Brian Wilson, Cocteau Twins and more live videos to watch at home


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:

Brian Wilson presents the smile @ Disney Hall in Los Angeles, California – 11/03/2004

The long unfinished Smile – the Beach Boys’ greatest album and arguably the greatest pop album of all time – came close to completion in 2004 when Brian and Van Dyke Parks, with the help of Darian Sahanaja and his band The Wondermints, put together a full arrangement of the legendary album and gave it a long-awaited release as Brian Wilson presents the smile. They also celebrated it with now-legendary concerts, including the premiere at London’s Royal Festival Hall which Paul McCartney attended, and a show at Disney Hall in Los Angeles for the Brian Wilson presents the smile film-concert. Even if Smile was released in 1967 as planned, Brian had pretty much ceased performing live by then, so it wasn’t just the most complete achievement of Smile as an album but also the full potential of Brian’s live performance. Along with The Wondermints, an orchestra, a horn section and tons of other backing musicians and singers, Brian made Smile a look and sound as grand as he had imagined four decades ago. It’s one of the most jaw-dropping concert movies around, and even if you’ve seen it before, it’s well worth revisiting during this quarantine (or any time for that matter). [Andrew Sacher]

Cocteau Twins @ Town & Country Club, London 01/11/1990

Visit their masterpiece Heaven or Las Vegas, Cocteau Twins played as an expanded line-up of the band, with Robin Guthrie adding additional guitarists to replicate that shimmering guitar cascade, and they sound beautifully at this London show. It is, of course, Liz Fraser who is the star of the show and her otherworldly, springy voice still sends shivers down the spine. Although the video image of this may leave a little to be desired, the sound quality is excellent. [Bill Pearis]

Jets in Brazil @ The Black Cat in Washington, DC – 04/16/1999

It still feels like a miracle that Jawbreaker has finally reunited, but when this lockdown finally ends, I’ll still be crossing my fingers that Blake Schwarzenbach will reunite Jets To Brazil as well. Their debut in 1998 Orange rhyming dictionary is about as timeless and influential as anything from Jawbreaker, and here’s a recently unearthed video (by Scott Heisel, who uploaded a lots of cool old pictures lately) of Jets playing at DC the year after the release of this album. Like Jawbreaker (and drummer Chris Daly’s former band Texas Is The Reason), Jets were an intense live band, and that really showed in this video, in which they look like pros on stage and sound just as sharp. only on disk. What makes this video extra special is that it contains footage of them playing “Won’t You Come Down”, a “new” song they toured a lot in 1999 but never recorded. It’s a big. [Andrew Sacher]

The fall @ University of Leeds, February 1981

The Fall were on a hot streak in 1981, releasing the great Grotesque and releasing one of their finest records – the perfect mini-LP Slates — This year. The band’s line-up, including guitarists Craig Scanlon and Mark Riley, and the rhythm section of brothers Paul and Steve Hanley, was also top-notch, as you can see at this University of Leeds show, which includes fall standards such as “Hip Priest”, “Middle Mass”, “Prole Art Threat”, “Totally Wired”, “Slates, Slags, Etc” and “Draygo’s Guilt”. Mark E Smith prowls around the scene, oozing more menace than you’d expect from any clean-shaven man in a sweater and oxford shirt. [Bill Pearis]

Rilo Kiley at Mary Jane’s Fat Cat in Houston, Texas – 11/16/2002

This show was part of Rilo Kiley’s tour supporting their second (and best) album, 2002 The execution of all things, and the setlist is all you would want, mainly Execution songs and some of Take-offs and landings, too much. Jenny Lewis sounds raw and serious and aching, almost screaming on “The Good That Won’t Come Out”, and it’s a treat to see Blake Sennett take over vocals a few times too. [Amanda Hatfield]

For more of our favorite live videos, head here.


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