53° New Rochelle, NY
The Student News Site of Iona University

The Ionian

The Student News Site of Iona University

The Ionian

The Student News Site of Iona University

The Ionian

Best live concerts

Currently in the age of autotune and artists having less than stellar performances, finding a great album in concert is easier said than done. 

I think most people would disagree when I say, “a good live album is better than the studio version of a song”; however, if you are a fan of any top artist, you know this is the truth. Live albums usually consist of an artist performing at a world renown venue, performing their catalog of best-selling hits. When you add up all these things together (and a spectacular performance by the artist), most of these albums will end up being die-hard fan’s favorite tracks. 

Now that we have that out of the way, it is time for my top three live albums of all time. This is just my opinion, so it’s like arguing with a wall. This is also subject to change. 

Number three: John Mayer, Where the Light Is, Live from the Nokia Theatre.

Starting off incredibly strong here, Mayer is truly at his best when it is just him, a guitar and an audience. This performance was recorded in Dec. Of 2007 and released in July of 2008. The album reached No. 5 on the Billboard top 200 album chart and sold 258,000 copies. These numbers are nothing to scoff at, reaching this high on the chart is incredibly hard for a live album, and just proves Mayer was truly on top on his game that night in Los Angeles. My top three songs from this album are “Bold as Love”, “Neon”, and of course, the best song from the live album is Mayer’s cover of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin.”  

For any acoustical or soft rock fans out there, this album is a must listen for all of you. 

Number two: Billy Joel, 12 Gardens Live, Madison Square Garden.

One of the most successful recording artists in history, paired with “The World’s Most Famous Arena”, this is what I would call “a match made in heaven”. What makes this album stand out to me is Joel performing his catalog of hits but using a lower key and tone to fit his older voice. The 12 Gardans live title also holds meaning as it was in tribute to Joel’s 12 straight sellouts at MSG. My top three songs include “Keeping the Faith”, “Scenes from An Italian Restaurant” and “Miami 2017”.  

The greatest live album ever: Elvis Presley’s 1968 Comeback Special.

After nearly a decade since Elvis’ last performance in front of an audience, the “King of Rock & Roll” returned to the stage and flat out killed it. This special was aired in Dec. of 1968 and became the most watched television event of the 68-winter season. I could truly go on for ten thousand words about this performance, but if you want to watch one man captivate an entire audience and television screen, there is no better display of it than Elvis that night.

I wish I could pick the entire album for my favorite songs, but we are only doing three. No. 3, “Trouble/Guitar Man”, No. 2 “Trying to Get to You”, and Number one honestly might be my favorite song of all time. “If I Can Dream” is the greatest live song ever recorded and it a beautiful ballad about holding out hope during the world’s darkest days. If there was one day in time I could go back to see, this concert special would most definitely be on that list.  

There it is! This list could very well change, but I can guarantee anyone who plays each of these live records will be pleasantly surprised by the timelessness of each recording.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Connor Coppola, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Comments (0)

All The Ionian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *