Feldmann’s Mount Rushmore of VocalistsDecember 12, 2022
On May 30th, 2002 a young Maas attended his first concert: Green Day & Blink-182 at Jones Beach. This was a couple of years before Green Day released American Idiot and re-invented themselves for a younger generation, so most of the crowd was there to see Blink-182. Green Day, dare I say it, were approaching “has been” status – until they started playing. Apologies to everyone who just re-mortgaged the house for tickets to Blink’s latest tour, but Green Day blew Blink off the stage that night. Rocky IV style, Green Day turned a potentially hostile audience into fans.
This opened my eyes to how important a band’s live performance was. Plenty of folks can make a song sound good with all the recording tech available today, but can you do it live? This mindset influences how I approach my drum parts. Can I play this on a dive bar’s house kit and still sound good? I know the rest of Ronin shares similar pride in their live performances. It’s also greatly influenced who I consider my “favorite” bands. If they sound like shit live, it’s unlikely I’ll be paying much long-term attention to them.
I also want to be clear that I don’t mean theatrics, pyro, coordinated moves, etc. Those are good, useful, I don’t begrudge them, but they also don’t overcome sounding like crap. Blink-182 shot thousands of ping pong balls onto the stage that night, but it couldn’t hide the sound – Blink was wrong and all the kids were right.
Below are some of my favorite live performances, ones I’m able to return to again and again. Let us know some of your favorite live performances in the comments below or on our social media pages.