Sunday Sesh: Live Treats

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We’ve given extensive coverage to different live recordings of metal on this site. Whether it’s an excellent, surprise live album, professional footage from a special moment in time, or fan captured sets from one of the biggest fests in the world,  live rock and metal holds a special spark uniquely its own, one that draws us to press play and be mesmerized again and again by a live recording that doesn’t sound quite as polished or perfect as a studio offering. Today we’re sharing some of your favorite live footage.

I’ll be honest, I’m typically fairly disinclined to watch live footage of a band. Most of the time when someone sends me a video, it’s a crappy youtube rip that actually does whatever band is playing a disservice by obfuscating what may be a killer live track with audio artifacts. If it’s a good live recording, I usually prefer to just listen to it rather than watch it, as watching video requires a lot of time set aside that I may not have during the day; if I’m just listening, I can still read or work while getting a glimpse of that magic through my earbuds.

However, the other day I encountered a live recording of one of only two times that Nine Inch Nails played The Downward Sprial live in full, and I was compelled to sit down and *mostly* watch the whole thing with acute focus. This footage was compiled as part of the This One Is On Us project, a collaboration between fans, musicians, videographers, and sound engineers to document special shows and distribute them for free online. This recording of the NIN gig, and the similarly captured Another Version of the Truth, crowdsourced fan footage and professional shots to compile a multi-angle setlist that shows the band in perfect live shape. The youtube rip below is actually a DVD copy produced for free by TOIOU and NIN as a thank you letter to fans to document this historic show at Webster Hall in NYC.

The main reason why I love watching NIN live opposed to just streaming the songs is that Reznor always takes great care to rearrange the music he’s written for an album so that it can be reproduced in an energetic manner live. Throughout this recording I wanted to find out which songs Reznor would play guitar on, whether the drums would be pounding away the back beat of “Closer,” and how many gang vocals they’d be using. I was amazed to see Robin Finck pulling such a tortured riff out of an acoustic guitar on “The Becoming” and captivated by the sheer oppressive volume of “Big Man with a Gun.” I was not disappointed at all.

There have obviously been plenty of live metal shows that have also shined with this level of quality (I’m thinking of the Monsters of Rock in Moscow footage, for example), so that’s where you come in. Share some concert footage you love in the comments!

(Photo VIA)

  • Señor Jefe El Rosa

    HAIL! One of my favorite recorded concerts of all time is Blind Guardian’s Imaginations Through The Looking Glass. They start off with one of my personal favorites and keep the ball rolling throughout their 2 hour set. Besides the band, the audience is also in PRIME form, singing along with every word and participating to the fullest. Pay particular attention to Valhalla, the crowd does not want to let it go, continuing to chant for minutes after the song ends. TRUE GLORY!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZB2g60oQD4w

    • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

      P sure that happens with Valhalla on every single gig.

      • tigeraid

        Yeah but this particular recording is like the Valhalla of Valhallas.

      • Señor Jefe El Rosa

        Yes it does, but this is recorded and stellar.

    • tigeraid

      HAIL. Always a stellar choice.

    • Tampaxon, Flusher Of Gods

      Saw them years back in Chicago. Killer set, as expected!

      • Señor Jefe El Rosa

        Seeing them next week for the second time, can’t wait!!!!

  • Señor Jefe El Rosa

    I also like watching recordings of bands in their formative years. This video is from one of Clutch’s first shows and they play a song called “The Wheel” unfortunately it was never put on tape, so this is all we have of it. It jams pretty hard and gets stuck in my head all the time.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOe41BpJBq8

  • tigeraid

    As always, the correct answer to anything “live” is “Alive in Athens.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoOQOG3z6w4

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      HAIL!

  • Janitor Jim Duggan

    I heard there was a Downward Spiral set from the Civic Center near me that was recently found.

  • Ayreonaut

    Grateful dead. I haven’t listened to a studio recording by them in years. Their live stuff is so much better.

    • Janitor Jim Duggan

      My dad also loves the Dead. He’s seend them hundreds of times. My personal favorite live album is Waiting For Columbus. The slide guitar work on Fat Man In The Bathtub is just filthy.

  • Janitor Jim Duggan

    My favorite live sets isn’t a video but it’s on Archive.org. It’s of Little Feat when Lowell George was alive. They’re unbelievable. RIP Lowell.

    https://archive.org/details/lf1974-09-19.shnf

    https://archive.org/details/lf1978-09-17.aud.flacf

  • This channel on YouTube, hate5six, has a bunch of professionally recorded hardcore shows.
    https://youtu.be/VBOpupMYWNE
    https://youtu.be/2zko7p4vCdY
    https://youtu.be/ah6fwQlcMeA
    https://youtu.be/R04Iqj5MRPs

    • I did not scroll down before I posted, great minds think alike.

      • Hell yes! The video and quality and the camera work are great. Checking out a hardcore band’s performance and sound on this channel is basically my vetting process for deciding if I want to go out and see them now.

  • EsusMoose

    Didn’t really see this video till this morning, but I’m really impressed with the quality of the video and the audio. Einar does butcher one of the vocal melodies at 4:16
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwOrx91Aytw

  • more beer

    I don’t usually watch videos of of shows. I take my ass out and go to shows. There is no substitution for that!

    • EsusMoose

      If you are in an area that gets a solid volume of shows that works, but I can imagine there being a lot of dead zones across North America where seeing a show is either not possible or a lot of hours.
      A good show stands above basically everything else, a shitty show/venue on the other hand can make most things better.

      • more beer

        Some of the best shows I have seen. Have been in shitty venues. I saw a good show in a shitty venue last night. I am heading to another show show this afternoon. I have never lived some place where there wasn’t at least a decent scene. So having to travel has never been an issue.

        • ME GORAK™ GORAK SMASH™

          HARPOS DETROIT!!!!!!!! SHITTIEST VENUE!!!!!!!! SEEN LOTS GOOD SHOWS THOUGH!!!!!!!!

          • more beer

            I spent a lot of Sunday afternoons at CBGB’S . They called that place a hallway to a stage. Don’t believe the hype that place was a shithole. I saw so many good bands there it isn’t even funny. even now my favorite venues are DIY spots. I saw my friends last night in a shithole. Doing a warm up show. Because tomorrow they leave to play a festival in Norway. They are pretty fucking good. Check them out.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S23eBchRKUg

    • Tampaxon, Flusher Of Gods

      I was the same back home. Now I’m living where bands fear to tread, apparently (maybe they’re confusing VA and NC, and mistakenly protesting us over the whole HB2 thing).

      • more beer

        Where you live was never a hotbed of live music anyway.

    • The Tetrachord of Archytas

      Nothin like takin your ass out

    • W.

      Thankfully, most of the places we’re looking at for residency have much better shows than here

      • Scrimm

        AZ

      • more beer

        Fuck yea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Count_Breznak

    The footage from the sadly discontinued “Mountains of Death” is damn good.
    Like
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gY2o321W96M
    or
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVEmlx-fJD8

    • more beer

      I saw them last January killer set.

  • Tampaxon, Flusher Of Gods

    I wish I could find the video of where these guys drove a plow through the back of a stage and ripped it apart. On top of that, these guys threw a molotov cocktail during a live show, the singer almost got his leg sawed off when he tied a circular saw to his back, throwing oil drums into the audience, etc. As you’d imagine, they got banned from practically everywhere, especially after the incident with a plow. Anywho, enjoy (this is the only live show I could find of their’s)!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEW5dx-wZxE

    • Ayreonaut

      Wow

      • Tampaxon, Flusher Of Gods

        The good old days of industrial/noise live shows! I’m gonna look and see if I can find it, but there was one concert where Einsterzande Neubauten destroyed a stage with jackhammers. For good old fashioned destructive live shows, gotta go with this (NSFW):

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1KyQ-1kDbk

  • hate5six does a great job of capturing multicam footage from this Code Orange. If you can get past all the macho hardcore talk, their set captures how good they are live.
    http://youtu.be/SM7WSBznKpU

  • Zeke

    This isn’t real a toilet-type band, but I’ve always loved this concert so I’m posting it anyway
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9zKPjJgfIss

    • Abradolf Lincler

      cant go wrong with old GNR

    • Janitor Jim Duggan

      My dad saw them at CBGB.

  • Tampaxon, Flusher Of Gods

    And one for Dubs. IMHO, their set live set.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lbFfiLAj_A

    • Zeke

      I remember watching this live on pay per view when I was a kid. So sick

      • Tampaxon, Flusher Of Gods

        Heard a tape of it when I was in military school back in ’95. It was the one that got me into NIN.

    • W.

      Aye, I included it in one of the articles I linked. Great set.

      • Tampaxon, Flusher Of Gods

        My bad. I read the article, but didn’t check the links.

  • Tampaxon, Flusher Of Gods

    And of course, my all time favorite live band. Lol, if you look hard, you might see me in the audience (near the front).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ss4hsPU272c

  • JWEG

    I have a few pro shot concerts to pick from. This stands way in front though: https://youtu.be/MNE8BHkt-Bc

    …especially As Rome Burns / Coffin Ships near the midpoint (exact time in description).

  • JWEG

    Also, not a gig recording, but definitely worth repeating a bit out of context: https://youtu.be/0Y6DcENupuw

    I was in attendance, naturally. No way I’d have missed it, or the Agalloch gig that evening – my first and last time seeing them.

    • Abradolf Lincler

      very cool

  • Also this vid has a bunch of 90’s rock bands in their prime performing with some great sound quality.
    https://youtu.be/tGkVoa04_hY

  • Jack Rabbit

    My favorite acoustic performance
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oo8vU2D67So

  • Max

    I find it impossible not to wish I was in Slayer every time I watch this:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5I2X48200M

  • atchdav

    One of my favourite live performances is David Bowie’s Outside Tour in ’95. Bowie backed by NIN… just doesn’t get much better than that.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wkwwt4spUbw

    • Tampaxon, Flusher Of Gods

      My favorite Bowie album, BTW! 😀

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

    All day, every day…………..down to evil divine domain………….

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otrzYM9ldRA

  • Tampaxon, Flusher Of Gods

    Godfuckingdamnit, I wanted to pre-order the new Watchtower, but it wouldn’t be shipped
    until September 30th (it’s physical only, and you know how I am about that), and looking at the track order, it’s only about half an hour long. As much as I want it, I’m not wanting to get
    Wintersun’d again!

    http://media.tumblr.com/bab223c9471dff5a188ddaf53cf18fb8/tumblr_inline_moph6haq1P1qz4rgp.gif