amazing live videos of Superchunk, Op Ivy, Against Me! & 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:
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]
Operation Ivy @ 924 Gilman - 5/28/1989
We just mentioned yesterday that Operation Ivy's Jesse Michaels is working on his first new music in eight years, and that 924 Gilman -- the iconic Berkeley venue where Op Ivy got their start -- are hosting a livestream festival this weekend to raise money to keep their venue open, so I figured why not revisit a video of Op Ivy at 924 Gilman for today's live video roundup? This was actually the band's last show before breaking up, and it's obvious that they went out with a bang. They've got so much chemistry on stage, they're tearing it up, and they already look and sound as stadium-ready as two of these guys would quickly become with Rancid. The things I would do to go back in time and see this band in real life. [Andrew Sacher]
Against Me! @ The Fest - 10/28/2017
At hometown Gainesville festival The Fest 16, Against Me! opened with some of the great songs from their career-rejuvenating albums Transgender Dysphoria Blues and Shape Shift With Me, and then played a few others from before that, and then they played their classic 2002 debut Against Me! Is Reinventing Axl Rose in full. The recent Against Me! lineup with Atom Willard on drums puts on some of the most lively, cathartic punk shows you can see, and it's a treat to watch them do the Reinventing Axl Rose songs with Atom, but making this show extra special was that Reinventing Axl Rose bassist Dustin Fridkin -- who left the band in 2002 -- reunited with Laura Jane Grace and James Bowman just for the Reinventing Axl Rose portion of this set. It was an awesome, celebratory show, and luckily it's been captured in this very well-shot video. [Andrew Sacher]
The Mountain Goats @ Opolis, Norman, OK - 11/13/2002
The Mountain Goats' first album as a full band, Tallahassee, came out just over a week before this video was taken, but the show it records is a solo performance from John Darnielle. It's a great reminder of the project's origins and an awesome look back at the kind of show we haven't gotten to see him play in recent years, seated with a guitar in an intimate venue. With his first boombox recording since 2002 having come out in April, revisiting it feels very timely. [Amanda Hatfield]
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]
Bonus: The Trap Set podcast has continued to churn out new episodes during quarantine, a new interview with Superchunk's Mac McCaughan (also co-founder of Merge Records) included.
Check out pictures of Against Me! at Rough Trade in 2016 in the gallery below.
For more of our favorite live videos, head here.