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Songs Made Better Live

Discussion in 'Music Forum' started by Tim, Apr 2, 2016.

  1. Tim

    grateful all the fucking time Supporter

    What I was thinking when making this thread are songs that I didn't care about until I experienced them in a live context, but it can also apply to songs changed up in live performances for the better. Take it however you want.

    I didn't care that much about "Silhouette" when I got Thrice's The Artist in the Ambulance, but it's easily one of my favorite live songs. The heavy parts sound so awesome in that context.

    More recently, I liked "Making the Most of the Night" well enough, just like literally everything on Emotion, but it wasn't like a highlight for me or anything. It was one of the highlights when I saw Carly Rae Jepsen last month, though. That chorus sounded great.
  2. Tim

    grateful all the fucking time Supporter

    Looking forward to @Wharf Rat popping in to talk about the Dead.
    Meerkat and Wharf Rat like this.
  3. Iago

    forbidden chalice.

    I didn't care for Foxing's "Redwoods" until they opened with it on the TWIABP tour. Now it's one of my favorite Foxing songs.
  4. Wharf Rat

    I know a little something you won't ever know Prestigious

    Hmmm. I will definitely be in this thread with more, but for now, I'd just like to note that "Dark Star" is the ultimate example of this. It was released as a two and a half minute b-side nothing single and became one of the primary vehicles for experimental improvisation by the band and I think it is one of the most important rock songs ever. That's it for now.
  5. Benjamin Lee


    Manchester Orchestra's "Pride". I didn't like it that much, but then I saw it live and it actually blew me away.
    fenway89 likes this.
  6. Fucking Dustin

    Please click "like" Supporter

    Not that I didn't care for it before, but Kanye's Yeezus album completely took on a new life live.
  7. suburban myth

    Rock-n-Roll Pizzeria Prestigious

    Rest of my life by Less Than Jake is pretty bad on the album, but they way they play it live completely changes the feel of the song in a much better way.
    Evolution Kid likes this.
  8. JM95 Apr 2, 2016
    (Last edited: Apr 2, 2016)


    The live version of Let The Flames Begin by Paramore is ten times better than the studio version. The added outro sections propel that song HUGELY.

    KennedyBN, St. Nate and Iago like this.
  9. Preserved Moose

    Amateur Hour

    Seeing Brand New play some songs from Daisy live really made me like it a lot more.
  10. Iago

    forbidden chalice.

    I echo this statement. I've only seen the band live through videos, but LTFB is one of my favorites to hear in that setting. LTFB on the record is among my least favorite Paramore songs.
  11. cwhit

    still emperor emo Prestigious

    Head.Cars.Bending is the mass appeal AP one I thought of immediately.

    Every Emperor X song
    Jason Tate and KennedyBN like this.
  12. Fucking Dustin

    Please click "like" Supporter

    Also everything ever done by araabMUZIK
  13. cwhit

    still emperor emo Prestigious

  14. Tim

    grateful all the fucking time Supporter

    Is there a particular performance of that song you prefer? I know they have many, many live bootlegs/albums.

    Btw, I may or may not have a live set on my phone from the band because of your enthusiasm, and may or may not have listened to it some, but don't ask me yet what I think.
    Wharf Rat likes this.
  15. Wharf Rat

    I know a little something you won't ever know Prestigious

    Man....there are many. And there's no consensus on the best one. But this one may be the closest thing to a consensus pick. Most people would place it top 3 or 5, I think. Advice to anyone who is brave enough to attempt it...go into it like an experimental avante-garde piece, and with an open mind. Think in terms of emotion, space, atmosphere, and if you have to ground yourself try to hear how the instruments interact and form that atmosphere. I don't know. It's not for everyone, but it is powerful.

    Tim likes this.
  16. iCarly Rae Jepsen

    run away with me Platinum

    I always forget Everlong didn't start off as acoustic since that version is so definitive
    fenway89 likes this.
  17. Tom

    It's way too late, or much too early Prestigious

    Goodbye Sky Harbor by Jimmy Eat World
    fenway89 likes this.
  18. White

    Cum for the Cum God. Prestigious

    Makes the studio version, which is already a great song, sound like a tiny, cowering, weak, wimpy child.
    Drewski likes this.
  19. Wharf Rat

    I know a little something you won't ever know Prestigious

    Idunno. The thing that makes the dead different from other jam bands for me has always been their songwriting. But a part of that is, instead of songs being used as vehicles for improvisation, the improvisation is deeply rooted in the songs. Even moreso than the chords and scales, the themes of the improvisation are clear.

    Like "Dark Star" is a mystical space entity that forms where and how it pleases. But that doesn't just manifest in noodling over sparse instrumentation, as you can hear in that one its usually deeply grounded in bass. It adds an element of strength or power. And then as the jam progresses, it might move away from that grounding, and the bass will get less rhythmic, higher, more melodic, and its like you're being permitted to explore a little bit inside this creature. And there's a sense of insecurity without that deep bass grounding. And that's amplified by the lead guitar kind of spazzing out. And the drums are frantic. And it speeds up a little bit and starts to feel anxious. And that gets worse for another minute. And then the verse finally comes in (12 minutes in!) and its like you've found an oasis within the creature. Some sort of safe space you're granted the privilege of staying in for a minute. And then "shall we go/you and I while we can/through the transitive nightfall of diamonds...." and then it all falls apart. You get the main theme and riff, and then you take a step out, and you're deeper in it. And shit starts to get really weird. And in this version there's that warped, screeching slide guitar from Jerry at 13:30 and its like the walls are melting, but the bass is still there, and reels you back to security for a minute. And as Jerry starts riffing it's like you're seeing something unimaginable as you move through. And the anxiety builds again, and you feel frantic. It starts to dissolve. It all becomes anxious again and you have to run through it. You don't know about this creature, it could collapse on you at any minute. The drums are shoving you on and the guitar is chasing you. The piano licks are god knows what's out there. The bass is the ground at your feet but as it gets into that more melodic area again it feels less stable but still just barely there. At about 19 minutes, things get a little more stable, more rhythmic, its easier to navigate. But there's still that sense of danger as you're hoping to make your way through. And during Phil's bass solo there, you're stable and safe but only because you've learned to navigate it. It's trying to get you but you've figured it out and can work it. As the rest of the band comes back in, it's the same thing - it's all there but its not scary anymore, you feel you can control it. It's almost enjoyable. Hell it's almost a party. Some sort of fucked up demon party. And then it hits its peak, and the anxiety builds again, and then Jerry does those descending thirds at 23:30 and it comes crashing down and you're at it's will. And you keep going down...down...down...seeing unimaginable horror and joy...and then at 26 minutes it starts to get spacey as everything disappears and you're in an area of sparse nothing. You're still in it, but you sense nothing, just little glimpses of this or that in the corner of your eye. And it starts spinning as the instrumentation gets more dense and you're dizzy and disoriented and this being of the heavens is toying with you, seeing what you can stand. And the two guitars and the piano go into this warped riff of notes picked as fast as possible and it starts to slow down and get dissonant. And you think it's got you and it's over and you're dead or stuck here forever as Phil's bass thunders at 30 minutes. But then you're deposited right where you were with the sun shining on you.

    And the band kicks into this happy cowboy song. And you're okay. Hearing a story. Safe. But that experience drapes over it, and everything. And you can actually hear that, in that next song, El Paso. Jerry's playing Dark Star esque riffs in there throughout it.

    I realize how cheesy that all is...but that's how you have to look at it. It's surreal. It's simply some of the highest form of music ever created. And all their truly jammed out songs are like that. They're different every time, but every Dark Star is a journey through this creature, every Other One is finding enlightenment through LSD (sometimes through a bad trip), every Playin in the Band is a prophetic vision. And that inherent framework is the written song, and the details are the improvisation. None of that could ever happen in a studio version, because the audience is the one experiencing this and the band is the creature's manifestation. They're integral.

    Is that what you're looking for @Tim? lmao
    Tim and Meerkat like this.
  20. Meerkat

    human junk drawer Prestigious

    I think that jazz is really special live. Recorded jazz still has the magic and spirit of improvisation, but I think the "anything can happen" spirit is a lot more prominent live. Especially being able to see musicians' eyes light up while someone else is taking a solo, or someone acknowledge that the rest of the band/rhythm section picked up on a moment and ran with it. The tangibility of that excitement really elevates whatever is happening on stage. And that's a big part of why I love(d) playing it. Live jazz just has a very distinct feeling of joy to me.
  21. bd007h's resident Meg Myers fan #GoSabres/Bills

    Queena of the Stone Age - I Appear Missing. They extend the outro by 6-7 minutes and it is epic.
  22. Meerkat

    human junk drawer Prestigious

    Building off my own post and @Wharf Rat's:
    As a musician, there's something I get from seeing improvised moments (jazz, jam bands, etc) that I don't get from other music. To be clear: I'm not criticizing other music in any way. I'm not trying to say one is better than the other.
    There's a whole other technical skill set required to be in improvised musical situations. Whether it be a song just turning into something else similar to what Ben wrote about or whether it's supporting a soloist. There's an extreme kind of musical instinct needed to be in these types of situations. You need to have a good ear. You need to be able to have some kind of gut instinct to follow where a soloist is building. If someone is repeating a phrase moving up or down a scale melodically, you need to understand where that line is going to resolve and help the soloist get there. In addition, you need to be able to feel when a soloist is asking you to do that. There's no moment where someone turns around and says "hey guys! Hit this with me!" You have to understand when that cue is being given. You also need to understand feel. Especially as a drummer, if a soloist or even a bass player is obviously starting to imply double or half time, you damn well better be the driving force of getting them there. There's a very different mental state of alertness required for those types of situations and it's thrilling to watch how people move in and out of them.
    Often times in jazz, the groups on stage haven't played together before that current moment. Sure there are jazz standards everyone knows, but everyone plays those differently. You never know what a musician is going to bring to a song. You need to be able to drop your ego in a second. If you play a song one way and you start noticing someone in the group is starting to build in a different but better or more enjoyable direction, you have to be willing to go there. You really need to be willing to lead or follow and you also need to know that your role can change at any second. Something as simple as changing one note in a well known melody can change the entire thing. There's a real edge-of-your-seat thrill to that kind of love music for me
  23. Tim

    grateful all the fucking time Supporter

    @Wharf Rat @Meerkat

    When I thought of my thread, I had boring examples in mind, but as I made it, I hoped some cool stuff would come up. Both of you majorly delivered. And, both of you made me want to spend more time with jazz and/or the Dead! lol.

    I read that whole description of "Dark Star," and I look forward to actually actively listening to that video with what I read in mind. I listened to the beginning of it earlier and loved that snippet, so I'm sure I'll appreciate the whole thing.

    Thanks for gushing about what you love in my thread, which is really your thread (our thread!?), Rat and Kat.
  24. Meerkat

    human junk drawer Prestigious

    @Tim Definitely jump into the Jazz thread! Lots of great recs in there. Also, this was a great idea for a thread. Glad you made it!
    Tim likes this.
  25. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    Oh man, Tim's jumping into the Dead with "Dark Star". Leaping in the deep end without any water wings. Haha

    Averi has a few songs like this. "Despondent" was a transcendent epic live and is more or less worthless on record
    Wharf Rat likes this.