Listening to live music is almost always a guaranteed good time. Whether you find yourself at a pop-up concert or a major music festival, live music has a unique feel that recorded music simply cannot create. The Amherst Wire team has created a playlist of their favorite songs heard live, so keep reading to find some great tunes. You can access the tracklist on our Spotify.
“Late to Da Party” door Lil Nas X
Late to Da Party is Lil Nas X’s new song, and it serves as a diss track for BET to get snubbed at the awards show. In true fashion and form, he states that he doesn’t necessarily need what the award would give him because he’s HIM, but it would be nice to have that recognition for his hard work. Still, because he has great popularity, influence, and the will to support him and people, that’s what makes him a badass in my opinion.
Alternative : “Break My Soul” by Beyonce, “That’s What I Want” by Lil Nas X, “Paranoid” by Kanye West, “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey
Hallowed Be Thy Name by Iron Maiden
I can’t say I’m a huge Iron Maiden fan, but seeing Iron Maiden with my dad in concert was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had. To paint a quick picture: we were completely surrounded by guys in their 50s and 60s, all wearing T-shirts with the sleeves cut off and standing in the same “rock-on” position with their index fingers pointing skyward…everything a show. The performance itself was incredibly theatrical – with props, characters, costumes, lights and everything – but Hallowed be Thy Name was definitely the most dramatic. I kid you not, there was a gigantic devil figure with beaming red eyes moving across the stage as the gray-haired band members fought with swords during the instrumental breaks. Honestly, I’m not sure any other live experience will have quite the same effect.
Alternative : “Banks of the Deep End” by Gov’t Mule, “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant” by Billy Joel, “Heart of Gold” by Neil Young, “Orpheus” by Sara Bareilles
“Vienna” by Billy Joel
When Billy Joel announced his planned tour for the summer of 2021, I bought tickets with my brothers in an instant. “Vienna” is a great song to sing along with friends, especially in a sold-out Fenway Park. I remember everyone turning on their phone flashlights and waving them through the crowd during the song. Joël, even at 73, puts on an incredible show and I will always remember this concert.
Alternative : “Graceland Too” by Phoebe Bridgers, “Eventually” by Tame Impala, “Stayaway” by MUNA
“505” by Arctic Monkeys
I remember when I first heard “505” it appeared in my recommendations playlist on Spotify in middle school. I had heard of Arctic Monkeys before, but never listened to them. But that day, all my musical tastes changed. “505” immediately became my song. I’ve always listened to it (and still do), as it’s one of the band’s most popular songs; it will still not grow old and will never be ignored. It’s one of those songs that if you’re in a crowd and it’s playing, you have to immediately start jumping and going into it once the chorus hits. I imagine people singing and jumping and just living and being in the moment, nothing beats hearing a song played live. From start to finish, the song is just magical.
Alternative : “Pyro” by Kings of Leon, “Close Your Eyes” by The Backseat Lovers, “From Eden” by Hozier, “Hard Times” by Paramore
“Band on the Run” door Wings
This summer, I had the privilege of ticking one big thing off my to-do list: seeing a Beatle live! Not only is it amazing that Paul McCartney is 80 years old and still making 3 hour shows, but that they are so incredibly entertaining. If I could, I’d put his entire setlist here, but Band on the Run, from the Wings catalog, was an easy favorite. There’s just something about seeing 40,000 people scream “Baaaaaaaand on the run” with a living legend that you have to see for yourself.
Alternative : “I Know the Ending” by Phoebe Bridgers, “Do I Wanna Know?” by Arctic Monkeys
“The Suburb” by Arcade Fire
Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs was one of my favorite songs when I was in high school. I was petrified of growing up to be an adult with responsibilities. This song was about that fear. Towards the end of high school, my childhood friend and I saw them live. To hear this song with someone I had seen growing made the future less frightening.
Alternative : “Mr. Rager” by Kid Cudi, “Hard to Explain” by The Strokes, “Constant Headache” by Joyce Manor
“White Ferrari” by Frank Ocean
It will make me pass for a masochist but I want to feel exactly what Frank felt with the whole crowd at the same time.
Alternative : “Self Control” by Frank Ocean, “Gravity” by EDEN, “FWM2” by Tom the Mail Man, “Trap Queen” by Fetty Wap
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