Miss going to gigs? Stream these amazing live shows, from Robyn to Radiohead

They're no substitute for the real thing, but here are 12 magical performances to briefly transport you from self-isolation

With major festivals such as Glastonbury postponed or cancelled due to coronavirus, and gigs all over the world being rescheduled, we’re all missing live music. While isolating and social distancing, it can be hard to find the rush you can only get from standing in a sweaty crowd with bass pumping in your ears. Luckily, there are loads of full live sets online, with more being made available as the coronavirus crisis continues. Here are 12 of our favourites right now…

The National: I Am Easy To Find – Live From New York’s Beacon Theatre (2019)

 

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This concert documentary is a complete performance of the band’s latest album, ‘I Am Easy to Find’ – plus an extra few fan favourite tracks on the end. If you want to get in touch with your emotions, picture yourself in one of the seats in the Beacon Theatre and let the rousing music take over. Guest appearances from Julien Baker, Mina Tindle and Kate Stables from This Is The Kit don’t hurt either.

Why you’ll feel like you’re there: The vast sweeping camera shots don’t take away from frontman Matt Berninger’s goofy anecdotes and dance moves – the show is both spectacular and intimate.

Watch on it on… Amazon Prime

Beyoncé: Homecoming (2019)

A one-of-a-kind high-energy spectacle that will leave your jaw on the floor. Throughout the film Bey is joined by more than 200 performers – there’s perfectly synced up dancers, majorettes, musicians, back-up singers and more. Plus: you get to see behind the scenes of how the Queen B does it all.

Why you’ll feel like you’re there: There’s not one moment to be missed as the sharp cameras capture every angle; you practically feel like one of Bey’s back-up dancers.

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Watch on it on… Amazon Prime

Green Day at Woodstock (1994)

If you want something less polished and a lot more rowdy, head back to 1994, when Green Day’s Woodstock performance turned into a muddy riot. Perhaps it wasn’t the best idea to greet the crowd with, “How you doin’ all you rich motherfuckers”, but it certainly set the tone. About 20 minutes into the set, the crowd began to hurl mud balls, Green Day threw them back and some fans stormed the stage. At one point bassist Mike Dirnt got his teeth knocked out.

Why you’ll feel like you’re there: Chaotic and thrilling to watch, it’s anarchy you can get involved in – without getting seriously injured.

Watch it on… YouTube

Billie Eilish at Music Midtown (2019)

Eilish’s March and April tour dates have been postponed, so why not watch one of her iconic sets to get you in the mood for the (hopefully) rescheduled dates? It’s what Billie does best – gloomy yet potent pop with no back-up dancers or stunts – just the 18-year-old on stage by herself, commanding a huge crowd. One of the best parts is just how much fun the kids in the crowd are having , as though they’re worshipping their god.

Why you’ll feel like you’re there: Occasionally Eilish lets her ‘I don’t care’ mask slip, grinning at the huge crowd in front of her, and those are the most exciting moments – from home, it’s like she’s grinning straight at you.

Watch it on… YouTube

Radiohead at Lollapalooza (2016)

The band have a huge back catalogue of past shows online, but this setlist is particularly great. Thom Yorke and co. released ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ two months before Lollapalooza, and open with an extended version of ‘Burn The Witch’. Then there are the classics – ‘Pyramid Song’, ‘Weird Fishes’, ‘Paranoid Android’, ‘No Surprises’ and so many more. The band didn’t play their classics at every festival appearance in the heady summer of 2026, making this set pretty special.

Why you’ll feel like you’re there: There’s a huge five-song first encore, then a second encore which ends euphorically on ‘Karma Police’ – it’s a pretty unforgettable moment.

Watch it on… YouTube

Heima, a film by Sigur Ros (2007)

This 97-minute film follows Sigur Ros around their homeland of Iceland. The film features songs from the first four Sigur Ros albums, alongside previously unreleased material. Filmed over an entire tour, this live doc delivers if you’re in the mood for something intimate or a rousing theatrical show.

Why you’ll feel like you’re there:  It’s filmed in the endless magic hour of Icelandic summer, providing the perfect escapism while you’re isolating at home.

Watch it on… Amazon Prime

Robyn at Primavera Sound (2019)

An electric set from an incredible pop star (who was of course named Songwriter of the Decade at NME Awards 2020. One of the best things about this performance is you don’t need to know Robyn, or any of her songs, to get totally involved. Watching from home means you can see every emotion in Robyn’s face – power, heartbreak, euphoria. Watch out for the captivating moment when Robyn pulls down a white billowing sheet from above her, and appears again in a red power suit.

Why you’ll feel like you’re there:  No surprises here: ‘Dancing On My Own’ offers a top moment. The music cuts and the crowd sing the whole chorus a capella, a powerful moment of unity while we’re all social distancing.

Queen: Live at Wembley Stadium (1986) 

Over one weekend in 1986, Queen performed two sell-out shows at Wembley, which might be some of the best rock shows ever staged. This performance was filmed during Queen’s Magic Tour, and – quite unbelievably – tickets cost just £14.50. Luckily you can see it for free on YouTube. It was way back when, so you may not get the same crisp video, but Freddie Mercury’s audio never fails.

Why you’ll feel like you’re there:  On the rousing encore of We Are The Champions, Mercury grins as if directly at you – guaranteed to lift your spirits.

 Watch it on… YouTube

Fleetwood Mac: The Dance

This live performance contains five tracks not released on the band’s 1997 live album: ‘Gold Dust Woman’, ‘Gypsy’, ‘Go Insane’, ‘Over My Head’ and ‘Songbird’. It also features a massive marching band during ‘Tusk’ and ‘Don’t Stop’, elevating the already great instrumentation of the show. This concert is pure definition but feel-good.

Why you’ll feel like you’re there: The audience clap along to almost every. Single. Song. Get involved and: instant transportation.

Watch it on… Amazon Prime

Death Cab for Cutie: Thank You for Today tour at Palace Theatre

This concert spans a decade of Death Cab. On tour for their ninth studio album, the band starts with the hits from their latest release, 2018’s ‘Thank You For Today’, and then swells into the last 10 years of their work. This tour is particularly special as it marks the debut of two long-time Death Cab collaborators, pianist Zac Rae and guitarist Dave Depper, as full-time members of the band.

Why you’ll feel like you’re there: The opening of the encore is just frontman Ben Gibbard and his guitar, duetting with the crowd – it’ll give you shivers.

Watch it on… YouTube

Courtney Barnett at Rock the Garden (2019)

Courtney Barnett performs understated rock with cynical lyrics and a don’t-give-a-fuck-attitude – but every time she’s on stage, you know she’s happy to be there. Barnett has never seemed more comfortable on stage than at Rock the Garden in Minneapolis, leading the way on a gender-balanced line-up.

Why you’ll feel like you’re there: Every single guitar riff is mesmerising – during ‘Small Poppies’ Barnett really pulls out her inner rock star, banging her guitar on the stage. Turn it on in your living room and go nuts.

Watch it on… YouTube

Aphex Twin at Printworks, London (2019)

Put this set on the big screen, turn all the lights off, and have a solo rave. Lazers, drums, synthesisers, LED screens, piano loops, flashes of Boris Johnson and Piers Morgan (you can boo along with the audience at this point if so feel like it). It’s pretty much a sensory overload, perfect for if you’re missing going out and clubbing.

Why you’ll feel like you’re there: Images of an excited audience flash up amid light show. Rave along with your fellow punters!

Watch it on… YouTube

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