Some of My Favorite Live Performances to Watch

Recently I was talking to a friend about Prince’s performance at his own Hall of Fame induction, where he guested on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and was a little surprised they had never seen it. Then I realized most people probably haven’t seen it. I’m sure I stumbled upon it somehow and since then, have watched it at least a dozen times. Then I thought about others that probably fall under that category: random musical performances that I enjoy re-watching on YouTube. This doesn’t include full concerts or shows, like DMB live at Fenway, or Queen’s Live Aid set. They’re just kind of random videos of artists performing that I enjoy and often go back to. Hope you enjoy them too!

Here we go. This is a must watch! In 2004, George Harrison was posthumously inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. These guys performed arguably his most well-known song. You got Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne (of ELO) on lead vocals, and Steve Winwood (“Higher Love”, “Valerie”) on guitar. The story goes that at the rehearsal, during the middle solo, Jeff Lynne’s guitar player starts playing it note for note, like Eric Clapton who was the original. Prince, who mind you was ALSO being inducted into the R&R Hall of Fame the same day, lets him do his thing and goes along with it. Then at the end solo this guy starts playing that too! Prince doesn’t say a word, again, goes along with it. They finish rehearsal, and the producer/director is basically like we have Prince here, ok? He needs to get a solo. He talks to Prince and Prince was like: “Look, let this guy do what he does, and I’ll just step in at the end. For the end solo, forget the middle solo… Don’t worry about it.” Never rehearsed it. Never showed what he was going to do, and he left. Came back for the ceremony of course, and the performance and just absolutely ripped it up starting at 3:27. Right before that, you can see this kid on the acoustic guitar, with a HUGE smile on his face. That’s George Harrison’s son. And then probably the best part of the video is at the very very end. Prince throws his guitar up in the air. You don’t see it come down, you have no idea who caught it. He just chucks it and honestly, it’s Prince, so it probably floated in the air until it turned to purple dust and sprinkled all over the crowd.

“All I Ask” is probably my favorite Adele song so I was surprisingly impressed with this cover. Then I find out that Bruno co-wrote this song with Adele and others! That’s pretty cool to me. This is easily one of my favorite videos to watch over and over. He absolutely crushes it!

I’m a huge fan of Sinatra and in recent years, really enjoy listening to Elvis. He has a lot more than the standard 5 songs everyone knows. This is a pretty funny video that I really love, because they actually seem to enjoy one another, despite comments that were made over the years. This special, called “The Frank Sinatra Timex Show: Welcome Home Elvis” takes place after Elvis was released from the army in 1960 and was nervous about performing since hadn’t in a few years and wondered if the crowds would embrace him like they did in the ’50s. As perhaps an ode to Ol’ Blue Eyes and the Rat Pack, Elvis dons a formal black tux and still drips with sexuality.

Speaking of dripping with sex, how bout this performance from the Soul Train Awards in 1991. Starting with Luther introducing them, we got Barry White, who can make anything sound sexy and cool, Al B. Sure! (from Boston!), James Ingram and El Debarge. Oh baby! No, that’s what people were saying 9 months after watching this performance! They’re just over-the-top enough it’s hilarious. If you like R&B, go listen to some James Ingram (“I Don’t Have the Heart”, “Just Once”). If you love R&B go listen to all of Barry White. Sho’ you right.

I couldn’t tell you how I landed on this song or this video, but I love it. This is “supergroup” Milestone, but they only sang one song for the movie Soul Food. The group consisted of K-Ci and JoJo, Babyface and two of his brothers. This is really an underrated song, and the fact that they performed it on Oprah gives me a laugh. I don’t think I even knew she had musicals guests on her show. Did Dr. Phil ever have someone like Sheryl Crow perform?

*starts at 2:24*

This might have been her first TV performance, and you could really tell she was going to be something. How can you beat that voice? Pretty cool to see she was a star from day one.

Like the host says, many people might more recognize the Fabolous version of this song, which is a certified classic. But the original is such a classic itself. Clearly I’m a fan of covers, but you never really see Gambino sing a song like this, so it’s extra special in my opinion.


What are some of your favorites to watch over and over?

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