My wife once won a radio contest to go see Rhianna’s new album drop live in London.
She called me on a Monday. On Friday we were on a direct flight from Phoenix to London. Saturday night, Rhianna released her album live in concert with the help of friends like Jay-Z.
Given the events (radio contest, London, future wife, etc), the concert probably stands out as my favorite live music experience, with Jay-Z taking the prize for the best live performing artist I’ve seen. Bruno Mars is a close second.
Reflecting on the experience got me thinking about who others have enjoyed to see live and in person. So, I asked the community at Terkel for their best live performing artist recommendation.
Who is the Best Live Performing Artist?
From Bruce Springsteen to Pink, here are 10 answers to the question, "Who is the best live performing artist you've ever seen?"
- Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
- Green Day
- Bruno Mars
- Robbie Williams
- Taylor Swift
- Paul McCartney
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
Bruce Springsteen's hit-making career occurred before I was around, so I didn't have the firsthand knowledge of his catalog that millions of other people have. I was told that he has one of the best rock shows in history, so I took that to heart and saw him and his band play live years ago.
We may have been the youngest people in the crowd, but what an energized crowd. And they had every reason to be. The man and his band played for over three hours. I couldn't name most of the songs he played, but it really didn't matter.
He poured his heart and soul into every song on the setlist, and I left feeling like I had witnessed rare greatness. He lives up to the hype and is on tour again (at 73!) and he still puts on a phenomenal show. I'm so lucky to have had that experience.
I will never forget the performance they gave on the 2005 American Idiot World Tour in Berlin. I don't think I've ever seen such a high-energy performance where all the band members just seemed to have the time of their lives.
The enthusiasm, the atmosphere, and the electric feeling when the whole arena sang songs that are now considered the hymns of punk rock were just incredible.
When you attend a concert of a famous dance act, you're often going to get a lot of background singers taking over most of the singing duties from the primary performer—because it's so hard to sing while doing so much choreography. Sometimes you'll even hear pre-recorded vocals.
Shakira's physicality and ability to sing every note of every verse while dancing at full exertion amazed me. She could really sing, too. And the dancing was extraordinary. This petite woman with long blonde hair and a sultry voice was amazing to watch.
And she danced most of the show barefoot. It was truly a spectacle. I left the show convinced that Shakira is one of the top stage performers alive.
Bruno Mars is by far the best live-performing artist I have ever seen. From his opening number that captivated the crowd to his final encore, Bruno cannot put on an incredible show—each performance as stunning and vibrant as the next.
His enthusiasm was contagious, drawing in everyone within earshot of his melodic voice. Besides his signature dance moves, Bruno's ability to engage with the audience creates a vibrant atmosphere that energizes any space he performs in. Bruno Mars is undoubtedly one of the best performers alive today.
I have had the immense pleasure of seeing U2 twice. My most recent U2 concert experience was in 2017, the 30th anniversary of The Joshua Tree, which is arguably their best album. They played every song of that masterpiece in order, and it was spectacular. It didn't feel like a nostalgia trip.
Those songs don't sound dated—and we can easily transition many of the songs that had political and anti-war themes into relevant cautionary tales for the present day. They played these amazing songs terrifically. That piercing guitar, the aggressive and pulsating rhythm section, and those soaring vocals make that band so spectacular.
They may have had to endure some fan and media backlashes over the years, but when U2 is firing on all cylinders, they are greatness. They are truly one of the greatest live acts of all time.
The best live-performing artist I have ever seen is Beyoncé. Her performances are always incredibly choreographed and visually stunning, and her voice is always powerful and on point.
She has a way of captivating the audience and making them feel like they are a part of the show. She also has an impressive stage presence and always puts on an incredibly dynamic performance. Overall, she is truly a master at her craft and a genuine artist in live performances.
I've been to a few concerts in my life, but one that stands out was Robbie Williams' in Warsaw in 2017. I remember it being a magnificent performance that was everything I had hoped for.
The whole concert was a testament to the British superstar's talent and showmanship, as I remember leaving and thinking that he had brought his A-game. Absolute legend and a brilliant performer.
The best live-performing artist I have ever seen was Taylor Swift. The show was energetic and exciting, and she had the audience captivated the entire time. She sang all her hits and interacted with the crowd. It was an incredible experience that I will never forget!
Paul McCartney is one of the greatest live performers of all time. His ability to engage and entertain an audience with a combination of technical prowess, showmanship, charisma, and emotion makes him a master at capturing their attention.
He has performed countless legendary concerts over his long career, and fans have consistently praised his ability to connect with them and deliver unforgettable performances. Whether he's playing solo acoustic sets or full-band shows, Paul McCartney always puts on a show to remember.
I'll never forget attending Pink's concert. Not only is she an extremely talented singer and dancer, but she is also a gifted gymnast who incorporates impressive acrobatics into her shows. Also, she sings shockingly well the entire time she's doing it. Her concert is one of the most impressive live performances I have ever seen, and if you get the chance, I highly recommend seeing her.
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