By: Ray Hidalgo
When it comes to putting on a great show, the following bands have been doing it right for decades. There are plenty of alternatives for the big stages now, but these groups were pioneers of pyrotechnics and props, the connoisseurs of crazy costumes and the frontrunners of flashing lights.
In their honor, here’s our list of the Top 5 Best Stage Shows in Rock and Roll!
The digital age has elevated special effects to new heights, but amidst all the pizzaz, four flashing letters above the stage, awesome face paint and getups, and some high-octane metal are just about all one band needs to rock a show. KISS has been jammin’ for decades, proving time and time again that they ARE the show.
2. Roger Waters/Pink Floyd (The Wall)
Pink Floyd’s album, The Wall, has inspired a movie and laser light shows at planetariums around the country. But, as many fans know, when Roger Waters rocks the album live on stage, it’s a different experience in itself. Wouldn’t throwing both the laser light show and movie experience together make for a killer show? Don’t worry – Waters is so good that he’s already got it covered!
3. Alice Cooper
Detroit born Vincent Furnier sucks everybody into his sinister alter ego when he steps onstage as Alice Cooper. Between the oversized reptiles, guillotines, (fake) blood, and theatrical mini-skits that often include the removal of his own head, Alice’s shows are never anything less than mesmerizing. Oh, and he’s got some pretty epic music, too!
4. David Bowie
David Bowie revolutionized the stage show in the early 70s when turned himself into the alien rock star Ziggy Stardust and recruited his Spiders from Mars to join him on “earth”. The theatrical and sometimes shocking tour that followed was wildly successful until Bowie retired the alter ego in 1973. He also looked pretty suave in 1983, wearing classy things like a nice powder blue suit (don’t lie, you’d wear that to work if you could) and suspenders during the Serious Moonlight Tour, proving he could still rock a stage without all the special effects. Bowie’s legacy continues to inspire shock rockers and pop musicians alike to think differently on the stage, but we’re not sure anyone will ever match him!
Freddie Mercury is gone, but nobody will forget how he electrified his fans while onstage. No pyrotechnic, stage light, or prop could replace the unparalleled register or playful wit that gave crowds a show that was more than what they came for. Still, when the band busted out "Bohemian Rhapsody" on stage, it was nothing less than incredible.
Honorable Mentions: Ozzy Osbourne, U2, The Who, Paul McCartney.