Top 10 Greatest Live Musical Performances of All Times

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3. The Beatles live on The Ed Sullivan Show

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English rock band- The Beatles formed in Liverpool in 1960 are widely regarded as the best and the greatest or the most influential band in the rock era. During their time they have experimented with several genres, ranging from pop ballads to psychedelic rock. They were so popular during the early 1960s that their huge following and popularity was coined as “Beatlemania”. The band was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. Their estimated album sales is understood to be around 600 million records worldwide, however, EMI estimates their album sales to be over one billion copies. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked them as the best artist of all time in the list “100 Greatest Artist of all Time” published by them.

The release of ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ in December 1963, marked the arrival of the Beatlemania craze in the United States. On February 9, 1964 the Beatles made their long awaited debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. 0ver 50,000 people were reported to have applied for the tickets for the show that Sunday night. The group opened the show with “All My Loving” and “She Loves you” before finishing the set with the track that made them stars in America – “I Want To Hold Your Hand”. The excitement that swept America is perfectly filmed in the frenzy of the theatre that greets the performance. A thundering approval of the crowd is matched by an electrifying performance by the band, and by doing so changed the pop culture forever.

2. Queen – Live Aid, Wembley Stadium

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British rock band Queen was formed in London in 1970 and they are the earliest to be influenced by progressive rock, hard rock and heavy metal. Later on they proceeded into more radio-friendly works, thus including diverse styles to their music. The band has released a total of 18 number one albums and singles each, and 10 number one DVDs. Their album sales are estimated to be between a 150 million and 300 million copies. In 2001 they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Live Aid was a dual-venue concert held on July 13, 1985. The event was held simultaneously at Wembley Stadium in London, England, and John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States (attended by about 100,000 people). The show had one of the most impressive line-ups ever: Paul McCartney, The Who, Led Zeppelin, U2, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Neil Young and many more. However, Queen outperformed every other artist in front of 72,000 strong audiences in Wembley and an estimated global audience of about 1.9 billion worldwide. There’s no better example of a frontman having the crowd in the palm of his hand than Freddie Mercury at London’s Wembley Stadium. Mercury provided his stellar vocals and talent on the piano and later on acted as a choirmaster, leading the people in attendance in an unforgettable sing-along. An industry poll in 2005 voted Queen’s appearance at Live Aid event as the ‘greatest live performance ever’.

1. Woodstock Music and Art Fair

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The Woodstock Music and Art Fair was a musical festival, billed as “An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace and Music”. Initiated through the efforts of Michael Lang, Artie Kornfeld, John Roberts and Joel Rosenman, this festival was held at Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm in the town of Bethel, New York, form August 15 to August 18, 1969.

During those days the world was still deeply involved in the peace and love movement. To celebrate the hippie culture, the three-day music festival was organized. A Total of 32 acts performed at the festival that included amazing artists of that era such as Creedence Clearwater Revival, Joan Baez, Janis Joplin, the Who, Jimi Hendrix, Ravi Shankar, Grateful Dead and Santana. The performance of the Who and Jimi Hendrix were pick of the bunch amongst too many great performances at that extravaganza. An estimated 400,000 people were lucky enough to witness the great icons of music industry sharing the same stage and be a part of the historical event.

During the entire event there was a sense of social harmony, which, along with the quality of music and the overwhelming mass of people helped to make it one of the most enduring events of the century.


Music is a part of our life; we talk about it, we follow it, we dream with it, we cry for a change with it. This is an attempt to remember the icons and salute them for the music that they created, and those epic superhuman performances that we will always be thankful for.

In today’s ever-changing musical landscape the ability to stage a memorable performance remains an essential defining moment for any artist. There are performances that we remember throughout our life time, be it for the use of impressive visual-effects and explosions, or their controversial style, be it for the performance that are groundbreaking or simply the wonderful ones.

Therefore, in order to really understand music and hear it in its purest form, it needs to be experienced firsthand. To be a part of a concert or a musical event can be an enlightening and a life-changing event. They will memories that we will cherish forever.

So, take out your calendars, take a day off or two, check where your favorites bands are playing because, remember, separating the men from the boys is only a concert ticket away.

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