17. Pink Floyd
17. Pink Floyd. Pink Floyd didn’t do ‘normal’ gigs. Early shows were acid-fuelled ’60s happenings, then they played at Pompeii, then they invented the high concept arena show with The Wall, a show which saw the band bricked up behind a giant white wall live on stage. Even Pink Floyd tribute acts have higher production values than most bands.
14. David Bowie
14. David Bowie. Though he didn’t tour for 12 years before his death earlier this year, Bowie could be counted on to bring a touch of theatre to his live performances, from the wild costumes of the Ziggy Stardust to the elaborate stadium trickery of 1987’s Glass Spider tour.
Whether it’s Thin White Duke-era or Ziggy, Renaissance man Bowie always puts on a hell of a show.
11. Radiohead. They’re the only band who could make apocalyptic Glastonbury conditions seem like a good thing (for the atmosphere), they’re a band that can hold thousands of people in rapt attention and – if you’re lucky – you might see Thom Yorke do his special little dance.
Credit: Danny North/NME
10. Rage Against The Machine
10. Rage Against The Machine. Not only did the campaign to get Killing In The Name to Christmas number 1 in 2009 get one over on Simon Cowell, it also gave cause for a celebratory UK performance from the band themselves. And just as the name implies, they are always incendiary live.
Credit: Tom Oxley/NME