Wednesday Question: Best Stage Show

Name the most mind-blowing stage performance.

Ultimate Guitar

People often deny it, but the stage show often comes as a crucial part of an artist's performance. It's not always a critical point, but it's the bit that brings the magic in quite a few cases.

Therefore, we'll focus on the stage show matter for a little while. To make it official, this week's Wednesday Question is:

What is the best stage show ever?

Rock and metal artists are preferred, but anything remotely guitar-driven will do. Quite a few factors and approaches can be taken into consideration, but what matters is the final outcome - the show.

Same rules as always apply - only one suggestion per comment, vote up the ideas you support and vote down the ones you dislike. We'll sum up your votes by Friday and bring you another traditional UG Top 10. Let's do this!

424 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Any Iron Maiden show
    A giant eddy does not account for a great stage show. Although the band themselves always play fantastic
    Just seen them last year, and trust me, their stage show was a hell of a lot more than trotting out a guy in an Eddie costume for two hours
    The Wall. No matter whether it's Waters or Pink Floyd, this is the best stage show ever.
    Seen Rammstein in 2011 and 2013 and it was ****ing awesome. IMO unbeatable. Only thing I would like to know is, would Metallica's Through the never count as a stage show?
    Since you can't edit posts after some time: Here's a video. Enjoy!
    Metallica through the never
    late 90s Marilyn Manson. Killer shows. There was still a massive stigma around him back then But also the worst show ive seen was 2012 Marilyn Manson. Fat, coked up bloke flailing about on stage in a corset.
    Agreed. Rammstein is the only band ive been to see where i have gone WOW! at the end. And ive seen almost everyone
    Absolutely this. Saw them at Download last year and it was spectacular.
    For real yes. Spent all morning watching their live videos and none of my other favourite bands can compete with that show.
    Only band I wouldn't crowd surf to, I was scared I'd get toasted like a marshmallow. Amazing live band and I wish they'd come back to Toronto.
    its KISS. you know it, I know it, everybody knows it. put aside your hatred for a minute and acknowledge the best stage show of all time
    Nah it's Rammstein.
    trans Siberian orchestra
    Queens of the Stone Age - Songs for the Deaf
    I just saw QOTSA Sunday and it was definitely worth the 8 hour drive and they put on hell of a show. Although it wasn't my favorite concert (SOAD being #1) they gave the best performance I've ever seen so my vote goes to them. Plus, a band worth checking out is Wilson. They're crazy fun.
    Nine Inch Nails, specifically the Lights in the Sky tour a few years ago.
    If it weren't for KISS and Alice Cooper, Rammstein's stage show probably wouldn't be anything like what it is. They changed the way people look at performances, and they're still out there doing top tier productions.
    Absolutely don't care... By that logic, Shakespeare would get the "best song-writer/lyrics" every time, because he reinvented the way we work with verse. Amd Kiss can suck my balls
    Using Shakespeare like that is a terrible argument. If he was currently (or even ever) writing songs and lyrics it would make sense, otherwise your argument is more akin to me claiming Houdini is the best shock rock act. I wouldn't doubt if Rammstein really does have a better production (I've never been to their shows), but to just brush Kiss off like that in this category is a bit of a joke. All musical tastes, personalities, and childish bias aside, Kiss have a better stage show than 95% of all performing artists. It's not really debatable. It's possible to dislike something and still respects of it. I don't see why people here have such a problem with that.
    Definitely Rammstein. They have costumes every show, new and new pyro every tour, and I'm not even talking about their theatrics and fire. They're just the ultimate Live Band
    Actually one of the worst shows iv seen. They kinda gave me the feeling they don't enjoy what they do anymore if they ever did. There's no energy from the band there just repeating the same performance every night for a paycheck.
    You've obviously never watched a Rammstein show because they make a Kiss show look like shit on top of the fact that Rammstein isn't shit musically
    Also, speaking about non-rock artists - I need to mention The Prodigy - a lot of energy on their live shows!
    Case in point. Saw them on this same tour at Coventry Ricoh stadium, so so brilliant.
    The Black Parade - My Chemical Romance. Maybe not the best, but it definitely deserves some recognition.
    Agreed. You don't have to like pop punk, but for a theatrical stage show this isn't a bad contender at all. Maybe I'm biased since I remember all the songs with a degree of adoring nostalgia... Ah, childhood!
    Darth Crow
    RUSH! I mean really, the Time Machine Tour stage for example was absolutely fantastic!
    The Wall is obviously amazing. No doubt. But the following is not far behind when it comes down to spectacle and scope. After all, today's question is not just about performance, but the effects, design, engineering and size. U2's 360 Tour. With a crew of 300 workers and a budget of $750,000 a day, the entire stage weighed over 400 tons. U2 concerted no less than 110 times under a gigantic 200-ton arachnid suggestively called The Claw. The structure weighed 200 tons and its central pylon reached 151 feet in height.
    I totally agree with you. U2 have put an insane amount of money into their stages on a lot of tours. ZooTV and Pop Mart were also crazy spectacles in the 90's with a lot riding on their stage engineers. I think ZooTV was more practical than Pop Mart, and of course there were a lot of problems with certain parts of the stage on Pop Mart (particularly the giant lemon), but 360 was amazing and they successfully involved their audience in the experience all that money was put towards, which is important to the band during their performances.
    The Who
    Nine inch nails
    matteo cubano
    they blew me away at LOLLA next year, I've always loved them but never knew how incredible their productions were. Trent has a vibe to him that seems like the lyrics are still so real to him. Amazing.
    Rob Zombie should atleast make the list. All that movie money to fund the stage show plus he is all about the fans.
    I will give my vote to the Wall, too. Most thought out stage show in music. Every detail is important for complete experience.
    Floyd Phoenix
    Practically any tour Waters was involved in had amazing visual spectacles and a completely immersive experience, like his In The Flesh tour a few years back or even Radio KAOS, which my mum describes as one of the best concerts she ever saw, though there was barely any film taken of it so it's hard to tell...
    You only said that to get honest, you've never seen The Wall live have you
    Way Cool JR.
    The Division Bell tour easily tops The Wall by far. They turned the entire arena into a stage and the stage itself was mind blowing. I was there in person and noting I ever saw before it or after has come close to topping it.
    i know UG-users don't like them but This Brazilian Crowd made this live show spectacular
    I'm a huge TOOL fan and have been to their shows but I'm not sure I would say they have the best stage show. Don't get me wrong they are amazing live, but when we say "stage show" I think theatrics, pyrotechnics etc".
    Iron Maiden The stages always follow themes of the present album and are intricately planned out so Bruce can run around and interact with the crowd. The giant Eddie is a nice touch as well.
    Devin Townsend. Specifically, The Retinal Circus. Also Steven Wilson/Porcupine Tree put on a great show.
    +1 for devin townsend. I cant wait to see what he does for Z2. I love the fact that guys like him and GWAR put more thought into the stage show than lets see how much pyro we can fit into our 90 minute set. Puppets > pyro
    What are you thinking? People on here hate rock bands that have large followings, and record sales.
    MUSE. I thought they were okay when I heard them on radio. Then I saw the concert.
    Yeah especially the Unsustainable tour, there were actors and loads of pyro effects etc. Just watch their latest live DVD shot in Rome!
    I saw Metallica when they filmed Through The Never, one of the best shows I've ever seen.
    Rob Zombie is always very entertaining. I saw once where he came out on top of a robot that shot flames.
    Agree. Rob opened for Ozzy and I thought they had the better show. John 5 and Zakk in one night.
    AC/DC Live at Donington '91 The cannons, hell's bell, giant inflatable Rosie and inflatable Angus made for one of the coolest shows I've ever seen.
    The Prodigy put on the best show I've seen, they get the crowd in a ****ing frenzy and the crazy stage show just mixes for an amazing concert
    Metallica in Vancouver and Edmonton, the ones shown in Through the Never.
    '87-'89 era Metallica. The stage effects weren't top notch like they are in the present, but when you watch some of those old shows, you see a band that looks ready to take on the world. Passion and intensity goes a long way for me as far as stage shows are concerned.
    Iron Maiden's Rock In Rio 2001 but any Maiden show to be fair however this was the first time i saw them live when i got the dvd blew my mind how good they are!
    Maiden..all the time. First saw them during support of Powerslave. Fscking amazing every time...
    The Dillinger Escape Plan
    When I saw them live, they had to tone it down a bit...only because they were fresh off a 3 year ban from the venue for starting a fire during 43% burnt the last time they played there.
    Absolutely agree!!! Also about craziness at live shows - Death Grips are great example.
    replica_ · Jul 23, 2014 09:52 AM
    MoonGoingDown · Jul 24, 2014 07:55 AM
    My vote is for Slipknot - "Disasterpieces" DVD (live in London, UK, Feb 15 2002). Not a fan of them, but it was really amazing show - and for me one of the best live DVDs.
    The Wall (whether Floyd or Rogers... super production... so costly that Floyd lost money in the tour). If anyone saw Delicate Sound of Thunder (later renamed Shine On for the DVD), that was an incredible production.
    While I am not a huge fan... KISS put on one hell of a rock show. I've been to 3 so far, they always deliver.
    It seems like everyone's going out of their way to not say KISS just because it's KISS, the reality is that they do put on the biggest rock show in the world. It's essentially what made them what they are.
    Not putting them on this list doesn't change the fact that they're easily in the top 5 in terms of stage shows. Their highly-praised Dimebag would be offended if they didn't make a list like this. I'm sure Rammstein has a deep respect for Kiss' live shows, too, or they wouldn't be so heavily influenced by them. It's not like it's gonna hurt Gene Simmons or Paul Stanley's feelings to be left off a list made by a bunch of teenage fans of generic modern metal or nearly middle-aged guys who clutch onto their nostalgiac Korn and Linkin Park. So I'm not sure what they feel like they're taking a stand against.
    Nine Inch Nails. This band MUST be at least mentioned in this list. Every tour they do is an amazing performance from the musicians and the stages effects are just insane.
    Probably very unknown here, but Amon Tobin has an incredible stage show for his album "ISAM" - this clip is just a glimpse of what is happening:
    Great call - I'm not a fan of visuals, but "ISAM" show is totally great!
    Also, my favourite song from the album - so great atmosphere...
    just about any show Tool plays. the one time i went, there were giant projector screens with music video footage, a laser/light show, all the techies were in medical uniforms, some dude set up a child's drum kit in the middle of the stage and played a drum solo with danny in the middle of a song then walked off with the kit, and maynard was wild and funny as usual
    ALICE COOPER!!! Without him there would be no such thing as a rock stage show. No Slipknot, Manson, Kiss, Rammstein, Rob Zombie etc etc.
    Despite everyone hating a7x:
    That's what I was gonna put up, I knew with all the Avenged haters it wouldn't get rated too high, but yeah they always have one of the best live performances, in fact I just saw them at Mayhem festival yesterday
    great show by the best band of our generation. go ahead and down vote away but these guys have more balls than half the shitty bands today.
    Pearl Jam is the best show I've seen. Amazing crowd energy and Eddie does a great job as a frontman.
    How about some Red Hot Chili Peppers?They just rocked the hell outta the world these past 3 years.
    Rhcp played for a hour when I saw them, barley played any of there hits and defenitly wasn't the high energy legendary show I was expecting. Maybe in the 90s they were one of the best but not today.
    Also, a show that really impressed me was Rush's latest tour for Clockwork Angles... huge amount of eye candy.
    Also loved the occasional humor that the visuals and the guys showed.
    Agree 100%. Everything about these shows was perfect. The visuals, stage setup, the orchestra. Magnificent.... Not to mention, the band played phenomenally. Probably the best shows I have ever seen.
    Only thing that wasn't perfect was their set, at least the one I saw. Literally no pre-Signals material until the encore.