Bill Withers, Tom Petty, Siouxsie and more live videos to watch


Basically, no shows are taking place due to the coronavirus outbreak (although some artists are doing live streams instead), but if you’re already watching a show, or just need a ‘a brief distraction from the craziness of the world right now, luckily there’s YouTube which has an incredible range of live footage from all over pop music history, film clips from concerts, TV performances and live music. other professionally shot footage, to tons of fan-shot videos from shows. If you’re looking for a place to start, we’ve selected some of our favorites. Here are five more:

Bill Withers – Live on the BBC, 1973

This morning, amidst all the terrible news that is already in the world, came the news that soul legend Bill Withers died of heart complications aged 81. Bill was truly one of the greatest and his voice was unparalleled. We miss him already, but right now I’m finding some solace watching this genuinely moving BBC session he filmed in 1973. Bill sits, plays acoustic guitar and is backed by a suitably laid-back band , and his voice sounds as pure as it always has. [Andrew Sacher]

Siouxsie & The Banshees @ Warwick Arts Centre, UK 09/03/1981

Filmed for the UK series ‘Rock Goes to College’ just months before they release their excellent fourth album, Juju, this is the pinnacle of Siouxsie & The Banshees’ debut. It’s only 30 minutes long but packed with gothic classics like ‘Spellbound’, ‘Israel’, ‘Arabian Nights’, ‘Christine’ and many more. They ring fantastic here, with Budgie and guitarist John McGeoch in particularly fine form, and Siouxsie Sioux commanding the stage. Why didn’t they get together? [Bill Pearis]

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Pack the Plantation: Live! (1985)

Film-concert by Tom Petty in 1986 Pack the Plantation: Live! is testament to how he and The Heartbreakers were a force to be reckoned with on stage. Filmed across two shows at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles in August 1985, these shows contain some excerpts from the recent Southern Accents, but there are also tons of older favorites, like “Refugee” and “American Girl,” among others. A highlight is the film’s version of “Breakdown”, where Tom walks away to let the audience sing the first two verses; the crowds at these shows were particularly wild, with fans throwing clothes onto the stage and one fan rushing onto the stage to cover Tom in a bear hug before being dragged away by security. The band sounds larger than life, and it’s the kind of heart-pounding escape we need at times like these. [Jeremy Nifras]

Fun Boy Three @ Regal Theatre, Hitchin UK, 1983

At the height of the success of The Specials UK in 1981, singers Terry Hall and Neville Staple, and guitarist Lynval Golding, left the band and formed Fun Boy Three, a band that fused new wave pop, afrobeat and dub into a single sound. They had six UK hits, including their version of “Our Lips Are Sealed” which Hall co-wrote with Jane Wiedlin of The Go-Go’s (which had a US hit with it in 1981). This 1983 concert, shot for the BBC live music series The Old Gray Whistle Testwas filmed right after the release of “Our Lips are Sealed” and their 35-minute set is heavy with songs from their second album produced by David-Byrne, Waiting for, including “Tunnel of Live” and “The More I See”. They also play their fantastic cover of Cole Porter’s “Summertime”, “It Ain’t What You Do (It’s the Way That You Do It)” and even The Specials’ “Gangsters”. Backed by a six-piece band, FB3 sounds fantastic, and there’s even a goofy little behind-the-scenes interview to kick things off. [Bill Pearis]

The Knife @ Terminal 5, 30/04/2014 & 01/05/204

The Knife’s 2014 tour supporting the 2013s Shake off the usual was a veritable audiovisual spectacle, with choreographed dance routines and lots of glittery face paint. The tour stopped at New York’s Terminal 5 for two nights in 2014 (we attended both), and those shows served as the basis for a live album and video that came out a few years later. Definitely worth revisiting, and I dare you not to dance. [Amanda Hatfield]

For more of our favorite live videos, head here.


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