amazing live videos of Lou Reed, Run DMC, King Crimson & 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:
Lou Reed @ Capitol Theatre, Passaic, NJ 09/25/84
It says a lot about Lou Reed's body of work that at this 1984 show he OPENS with "Sweet Jane," the kind of song most artists would save for the encore. Don't worry, he's got lots more where that came from and his band, including Robert Quine, Fernando Saunders, Peter Wood and Lenny Ferrari, sound great. What songs does he finish this two-hour show with? You'll have to watch but makes room to cover Jim Carroll's "People Who Died" right before. If you're wondering who opened for Lou... [Bill Pearis]
Run DMC @ Capitol Theatre, Passaic, NJ 09/25/84
...it was Run DMC, who didn't get to play very long but they made the most of it with "It's Like That," "Sucker MC's" and "Rock Box." Run, D.M.C. and Jam Master Jay could not look more iconic in their signature black leather outfits and Adidas. [Bill Pearis]
Tegan and Sara @ Coachella - 4/25/2008
Tegan and Sara released their best album so far, The Con, in July of 2007, and their tour that followed included a stop at Coachella the next year. It's an instant-classic set with killer performances of songs from that album and favorites from So Jealous and If It Was You. [Amanda Hatfield].
King Crimson @ The Arena in Fréjus, France - 8/27/1982
The different eras, lineups, and sounds of King Crimson are so drastically different and so appealing in their own distinct ways that it was tough to pick just one for this video roundup (and who knows, maybe we'll include different eras in future editions of these posts), but today I'm going with this pro-shot concert (also released on DVD) from the band's 1982 Europe tour with Roxy Music. This is with the lineup of Robert Fripp, Adrian Belew, Tony Levin, and Bill Bruford who recorded the prog/new wave classics Discipline (1981), Beat (1982), and Three of a Perfect Pair (1984), the first two of which they were supporting on this tour. "Records and live performance are two worlds. One is a love letter, the other a hot date," says Robert Fripp. "Crimson were always the band for a hot date." One look at this fiery, intense, hypnotic video, and it's impossible not to agree with him. [Andrew Sacher]
Desaparecidos @ Magic Stick in Detroit, MI - 8/1/2002
Conor Oberst is a super busy guy. These days, he's back with Bright Eyes (whose first new album in nine years is on the way, and who will eventually tour after this whole pandemic ends), but today I'm going back in time to his punk band Desaparecidos' initial, short-lived early 2000s run, during which they released their killer debut album Read Music/Speak Spanish and played some truly life-affirming shows. (They also reunited in the 2010s and released their 2015 comeback album Payola, which we named one of the best punk/emo albums of that decade.) Conor's quiet singer/songwriter stuff can silence a room, but he's also a pro at the loud, hard-hitting punk stuff and his scream-singing sounds even more badass in this live video than it does on record. The band is tight, the songs are great -- the whole thing rips. [Andrew Sacher]
Before you go, check out out these pictures of Lou Reed at Highline Ballroom in 2007. We miss you, Lou.
For more of our favorite live videos, head here.