Monday Fresh: Muse Voted 'Most Exciting Live Act'

Muse have fended off competition from the likes of Queen, Rage Against the Machine and Led Zeppelin to be voted "most exciting live act of all time".

Ultimate Guitar

British pomp-rock act Muse have fended off competition from the likes of Queen, Rage Against The Machine and Led Zeppelin to be voted "most exciting live act of all time" by readers of the NME.

More than half a million votes were cast in the poll, which saw newer bands such as The Strokes and The Killers placed higher than more established acts such as Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix.

The Rolling Stones, the longest running act on the list, barely made the cut, coming in at #20.

The full top 20 list is as follows:

01. Muse 02. The Strokes 03. The Killers 04. Queen 05. Bruce Springsteen 06. Nirvana 07. Arctic Monkeys 08. The White Stripes 09. Led Zeppelin 10. Rage Against The Machine 11. Radiohead 12. Jimi Hendrix 13. AC/DC 14. David Bowie 15. The Cure 16. Foo Fighters 17. Pink Floyd 18. Blur 19. The Clash 20. The Rolling Stones

Muse have come under fire in recent weeks for the release of their new "dubstep" track Unsustainable, taken from upcoming album The 2nd Law. Defending the track, bassist Chris Wolstenholme has claimed that the band were trying to achieve "anti-dubstep" by using real instruments rather than computer technology:

"It was almost a sort of anti-dubstep in a way," he said. "We like that kind of music, more so for the sounds really. The sounds that are used in dubstep are so extreme. It's like this sonic assault on your ears."

European fans curious about Muse's recently acquired status as "most exciting band of all time", can catch the group on their European tour which runs from October through December.

Whether you think Muse deserved the crown, or are baffled by the inclusion of the bands on the list, let us know in the comments section.

326 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    Iron Maiden should be on that list.
    This list is shit, pretty much any metal band is more exciting, or some sort of intense techno/dubstep(i dont even like electronic music) How is anyone going to tell me there is more energy at an Arctic Monkeys monkeys concert compared to a Cannibal Corpse concert.
    I wouldn't think the arctic's would be as good as they were live. Alex Turner has such control over an audience for the sole reason that he's written some pretty huge songs. (This is taking into account it's in the UK where they are a big band so I don't know where you are). There was such an energy in the crowd that I hadn't seen for a while and I watch a lot of bands live. Muse are brilliant live. Blink 182 surprised me, really surprised me actually how good they were, but i think they had the arctic monkeys thing. Even thoguh I haven't seen maiden or ACDC I've seen enough videos/ friends have told me how good they are. Then again, it's UG the people on here generally don't take most things into consideration and some obscure metal band are a better live band than Muse.
    But it was a poll in NME, which metal fans don't tend to read too often.
    because cannibal corpse just stands there and swings there hair around for the entire performance. the thing about metal is that its either going to be really really amazing or really really terrible, no in between. leftover crack was prob one of the best shows ive seen in the past 2 years but riot fest in chicago next month is probably going to top the LOC experience.
    you have no clue what youre talking about bro, theyre standing because the music they are playing is so intensly hard. Whilst 80% of the crowd is forced into a mosh pit thats so intense the ground is shaking.
    Ever watch Hendrix play, he's moving quite a lot, and singing, and playing ridiculous hard music
    hendrix is easy, try pull up a tab for frantic disembowelment and you wont be able to even wrap your head around it if you think hendrix is hard.
    Sorry but I think Cannibal Corpse is just boring. Dillinger Escape Plan's music is more technical AND they put on an incredible show. Go on youtube and type in "Dillinger Escape Plan Virgin Megastore" you can thank me later.
    Just because NME readers voted their favorite studio bands and probably havent seen some of them live even doesn't mean that its relevant on UG. By looking at the list I would assume that most voters in that poll are European. Metallica would have made top 5 on an American poll and maybe not wo much 80's influence. I don't physically know one person that likes the cure, the killers, the strokes or David Bowie. I don't know one person that has seen Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin live. I love all 3 of those acts but even being nearly 30 I haven't had a chance to see any of them in my adult life. Now I doubt that UG readers have much in common with NME readers mostly based on age range and musical influence. The Killers and The Strokes don't play difficult music so I doubt you need a tab to play Mr. Brightside but Machine Head may rate well on a UG poll.
    Yes! And there are about 5 artists on there that dont even tour anymore, so ummm yeahhhhh why are they on there? Most exciting live act by a dead performer? I guess DVD's were taken into consideration.
    "most exciting live act of all time "
    This is like when alter bridge won the best solo of all time award by some guitar magazine.I love AB but even they said it wasn't possible
    Floyd at 17 and no Rush? There are many good acts on that list, but I'd like to see those two bands get a little more recognition.
    I don't think I'd call PF concerts "exciting." But yes, Rush should be on the list.
    Not "exciting" huh. So huge, spectacular light show, massive screens showing stuff, a massive wall being built on stage and then knocked down at the end, a massive plane flying in too the crowed and exploding not exciting enough for you! But, yeah the list sucked.
    I wouldn't call that "exciting" though. This list seems to be for high-energy bands with lots of crowd interaction, etc. whereas Floyd is more of an experience where you'd sit back and take everything in. That's just how I see it though.
    02. The Strokes 03. The Killers The Fuck?!
    Saw the Strokes at Leeds fest last year, really don't get the hype, they were really boring to look at, the music was good....
    Sorry But I don't share your opinion 01. Muse 02. The Strokes 03. The Killers THE FUCK!!! And Hendrix should be #1. (I Never seen him live but I heard he could create an live atmosphere that is is impossible to capture through video or audio recording... And not only in a drug matter.)
    Good point. The Killers should be #1.
    are you high?
    No. Have you seen The Killers live? If not, then I believe you should probably **** off.
    I don't think you'd give a shit even if he had. Your comment stinks of fanboy...
    Really? So please tell me how you can judge how good a band is live if you haven't see them. If you haven't seem them live, you don't have a basis for judging. Your comment stinks of idiocy.
    I have seen them live and they're a waste... just like your comments. The Killers should not be on this list.
    Totally a point I was making earlier. "I don't like this band so they aren't good live!" The Killers are a goodband live because the songs have an energy and people know them. They aren't one of the best of all time but still.
    Muse voted Most Exciting Live Act by Muse fans....
    Well it's not going to be voted by people who don't like them will it? This list is gash though.
    Granted, Muse do put on a hell of a live show (watch the HAARP DVD for proof,) but there are so many bands on and off that list who deserve to be higher/on it.
    Why is Rammstein not on the list?
    I saw Rammstein for the first time a few months ago. Muse is my favorite band and I've seen them live twice, but damn, Rammstein blew everything I've ever experienced at a live show out of the water.
    come on. metallica live in mexico city with the van de graff generator!!!!!
    Arctic Monkeys are literally the most boring band I've ever seen live. Don't get me wrong, I like the earlier music, but exciting live? No. And given the lack of Iron Maiden, Rammstein and Green Day on that list, that really says a lot about NME readers. Speaking of which, it's nice to see UG have lifted the top 4 news stories today directly from the NME website. I used to come on here expecting something new...
    Arctic Monkeys made one good album and have somehow got a good weird indie cult status thing going on. If you want a good concert go to a metal one.Modern rock is so dull
    absolutely. I couldn't get through their glastonbury setlist on yt, while I watch the Gorillaz one weekly. I'm not saying that yt is how you should judge a band's live performance, but a glastonbury performance should transfer through yt
    I'm sure Muse puts on a good show, but number one? Really? The trouble with having kids who were born after Cobain died vote on a list that covers music spanning the last half-century.
    Maybe back when all they had was opiate and couldn't rely on all of their video displays they prob had decent energy. I saw them back when 10,000 days came out. At the time I was a huge fan and was sorta disappointed at how....uneventful there shows are. It was basically the same as an APC show. However Tool did pick an outstanding opening act that I thought put on a way better show than tool. They're called Melt-Banana
    Cher Lloyd is my favourite live act because you don't need to wait till the end of her set to have a piss.
    They don't get it, we don't hate dubstep just because of the fact that its made on computers. That's one reason, but the sound of it is terrible too. So trying to create the same sound with instruments doesn't help anything. I also just hate Muse to begin with
    You have never seen a good concert until you have seen Pink Floyd's The Wall done. Best concert I have EVER been to.
    kill it
    what about nine inch nails. the refused show i saw saturday was a way better live show than half these bands put on. just a set of lights and the sound of revolution played with passion.
    Root Beer
    Pink Floyd at 17? You've gotta be shitting me. They're easily the coolest live act on that list. And where the **** are Tool and Rush?
    What the f!ck? Where is Alice in Chains, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Machine Head etc. lol
    How can you really compare half the bands there, like comparing Queen or Led Zeppelin with Muse? They're bands from completly different generations so most people who've seen Muse live and voted for them to win won't have seen the older bands in this list.
    The wonders of YouTube lets you see any bands performances, past and present.
    Watching on Youtube is nothing like live
    Exactly, you can't compare the bands, especially not from a youtube video, it's no where close to capturing what a band's actually live like.
    Arctic Monkeys sound good live, but are sort of boring. Not much is done to make the show exciting. They come out, play well, then leave.
    new original
    ...and skrillex was voted the sexiest producer by blind kids. I loved Muse live, but these superlatives are pointless.
    Fuck sake, Whats up with this list? I can name tons of live bands better than muse such as: The Prodigy, Rammstein, Slipknot, Devil Driver, Pink Floyd, Faithless, Porcupine Tree, AC/DC, Machine Head.....i could go on for days. How the **** can Muse Be anywhere near Queen on that list, im a huge muse fan but they're nowhere near as good as alot of other bands.
    I don't think any bands where you have to watch half its members bang on garbage cans to add to the muddled shit coming from the speakers can be included on this list
    Suit yourself. Its not your opinion that decides the best live bands, its everyone elses. You see the world doesnt revolve around you. If over 200'000 people like them live then who the **** are you to judge them. like Lethal Bizzle even, i hate rap but i still admit his one of the best live rappers on the planet and i really hate enter shikari but apparantly they're amazing live so im not one to judge. the amount of noise in bands doesn't matter, if it appeals to people then thats all that matters, John cage for example had songs with tons of random noises but its still amazing music because any sounds can be music if people like it. this lecture was brought to you by: Thompsons Teeth, The only teeth strong enough to eat other teeth
    Arctic Monkeys, exciting? Was this list compiled by a support group for people who have only ever gone to shit gigs?
    Granted they put next to no effort in the set, but still I doubt it's possible for a band to play the likes of Crying Lightning, Dangerous Animals, My Propeller, Brainstrom and Don't Sit Down and not be exciting.
    No Talking Heads, Pearl Jam, The Who, Stevie Ray Vaughn,Funkadelics, Metallica, Pantera, Ween, John Fogarty, Tool, Grateful Dead or Wilco?! Any of those bands/acts I've listed are light years better on stage than Muse, Artic Monkeys, The Killers. Another FAIL UG...Shame on you
    I've never met an NME reader over the age of about 23. How much experience do you think they have of SRV gigs? Or Talking Heads? Or Pantera? And the dead were exciting only inasmuch as you had no way of telling whether the jams would be fascinating and inventive, or turgid, repetitive drivel. Ever heard the Dylan and the dead album? Shocking...
    UG didn't make the list, FAIL AiCPearlJam
    They still chose to use it as their main news story for the day, though. Not that it should count as news, because it isn't. Especially when anyone can go on and see the same thing, and have been able to for days.
    Muse are definitely one of the best live bands around in recent times but not the most exciting ever. If theres ever going to be any NME lists like these your expecting to see Muse near the top anyway
    My Last Words
    This list is bad and the voters should feel bad.
    This is exactly what I was gonna say. The Strokes, at second place? I don't even know them, to be honest. The Killers, seriously? And there's no Metallica or Lynyrd Skynyrd (the original lineup) on that list? Muse aren't even that good to be at first place. People used to have a better sense for talent and good music.
    Damnit can we just have one ****ing poll where Muse fans aren't allowed to vote?!
    I've been on this site quite a while and seen quite a lot of shitty lists, but I can now say with absolute certainty that this is BY FAR the worst list so far. If I had to make such a list it'd very likely have absolutely nothing in common with this one. On the other hand, if I had to make a list predicting what the NME readers would vote, it probably would've been identical to this one. 'nuff said.
    No Rush is disappointing, nothing is more exciting than watching geddy and his neckline of washing machines or rotisseries.
    No The Mars Volta or At the Drive-In? Fugazi? Rush? The Who? The Fall of Troy? What the ****? Cedric and Omar can cook up enough energy to send shitty little Muse back into their laser-lighted *****s. Real music doesn't need lasers to be exciting.
    Radiohead live at concert is one of the most awesome things you can experience.
    01. Muse 02. The Strokes 03. The Killers That made me lol so hard. That's a funny prank guys. Really, Muse is okay, but they aren't THAT good.. People really need to stop fapping to them. Though I agree with Springsteen, Foo Fighters. Seen them live, both amazing. But Rush, Maiden, Metallica, all have to be on here.
    NME sucks. So pretentious.
    It's written by 16 year olds who have just discovered hyperbole. Remember when they proclaimed Glasvegas as the 'saviours of British music'?
    Glasvegas is awesome. Don't hate.
    Ok, but did British music need saving? And have they really had THAT much impact? And, c'mon, wouldn't you rather listen to the Jesus and Mary Chain? It wasn't a comment aimed at Glasvegas, more at the absurdly reactionary NME journalism
    I'd be more inclined to say that most journalists are hyperbolic. That is how you sell magazines.
    Absolutely, but surely you have to agree that NME really do excel at tabloid-style sensationalism. They're not necessarily the very worst culprits, but they're definitely up there somewhere.
    I'm a huge Muse fan and I agree with this comment. Muse might be the best live band of the last few years, but certainly not of all time.
    I've seen them both, and they're both great live, but put on completely different shows. Dave Grohl is one of the all time great frontmen, engages the audience like few other people I've ever seen, and they approach even stadium sized gigs like a good ol' fashioned rock n roll show. Muse, on the other hand, put on a spectacle like very few other bands. I've seen them in small places, and stadiums, and they really do put on a 'show'. Old Trafford Cricket Ground a couple of years ago was one of the most impressive displays I've ever seen! (Editors sucked as support, though...) The whole thing is just way too subjective. It all depends on what pushes your. Ur tons.
    I was there with you, I think. Pulled Apart By Horses and Band of Skulls were much better than Editors.
    Band of skulls were awesome. I'd only heard Death By Diamonds and Pearls before that show. Came away completely converted.
    This vote was clearly done by teenagers and for rock music. They have a pretty interesting live show, but they don't old a candle to most Metal bands, who invest a lot in showmanship (just look at Metallica's recent shows in Mexico). Also, just because a band doesn't tour anymore doesn't mean their shows were worse than acting bands shows. Probably on the contrary. I think if the voting ages had been more different we would have a very different outcome
    Typical UG comment to lists like these: "Haven't those people ever heard or seen [insert your favorite band here]?"