The Most Iconic Live Performances of This Decade


Paramore – Reading Festival 2014 

Paramore are already one of the most iconic bands of the decade and always put on a great performance. This was definitely evident at Reading Festival 2014 which they headlined and, although there was three power cuts and loads of technical difficulties during their set, they still put on a killer performance. One of the standout moments was the performance of ‘The Only Exception’, the only thing working onstage was Hayley Williams’ microphone, so the instruments were barely heard. The whole crowd put their lighters and phone torches in the air and sang along with Hayley to this tear-jerker. I remember being 14 and absolutely falling in love with festivals because of this performance, and the crowd felt connected as it became an intimate setting due to the full stage production pretty much falling apart.

– Morgan McMillan

Muse – Drones Tour 2016

Muse are known globally for their extravagant and insanely talented live performances, better than any other artist right now. Love them or hate them, nobody can deny the fact that Muse are an act best enjoyed live. For me, a truly iconic performance was during their Drones World Tour in 2016 which saw the Teignmouth proggers play at the coveted O2 Arena in London. They played ‘in the round’ meaning that rather than appear conventionally on a stage at the front, they instead had a circular, rotating stage in the centre of the floor with two long ramps running off left and right which each had its own small stage. During the course of an immense 20-song long setlist, a mammoth flying drone flew around alongside huge LED lanterns which also flew over heads. Fireworks, confetti, flames, CO2 and lasers were all used in abundance. It was more than just a gig.

– Jed Wareham

The Cure – Glastonbury Festival 2019 

The Cure’s headline set at Glastonbury this year was nothing short of magnificent.  After a weekend of stages full of extravagant dancers and over-the-top spectacles, the post-punk icons’ lengthy set was beautifully simplistic, a satisfying break from some of the more over-embellished performances that came before.  Just five musicians onstage, celebrating their 40-year career from start to finish.  The choices they made on their setlist were one delight after another: from deep cuts like ‘Play For Today’ and ‘Last Dance’ to an encore packed with their biggest tracks.  It would have been easy to play only their greatest hits in a bid to appeal to as many as possible, but The Cure have never been a band to try and fit in.  This set was for the fans, the ones with them on Worthy Farm, and the ones on the other side of the TV screen.

– Vicky Greer

Twenty One Pilots – Reading Festival 2019 

Twenty One Pilots have always tended to brand themselves as a band who writes for “the few, the proud, and the emotional”, so their performance at Reading Festival this year in front of hundreds of thousands of people was certainly a special one. Hearing some older fan favourites like ‘Holding Onto You’ at such a large capacity was truly inspiring, as this band easily represent just how far hard work and dedication can get you. Alongside the incredible musicianship of both Tyler and Josh, the light show was absolutely impeccable. The band always put on a great show as their energy radiated from stage is so contagious, but the act of getting the security guards on stage to join a dance was simultaneously hilarious and heart-warming. It truly rallied up the crowd, and somehow managed to create such a unified, happy atmosphere amongst the masses.

– Georgie Holmes

Lindsey Stirling – Artemis Tour 2019 

For someone that a certain judge of America’s Got Talent said would never be popular, Lindsey Stirling has definitely made her mark during the past decade.

From the 2010 series of the show and YouTube stardom, Lindsey Stirling’s 2019 world tour named after the Greek Goddess Artemis went through the strengths of the violinist’s repertoire. From rapid costume changes to playing her instrument blindfolded and stunning visuals on the surrounding screens, Lindsey Stirling knows how to entertain an audience.

But the whole time Stirling was humble and warm to her audience; her London date was the final stop on a whirlwind tour, and the passion was still there. Stunning visuals and an atmosphere of sheer wonder – from the moment where you could hear a pin drop to the roar of the crowd, it was a tour that any fan of hers did not want to miss.

– Louise Chase


About Author

Records Editor 2019/2020. Second year French and Spanish student. Always going through some kind of music-based phase, frequently crying about The Cure.

Live Editor 2019/20 & third year English student. Probably watching Gilmore Girls

Archaeology student and two-time Culture Editor. Will unashamedly rant about Assassin's Creed lore if given the opportunity.

Psychology student at UoS.

Editor 2020/21 and a History student with a Britney Spears addiction.

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