Staff picks: Bands we most want to see live

Phoenix is one of the bands we most want to see live.

Promo photo

Phoenix is one of the bands we most want to see live.

There are few thrills bigger than seeing your favorite band in concert (ideally, pressed up against the stage, surrounded by sweaty, energetic concertgoers, of course). Some of us have seen a lot of bands play, and some have only seen a few, but we all have that one band whom we’d give an arm and a leg to see. Here are some of the bands on our concert wishlists.

My favorite band in the world is Switchfoot. Switchfoot is a Christian rock band. If you have ever seen the movie A Walk to Remember, then you are probably familiar with their song “Dare You to Move.” Switchfoot’s music is brutally honest, but at the same time is fun to jam out to in your car with your windows rolled down. I have been listening to Switchfoot’s music since the age of 7 and I have yet to see them in concert, which is something that I am determined to do before they discontinue making music forever. [Litza Craig]

If I really had to choose one band to see in concert (and I really hate picking just one), I think I’d pick Phoenix. Phoenix has been one of my favorite bands for many years now, so going to one of their concerts would be a pretty spectacular thing. The hard part would be finding a group of people that actually know who they are and would like going just as much as I’d want to. Luckily I have influenced my little sister well and she might just jam with me. [Taylor A. Johnson]

I’ve been waiting my entire life just to see Adam Levine in person because I love him so much, so of course the band I want to see in concert is Maroon 5. Not only do I love Adam, but I actually love Maroon 5’s music. Personally, I like the good old songs from 2002’s Songs About Jane, so if and when I do see Maroon 5, I will look forward to those the most. I’ve been saving money for years now to be able to buy tickets to their show the next time they come within a 200-mile radius. I’m determined to have front row too, so any donations are welcome. [Katie Matthews]

Let’s see here. I’ve been to Music Midtown, seen Grouplove and Mutemath in the same week, and am fully committed to going to Bonnaroo this year, so I’ve seen a fair amount of shows. One band that escapes me, though, is Grizzly Bear. I mean, with albums like Veckatimest and Shields, you have to appreciate what Grizzly Bear has got going on. [Ed Dudrick]

I’ve listened to Fleet Foxes just about every day since I heard of them. Usually I can’t pick a favorite band, but right now it’s clearly them. Already, listening to their music fills the room with a certain relaxing, woodsy mood, so I can’t imagine how amazing they would be in person. [Allie Gruszkiewicz]

In my opinion, the best band to see live has got to be Relient K. They seem like their concerts would be extremely fun and entertaining for those in attendance. Relient K has slowly evolved from a lively punk rock band to a more mature, pop-rock style that has really grown on me rather quickly. They are one of those bands that goes all out during concerts and are sweaty and worn out by the end of the concert. [Graham Benefiel]

Okay, one thing to know about me is that I love to dance; I’m not good at it, but I love to do it anyways, so Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros is the band that I have to see in concert due mainly to the fact that Alex Ebert is constantly jumping around and getting into his music on stage, which I love. The band is not like these pop artists that have these ridiculous outfits and stage designs to entertain a stadium full of people; it’s just honestly loving the music they are making and loving the fact that they are sharing it with people. In Big Easy Express – a documentary about Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Mumford & Sons touring together on a train – Marcus Mumford said that they were his favorite band to watch live, so I feel validated. [Kelsey Kinzer]

My absolute favorite band is the fantastic, albeit ridiculously named, The Front Bottoms. Their music has had a massive impact on me and seeing them live would probably complete my life. Honestly, there is not a band – currently active or not – I would rather see. [Emily Price]

Having seen only three concerts in my life and two of those concerts being Disney stars (The Cheetah Girls and Hannah Montana), I really want to finally see an actually talented performer. If I could go to any concert, I would want to see Ed Sheeran. First of all his voice and lyrics are amazing, even if some people disagree *cough* JACK *cough*, and second because from the videos I’ve watched of his concerts, he interacts with his crowd, unlike many performers nowadays. [Hannah McElroy]

I’ve seen a lot of concerts (a lot), but 2013 has been the best year of my life for seeing live bands. Between being squished in the second row for the Dillinger Escape Plan’s manic stage show, catching the Neutral Milk Hotel reunion tour, hanging out with art rappers Milo and Safari Al, and seeing Between the Buried and Me play all of The Parallax II, I’ve crossed a lot off my concert bucket list. But if any band seems to be close to Dillinger in terms of sheer stage energy, it’s Converge. Their ferocious metalcore is some of the most influential (and best) music of the last 20 years, and judging from some of the full-concert videos online, they really know how to shrink a room: you can’t get much more intimate at a concert than Jacob Bannon jumping into the crowd and waving a microphone in your face. [Jack H. Evans]

When it comes to boy bands, there is none better than the one and only Big Time Rush. Not only are their songs upbeat and cute, but the people themselves are incredibly attractive. I have asked for concert tickets the past two years for my birthday and have yet to receive them. Maybe one day my dream of seeing Big Time Rush live will become a reality. [Zoey Line]