amazing live videos of ABBA, The Microphones, Thursday & more to watch while every show is cancelled
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:
The Microphones @ Pete's Candy Store in NYC - 9/9/2002
Save for a one-off in 2019, Phil Elverum hasn't performed as The Microphones since 2003. He still releases breathtaking albums as Mount Eerie, but his much-loved Microphones era remains uniquely great and this video captures it perfectly and transports you right back to the early 2000s. Phil opened the show with a full performance of the final Microphones album, Mount Eerie, four months before the album came out. Then he did a quick Q&A with fans and played a bunch of other songs, including several from The Glow Pt. 2, a Little Wings cover, and more. It's nearly impossible to hear Phil's devastating songs without getting completely sucked in, and it seems like you could've heard a pin drop at Pete's Candy Store that day. As soon as he opens his mouth to sing in this video, he sounds as powerful as I've ever heard him. [Andrew Sacher]
ABBA @ Wembley Arena 1979
This concert film begins, as you would expect from ABBA, with shots of Benny and Bjorn getting their hair blow-dried. Soon enough, though, we're on stage and what show! What's the name of the game? Razzle dazzle and these Swedes have it in spades, plus the hits, and they do a spectacular job of recreating the complex arrangements and vocal harmonies of their records live. Only bad thing here is despite the video title promising "Full Concert" this is only the first 35 minutes, but you still get a lot of classics and costume changes within that too-short time. [Bill Pearis]
Pedro the Lion @ Ridglea Theater in Fort Worth, TX - 5/14/2002
Pedro the Lion have been reunited for a bit now and they've been putting on great shows and released a great new album, but as good as they are today, there's very specific charm to the era of the band captured in this video. Their much-loved Control had just come out a month earlier, and David Bazan's joined by some of the band's classic members: guitarist TW Walsh, bassist Johnathon Ford (leader of Unwed Sailor), and drummer Casey Foubert. They sounded fantastic, and the very modest, no-frills performance (with no visuals, light show, or anything) really makes it look like an unpolished snapshot of indie rock history. [Andrew Sacher]
Baxter Dury - Soirée de Poche 2014
Baxter Dury hasn't played the U.S. in at least 10 years (though he did come to NYC to shoot the photos for his new album) so us Americans are going to have to settle for this as far as live shows go (coronavirus or no). This is a pretty great one, filmed by the La Blogotheque folks, for one of their "Soirée de Poche" shows which are filmed in a private apartment in Paris. This one's from around the release of Baxter's 2014 album, Pleasure, and he and his band sound fantastic and, as this is a La Blogotheque production, there are some surprising arrangements and interludes within this apartment show. [Bill Pearis]
Thursday @ Chain Reaction, Anaheim, CA - 11/18/2018
Thursday celebrated the 20th anniversary of two of their most classic albums, Full Collapse and War All the Time, by playing them in full at intimate venues over a series of shows a couple of years ago. This Anaheim, CA show is one of the Full Collapse nights, and it's a thrilling watch. Thursday remain a live force, and hearing the roar of the crowd singing along, fists raised, overpowering Geoff Rickly's vocals at points gives me goosebumps. [Amanda Hatfield]
And here's a gallery of Thursday playing Full Collapse in Brooklyn in 2018.
For more of our favorite live videos, head here.