The most disappointed i've ever been at a gig was when i saw Tracey Chapman one night in Edinburgh, 2002, back when i was keeping shit debatably real at university. Her voice was incredible, completely pitch-perfect, but the reason it wasn't good at all, was because it was too good. It literally sounded like she'd hit play on some cd-deck and rolled metronomically through the whole album. There was no diversion from any of the recorded tracks whatsoever.
And that's what's phat about seeing live acts, when they do off-the-cuff unique shit that only the people at that particular gig ever get to see. So you can get all music-snob about it and be like... fam talk to the hand, not like you were at Brixton in '13 when Young Fathers got meta and came back for that 28-minute encore and shit got weird.
My favourite 3 live performances are:
Kimbra - Withdraw
Just watch it, she is a weirdo and ridiculous.
Al Green - Simply Beautiful
Funny thing about this is, after multiple viewings, one still can't be sure if The Reverend is singing about chicks or proclaiming his enthusiasm for the Good Lord. Notwithstanding i defy you to watch this video and not feel slightly aroused. One thing for certain, following acute forensic analysis, that sound on 3:28 has been affirmed to be the sound of 63 virgins being simultaneously deflowered.
ps notice, when he gets especially excited, how far away he has to get from his guitar (3:35)
And just generally, his eyebrows.
nb Don Julio el Putacelli who first introduced me to this tune, also informed me of the caveat that there is no melody on the face of this earth, more capable of coaxing fair damsels into the confines of the bedchamber. Check him out. Motherfucker knows what the diablo he's talking about.
K'Naan & Mos Def - My God
K'Naan is a Somalian rapper who used to be proper ghetto. He still is, he just does much cheesier shit now. Watch it cos it's phat, Mos Def's freestyle on 2:11 is so heavy. But the best bit is from 3:20. K'Naan stops the beat and goes a cappella and talks about growing up as a child soldier in Mogadishu and it's spine-tingling.
Camille, on french tv, she's nuts and incredible and uses that machine that copies shit and sounds great.