If you live on the Northeast Corridor like I do, chances are that you are snowed in today. You have also probably had enough of winter. Whether you are working from home or just kicking back and wondering how long you can procrastinate shoveling all this snow, it never hurts to have a little live music to brighten things up. Here are five YouTube concert videos from bands that will blow you away with their live performances and make your snow day more fun.
Wolf Alice’s KEXP Set (2017)
This set from Wolf Alice reveals a stunning versatility from the U.K. band. Wolf Alice swung by Seattle radio station KEXP for a live set last October. A part of the promotional tour for their second album (Visions Of A Life), Wolf Alice played stripped down versions of their new songs “Sadboy,” “Space & Time,” and “Don’t Delete The Kisses.” The reduced format of the session allowed the band to play around with the arrangements on their music. Sometimes sessions like this can disappoint, but Wolf Alice found enjoyable new takes on their music in this one. My favorite moment comes from the lead song, “Sadboy.” The album cut of “Sadboy” crescendos in a loud and defiant arrangement. Listen closely at 2:39 and you will hear a band that has figured out how to channel that energy in a different, yet still exciting way. Even though most radio sessions do not improve on a song, this live version possesses an energy that is more captivating than the album cut.
… And One More Video: Wolf Alice’s contrasting live version of “Sadboy” from The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.
Mondo Cozmo Live At Boston Calling (2017)
Mondo Cozmo enjoyed a breakout year in 2017. In January, the band topped the Billboard Adult Alternative Song Chart with their single “Shine.” Mondo Cozmo released their debut album, Plastic Soul, in August. I caught a great set from Mondo Cozmo at Union Transfer last September. I went into the concert liking the band and left the venue obsessed with a band that left it all on the stage. Mondo Cozmo is a dynamic live act worth seeing. This YouTube video of their 2017 Boston Calling show is a great example of how good this band is.
… And One More Video: Mondo Cozmo covered The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony” throughout their tour last year. It is one of the best highlights of their live set.
Steve Gunn, Live At Pitchfork (2015)
As much as I only wanted to select complete concerts for this post, I could not pass up this one from Lansdowne musician Steven Gunn. This performance from the Pitchfork Music Festival in 2015 is an example of the transcendent power of live music. In this clip, the band performs “Way Out Weather,” a track from Gunn’s 2014 album of the same name. The serene slide guitar work that begins and ends the song stuns me every time I listen to this version. This song is seven minutes and sixteen second of pure heaven.
… And One More Video: Unfortunately, Gunn’s complete live set is not on YouTube. Gunn’s live take of “Wildwood” from the same show is also available:
Joe Walsh, Live From Daryl’s House (2012)
Joe Walsh is one of the premier guitar players of his generation. Daryl Hall is one of the great singers of all-time. While it may seem as if the guy from The Eagles and one-half of Hall & Oates have nothing in common musically, this set from Live From Daryl’s House was an amazing collaboration. There is a clear respect between the two musicians that comes through in the music. This is most evident during Walsh’s song “Life’s Been Good.” Hall appears to take particular delight at the line “Everybody’s so different/I haven’t changed.” Walsh did not take a tentative approach to his appearance on the show. Instead, he just shredded through songs like “Rocky Mountain Way” and “Somebody Like You.”
… And One More Video: Booker T. and Mayer Hawthorne jamming with Daryl Hall’s band on “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do).” It is my favorite live cut of a Hall and Oates song from another great episode of Live From Daryl’s House.
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers At Fenway (2014)
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers are my favorite band. I was lucky to catch them in concert a few times before Petty passed away last year. This condensed concert from Boston’s Fenway Park was released as part of a Petty Thanksgiving marathon on Palladia a few years ago. It contains killer classics like “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” and “You Wreck Me.” The Heartbreakers also played four selections from their last album, Hypnotic Eye. Of those songs, “Shadow People” stands out as a great, sometimes eerie song with exceptionally smart lyrics (I have always that the song would be perfect for a True Detective-style soundtrack). Do not skip “A Woman In Love (It’s Not Me),” Benmont Tench’s piano intro is amazing.
… And One More Video: At least one of these songs had to reference the weather, right? The underrated “Out in the Cold” is a track off of 1991’s Into The Great Wide Open. Aside from YouTube, this performance can be found on whatever VHS of the Heartbreakers’ Take The Highway Tour.
The snow forecast graphic was posted on Philadelphia’s CBS station around 6:30 AM.
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