13 artists and bands you need to see live before you (or they) die


Lasers! Explosions! Flying band members! Muse's live show is every bit as ridiculous as their live albums, with Matt Bellamy strutting around like an alien-obsessed Freddie Mercury and over-the-top renditions of their entire back catalogue.

The good news is that Muse should be around for a while yet, and they'll be touring very soon to support their new record Drones (which is out today).

The Rolling Stones

With Mick, Keef and Charlie all in their 70s (Ronnie Wood is a youthful 68), The Rolling Stones probably aren't going to be touring much longer and who can blame them? They deserve a nice long rest after 50-odd years of rocking.

Despite their advanced years, the Stones still put on a great show and they'll hopefully nip back home for a few shows once they've finished their US tour. Be warned, though: tickets usually go within minutes for wallet-busting prices.


Radiohead haven't played any major UK shows since 2012, mainly because they've been off doing things like composing soundtracks for films and writing 18-day long songs.

There is a glimmer of hope of seeing Oxford's finest in the near future, though. They're currently making a new album, which should mean they do a few shows too. Make sure you get to them, because they're a real experience.

Just don't request Creep.

Daft Punk

Everyone's favourite French robotic house duo didn't even bother touring to support the ridiculously popular Random Access Memories (despite the mountain of cash it would have made them), so the chances of seeing them anytime soon seem fairly slim.

It's a shame, because a Daft Punk show is pretty much like being in a sci-fi movie, except with more sweaty people shouting in your ear and the odd pint spilled down your back.

The Cure

Robert Smith and the gang have an uncanny ability to turn even the most sceptical of onlookers into an awe-inspired proto-goth by the end of one of their shows, which can last anywhere up to 4 hours (as once happened in goth capital…erm, Mexico City).

Unfortunately, The Cure aren't on tour at the moment and we wouldn't blame them for fancying an extended rest. Their next tour could be their last!

Kanye West

As you'd expect from a bloke who calls himself Yeezus, Kanye's live shows are overblown, dramatic and have a strong focus on "˜art'.

But forget about all of that: the real highlight is the unpredictable man himself. One night he might play all of his songs as they were originally recorded, the next he might decide to go on a 20 minute rant about Nike and Louis Vuitton while wearing a disco ball mask. We're hoping for the latter at Glasto.


Your chances of seeing Oasis in this lifetime hinge on Liam and Noel putting their differences aside and reuniting. Given how boneheaded they both are, the odd are pretty slim. We're not even sure if our idea for getting them back together would work.

If Oasis do reunite, though, it's guaranteed to be a booze-soaked celebration with people who should know better partying like it's 1994. Oh, and it'll be really really hard to get a ticket.


The German industrial metal legends are renowned for nearly exploding pretty much every venue they've played with pyrotechnics, as well their occasional usage of…erm, "˜adult toys'.

Unfortunately, they're currently on a hiatus with no sign of them ever coming back. If they ever do get back together, make sure you get tickets – but stand away from the front, unless you want burnt eyebrows.


Queen B doesn't offer the pyrotechnics of Rammstein or the hilarious ranting abilities of Kanye West, but she amazes in a different way: her voice. Unlike a lot of artists, Beyonce is more or less note perfect every gig she plays. She pulls a mean rocking out face too, as she showed at the Superbowl a couple of years ago.

Rage Against the Machine

Although the rock-rap revolutionaries and arch enemies of Joe McElderry haven't played a show since 2011, they're still kind of active. According to bassist Tim Commerford, their next gig could be "˜tomorrow' or in "˜10 years' time'. Be there when it happens!

Nine Inch Nails

Trent Reznor's a busy chap these days: when he's not winning Oscars for his soundtrack work, he's helping Apple take over the music industry.

He still finds time to take Nine Inch Nails out on tour and it's well worth getting a ticket if they play near you, if only for the trademark haunting performance of Hurt at the end.

Iron Maiden

The heavy metal legends have been touring hard for the past 30 years, although they're currently taking a few months off while singer, pilot and all-around action man Bruce Dickinson recovers from cancer. Like the Stones, Maiden are getting on a bit and might fancy retiring back to their beloved East London for a few pints soon – catch them while they're still going!

Which bands would you add to our list? Let us know in the comments, and share your gig experiences too!

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