Top 5 Live Acts of 2020


Although 2020 has been a very difficult year for live, there has been some amazing in-person and livestreams that were amazing. Get the lowdown here:

The Struts

I’ve seen The Struts a few (maybe too many) times, and they never fail to put on an incredible performance! Frontman Luke Spiller shines in all his over-the-top glory, and the band gets everyone up and dancing – bringing good vibes to the whole crowd. One of their top songs live has to be ‘Kiss This’, a classic track from way back when they first hopped onto the music scene in 2014. The Struts can hold almost any type of crowd, from indoor shows to festival gigs, and their unique but Queen-esque style means that no matter the audience – they’ll leave people wanting more! My favourite track that they performed when I saw them at the O2 Academy Bournemouth back in February this year was ‘Mary Go Round’ from their debut album Everybody Wants. The song is mellow but a power ballad about love and loss and is a brilliant showstopper. If you haven’t had the chance to catch The Struts live then you should seriously change that! – Katie Evans


Hozier‘s livestreams throughout the first lockdown way back when in March were frankly beautiful. I suppose, however, that’s not surprising coming from him. They were simple, don’t get me wrong, just him, a friend and a guitar sat at his dining room table singing songs, but his voice is just *chef’s kiss*; he’s otherworldly, and definitely an ancient god of the forest as most Tumblr users would have you believe. His livestreams were absolutely enrapturing, and he graced us with some of the best songs from his discography; ‘From Eden’, ‘Take Me To Church’, ‘Movement’, ‘Work Song’, and ‘Cherry Wine’. Not to mention, he did a damn good cover of Britney Spears’ ‘Toxic’ which drove the internet (and myself) absolutely wild. You haven’t experienced true heaven until you’ve heard ‘Cherry Wine’ sung live, with the accompaniment of birdsong from the starlings that were roosting in dear old Andrew’s chimney at the time. His livestreams were truly a beauty to behold, and one of my favourite online moments in lockdown. – Alice Fortt


Local Southampton band Salem gave us a fabulous, distanced, between-lockdown Halloween Cabaret in Southampton this year. It was exactly what everyone needed, and was the chance to dress up and enjoy incredible music, something we only got to do a handful of times this year. They handled the change of energy at the gig with ease, and it felt like things were almost normal when they performed their vibrant EP at The 1865. No wonder it sold out almost instantly! – Vicky Greer

The 1975

They were incredible live and sound so much like they do on their records. As they had a new record coming out this year, they played some of their tracks before release and that was very special and worth the money seeing them. Likewise, the band are very in right now for their stance on politics and the environment – something that was a hot topic on the night. Matt Healey also encouraged those within the venue to think about their impact on the environment with a powerful message on the screen behind them, before launching into a song. It is important that big bands use their platform for change and for good, something The 1975 are good at. On another note though, they threw back to ‘Chocolate’, ‘Girls’ and ‘The Sound’ to launch the dance fest that it was to become and honestly – I am so glad I got to see them while we could. – Jo Lisney

Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes

If you find yourself at a Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes gig any time soon (when we’re able to get back to gigs again) then expect the wildest of nights. They know how to put on a show, and by this I mean they know how to both terrify and excite you simultaneously with both their ferocious tunes and crazy audience participation. Their gigs are definitely aimed towards those who really need to use that pent up energy, and from crowd surfing to shouting the lyrics to ‘I Hate You’ (look them up if you want to know exactly what I mean) you’re in for the craziest night of your concert-going life. I was lucky enough to get the chance to catch the band at their largest headline show at Alexandra Palace earlier this year in February which allowed me to sing my heart out to killer tracks including ‘Kitty Sucker’, ‘Vampires’ and ‘Lullaby’ – to name but a few. Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes deserve a place in the Top 5 live artists of the year for the pure passion and energy that they put into every performance. – Katie EvansĀ 


About Author

film masters student and ex-records/live exec 20/21

Buzzing like a busy bee as the live editor 2020/21. You will often find me asleep when I should be doing my English degree. Oops!

records editor 2020/21 !! 3rd year film and english student. can be often found arguing about costuming in the avenue cafe or crying into a beefy novel in hartley

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

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