Almost two years have passed since concert venues were forced to shutter their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Large and small musicians alike have been feeling the financial strain of pandemic closures for far too long.

Now, these venues are starting to reopen, and we are inching closer and closer to a world once again full of live music. Are you excited? We know we are!

That is why this week, we are revisiting our latest arts roundup that curated our 8 favorite songs and albums. It just so happens that each of those songs has had, at some point, an iconic live performance  – and watching each of them has us yearning for the day that we return to our favorite venues to watch musicians play for their fans.

You can prepare for the return to live music with us below, where we have embedded videos of these performances. Of course, the real thing is always better!


Elvis Presley, “Aloha Oe,” Blue Hawaii (1961)

There’s no more iconic live performance of the songs from Blue Hawaii than the film Blue Hawaii! The trailer includes snippets from several songs, but why not stream the whole thing? JustWatch can direct you to a range of affordable and legal options. The film is definitely a product of its time, but the music is still amazing.

The Clash, “Clampdown,” London Calling (1979)

You can appreciate this song’s message about sticking it to the man even more when you see the expressions on the performers’ faces. They sing it like they mean it! “Working for the Clampdown!”

Cyndi Lauper, “When You Were Mine,” She’s So Unusual (1984)

When Cyndi Lauper covered Prince’s song at the American Music Awards, every element of the performance was exciting: the set, the costuming, the choreography, the dramatic hair reveal… We could go on, but why not watch it for yourself?

Aaron Neville, “Don’t Take Away My Heaven,” The Grand Tour (1993)

We were lucky to find this footage of Aaron Neville performing in his beloved New Orleans – but not as lucky as the crowd who actually got to be there. Listen to them cheer!

Daft Punk, “Doin’ it Right,” Random Access Memories (2013)

Remember when Daft Punk went onstage in spacesuits during the Grammy Awards? Granted, there was no live performance, but this randomly accessed memory makes us look forward to the day when in-person awards ceremonies can resume, too.

Kendrick Lamar, “untitled 02,” untitled and unmastered. (2016)

While looking for any live performance of Kendrick Lamar’s EP that might exist, we stumbled on his Saturday Night Live appearance from 2014. What an energetic performer!

Phoenix, “Telefono,” Ti Amo (2017)

Phoenix shared the full set from their Pitchfork Live performance at Brooklyn Steel. When you have an hour and a half, you can enjoy it all. Meanwhile, you can find “Telefono” around the one hour and 16 minute mark.

Muse, “Thought Contagion,” Simulation Theory (2018)

Look at this packed theater from a 2018 concert! We almost forgot how people used to listen to music – not always at home alone on their ear buds, but sometimes crowded together, dancing with their arms up in the air.

That’s our roundup of live performances! We’re also fond of many music videos, but they are an art form of their own. Maybe we’ll cover them one day, but for now, let’s all get tickets to a live performance!