out. Jawbreaker’s recent reunion has proved they’ve very much still got it, but there’s nothing like watching them rock out during their glory days like this and it’s a treat to hear the Dear You songs when they were still fresh. [Andrew Sacher]

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Wire on Rockpalast, February 1979

Filmed in February 1979, this performance — shot for long-running German live music series Rockpalast — finds Wire still climbing, almost changing by the second. Two years earlier they were banging out amazing, minute-long punk rippers and here they’ve incorporated gloomy soundscapes, electronics and pure pop into their ever-morphing repertoire. Many of the songs that would appear on the band’s third album, 154 (released in October 1979), are here, including such greats as “The 15th,” “A Single KO,” and “Map Ref. 41°N 93°W,” alongside “older” songs like “Pink Flag,” “Practice Makes Perfect,” and “Another the Letter.” The band would go on hiatus a year later, this is them at their tense peak and the polite TV audience makes it all the more wonderfully strange. [Bill Pearis]

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Botch @ The Joint in Staten Island – 4/25/97

Here’s another from Tim Morris’ archives: Tacoma, WA mathcore greats Botch in Staten Island back before they even released their first full-length album. Even this early on in Botch’s career, they were total maniacs and a true force to be reckoned with, and especially for those of us who didn’t get to see Botch before their 2002 breakup, it’s a thrill to see still-omnipresent musicians like Brian Cook (later/currently of Russian Circles and Sumac) and Dave Knudson (later of the now-also-defunct Minus the Bear) going this hard (and at such a young age). As we’ve said before, Botch, please reunite! [Andrew Sacher]

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For more of our favorite live videos, go here.

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