Cities have begun to reopen and some people are finding socially-distant ways to put on concerts, but the world of live entertainment as we know it is still far from back to normal. While you wait for concerts to officially resume, here are 15 concert videos we love from the '90s across indie rock, shoegaze, and other related subgenres to tide you over:

My Bloody Valentine @ Liberty Lunch, Austin 2/8/1992

Echoes of My Bloody Valentine's eardrum-destroying tour Loveless tour (much of which was with Dinosaur Jr and Babes in Toyland) may still be ringing somewhere. Their live set was sensory overload, with flashing strobes that seemed to match Colm O'Ciosoig's intense drumming; though other times it was near pitch black. This video, shot at Austin's Liberty Lunch in February 1992, is a good representation of that. It's side-stage, so visuals are less than ideal, but they sound terrific. [Bill Pearis]

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Ride @ 9:30 Club, 6/14/1992

Ride were in their poppy, shoegazy prime in 1992, having just released their fantastic second album, Going Blank Again, and on the road in American with Pale Saints. I was actually at this show at DC's old 9:30 Club on F Street and attribute at least a little of my current tinnitus to their encore of "Drive Blind." My memories of this show are pretty accurate -- they do indeed sound terrific here, and the video/audio quality is excellent given it's nearly 30 years old, and includes a few shots of the 9:30 Club's infamous sightline-blocking pole. [Bill Pearis]


Pavement in Frankfurt, Germany 3/6/1994

Pavement were at the height of their indie rock powers in 1994, having released the undeniable Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain and its highly quotable MTV Buzz Bin single "Cut Your Hair" riding high. (That they never got "Cute Band Alert" in Sassy Magazine was either a travesty or a blessing.) They sound pretty great at this Frankfurt show, delivering a set packed with early classics, all of which are a little more rocking, robust and put-together than their records/reputation might've implied. [Bill Pearis]


Archers of Loaf @ Liquid Lounge in Norman, OK - 3/2/1994

Indie rock heroes Archers of Loaf are finally reunited with their first new music in over 20 years, and they would be gearing up to play New York in a week from now if not for the pandemic, so while we wait for them to hopefully get back on the road, here's a classic video from their initial run to tide us all over. They're in what seems like a very small, modest venue but they're rocking out like they're playing for a crowd of thousands and they sound as tight as they do on their classic 1993 debut album Icky Mettle, which is where almost every song on this setlist came from. [Andrew Sacher]


Sugar @ The Academy in NYC - 10/23/1992

Bob Mould's current power trio setup and his last four solo albums have all hearkened back to the glory days of Sugar, and when he plays Sugar classics live, he does those songs with all the energy and passion you could ask for. His shows have been a real treat over the past few years, but since we can't see him or anyone else play Sugar songs in person right now, here's the video of the real Sugar in their prime. Copper Blue had just come out the previous month, and they tore through the songs from that album, plus some stuff that wouldn't come out until Beaster and File Under: Easy Listening, their cover of The Who's "Armenia City in the Sky," and more. The whole thing rips. [Andrew Sacher]


Superchunk @ The Khyber Pass 04/07/1992

Thirty years into their career, Superchunk remain a livewire act, but they were positively bouncing off the walls at this 1992 show at Philly's Khyber Pass. I'm getting sweaty just watching. Though the Chunk were still touring No Pocky for Kitty, they were already incorporating a lot of On the Mouth into their set including "Precision Auto," "New Low," "For Tension," and "Untied." Wonder if Mac still has that Mudhoney shirt? [Bill Pearis]


Liz Phair @ Town Hall, NYC - 4/25/1995 & Lizner Auditorium, Washington DC - 4/26/1995

These two nights of back-to-back East Coast Liz Phair shows are from the time between 1994's Whip-Smart and 1998's Whitechocolatespaceegg, and despite questionable picture quality (sourced from a VHS tape), feature a killer mix of her classic material. As we wait for Liz's first album in a decade, they're a reminder of why we're anticipating it, as well as her return to the road, so eagerly. [Amanda Hatfield]


Spiritualized @ World's Greatest Bar (World Trade Center) 4/16/1998

Jason Pierce was flying high -- and we mean that altitude-wise -- at this Spiritualized's show at The World's Greatest Bar which was on the 107th Floor of the World Trade Center and a day off from their tour opening for Radiohead. (They'd play Radio City Music Hall the next night.) There wasn't much of a view, as April showers had all heads in the clouds that night, but the band would've kept eyes from looking at the skyline anyway. Spiritualized were mesmerizing as usual. [Bill Pearis]


Hum @ The TLA in Philadelphia, PA - 2/28/1998

There's a new Hum album in the world for the first time in 22 years (read our review), and it's really, really good. It finds them pushing forward and really adding to their already-great discography, so I don't want to get too caught up in nostalgia, but since it's gonna be a while before they can tour again, I thought I'd revisit this fantastic live video from their classic '90s era until then. This was shortly after Downward Is Heavenward came out, and they played a good chunk of that album's songs, and this video is as mesmerizing as that album. The sound and video quality are great -- especially for an amateur video from the '90s -- and it's obvious from this footage how larger-than-life Hum are on stage. [Andrew Sacher]


Low @ ACTV Main Studio in Austin, TX - 1996

As amazing as Low's last album -- 2018's more electronic-oriented Double Negative -- is, quarantine-induced dreariness has had me in the mood for the more bare bones sound Low had in the '90s, which sent me back to this ACTV session from 1996. That's the year they released their EP with their inventive cover of Joy Division's "Transmission," and they played that here, alongside a nice selection of originals from the era. Even with Low as established as they are now, it's incredible to see how emotionally devastating they sound with such a small, stripped-back setup. [Andrew Sacher]


Mazzy Star @ Shoreline Amphitheatre, CA, 10/2/1994

We're still mourning the loss of David Roback, which inspired us to seek out this all-too-brief set, which captures Mazzy Star a year after their sophomore album, So Tonight That I Might See, came out. Halfway through they play "Flowers in December" from Among My Swan, which would come out two years later, before closing with "Fade into You." Hope Sandoval's voice sounds as gorgeous and haunting as ever throughout, and we wish this video was at least twice as long. [Amanda Hatfield]


Cocteau Twins @ Town & Country Club, London 11/1/1990

Touring their masterpiece Heaven or Las Vegas, Cocteau Twins played as an expanded lineup of the group, with Robin Guthrie adding extra guitarists to replicate that wall-of-shimmer guitar cascade, and they sound magnificent at this London show. It is, of course, Liz Fraser that is the star of the show and her otherworldly, elastic voice still sends shivers. While the video image of this may leave a little to be desired, sound quality is great. [Bill Pearis]


Pale Saints @ Town & Country Club 7/20/1991

They only lasted two album with original frontman Ian Masters, but Pale Saints were one of the best bands of the original 4AD Records era, mixing the ethereal shimmer of the Cocteau Twins, with loud/quiet/loud dynamics of The Pixies, and an great ear for melody to boot. By 1991, when this London show was filmed, Meriel Barham had joined the band -- she's singing the cover of Slapp Happy's "Blue Flower" (that you may also know from Mazzy Star's version). While they don't play "Sight of You," we do get "Insubstantial," "Half Life Remembered," "Hunted," and their fantastic instrumental "Porpoise" (from the Flesh Balloon EP). Pale Saints are in fine form here and this pro-shot video looks and sounds great. [Bill Pearis]


Seam @ TT The Bear's in Cambridge, MA - 5/1/1995

'90s-era indie rock vets Seam had a captivating, glacial-pace sound that was as gorgeous on record as it was on stage, as this video of the band playing Cambridge in 1995 proves. This was a few weeks before Are You Driving Me Crazy? came out, and the band were playing some "new" songs at this show. In between songs, they seem so quiet and humble, but once they lock in, they sound gigantic. [Andrew Sacher]


Belle and Sebastian @ Masion De La Radio, Paris - 10/5/1998

This October 1998 Paris set was released as a bootleg called "The Black Sessions" in 2003, and it's a great look at the band's earlier days. Stuart David and Isobel Campbell are on hand, and the setlist is a mix of tracks from their early EPs, If You're Feeling Sinister, and The Boy With the Arab Strap. I've loved watching B&S become an energetic, buoyant live band but this look back at their more gentle, twee times feels very special indeed. Amanda Hatfield


See also:

* 10 classic '80s post-punk concert videos

* 15 classic grunge and alternative rock concert videos

* 10 classic '90s punk concert videos

* 10 classic '80s hardcore concert videos

* 10 classic '80s thrash metal concert videos

For more of our favorite live videos, head here.

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