THE BEST Concerts

Songs Around the World: The Weight

Songs Around the World: The Weight

To support the charity Playing for Change, musicians Robbie Robertson, Ringo Starr, joined amazingly talented artists from around the globe for a performance of The Band’s 1968 classic The Weight. Enjoy more from their Songs Around the World series here. (Thanks Jonathan!)

Pinch Me at Home

Pinch Me at Home

“We are isolating, but we are not isolated.” Musicians and performers around the globe continue to provide us with great bare-bones performances during the COVID-19 lockdown. Listen and enjoy as the members of Barenaked Ladies perform their 2000 hit “Pinch Me” from the comfort of their individual living rooms.

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The Black Crowes: Tiny Desk Concert

The Black Crowes: Tiny Desk Concert

Shortly before the lockdowns began, Chris Robinson and his brother Rich dropped by the NPR offices to perform three of their soul-stirring 1990s tunes stripped down to their essence, including their hits “She Talks to Angels” and “Jealous Again,” along with a lesser-known track, “Wiser Time.”

Rex Orange County: Tiny Desk Concert

Rex Orange County: Tiny Desk Concert

(PG-13: Language) Alex O’Connor aka Rex Orange County performs a mini-concert of four soulful and heartfelt tunes, bringing a touch of much needed light into these dark days. We love how he embraces the vibe of 1970s adult contemporary music, but still makes it his own.

Coldplay: Tiny Desk Concert

Coldplay: Tiny Desk Concert

Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland dropped by the NPR offices with a nine-member gospel choir, who provided backing vocals for soulful performances of “Cry Cry Cry,” “Viva La Vida,” “Broken,” a cover of Prince’s “1999,” and their 2019 track “Champion of the World.”

Rammstein Setup Time-lapse

Rammstein Setup Time-lapse

German power metal band Rammstein is known for their over-the-top stage shows. In this time-lapse clip, watch as a crew spends more than 60 hours transforming an empty football field in Dresden into a complete concert venue, with a massive stage rigged with speaker stacks, lights, pyrotechnics, and musical instruments.

Bridget Kibbey: Tiny Desk Concert

Bridget Kibbey: Tiny Desk Concert

One of the things we love about NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert is that it embraces all kinds of music. In this episode, musician Bridget Kibbey wows us with her incredible harp-plucking skills, and fills our ears with the most soothing of sounds.

Los Lobos: Tiny Desk Concert

Los Lobos: Tiny Desk Concert

Christmas arrived early in October when Los Lobos released Llegó Navidad. For a special holiday edition of NPR’s Tiny Desk, the beloved group performed four festive tunes: “Dónde Está Santa Claus,” Freddy Fender’s “It’s Christmas Time In Texas,” the record’s title track, and Llegó Navidad’s sole original, “Christmas and You.”

Sheryl Crow: Tiny Desk Concert

Sheryl Crow: Tiny Desk Concert

The always amazing Sheryl Crow and her ensemble stopped by NPR Music’s studios to perform a true mini concert, playing seven tunes, including classics like All I Wanna Do, A Change Would Do You Good, and If It Makes You Happy, along with tracks off of her collaborative album Threads.

Desolation Center (Trailer)

Desolation Center (Trailer)

Burning Man, Lollapalooza, and Coachella owe their existence to a series of 1980s guerrilla punk rock events in the California desert. Stuart Swezey’s documentary combines interviews of punk and post-punk luminaries with performances by Sonic Youth, Minutemen, Meat Puppets, Perry Farrell, and more. Drops 9/13/19.

Recorder Level 9000

Recorder Level 9000

Watch and listen in awe as musician Maurice Steger uses every last little bit of breath in his lungs to crank through Antonio Vivaldi’s extensive and at times frenetic Recorder Concerto RV 443 during a performance with the Cappella Gabetta at the Hochrhein Musikfestival.

Weezer: Tiny Desk Concert

Weezer: Tiny Desk Concert

Rivers Cuomo and gang dropped by the NPR office and turned in a wonderfully underproduced, all-acoustic set, including Longtime Sunshine, a rare 1994 track, the Pinkerton classic Across the Sea, and two tunes off of their recent Black Album.

Yo-Yo Ma: Tiny Desk Concert

Yo-Yo Ma: Tiny Desk Concert

Famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma lights up the NPR offices with a moving solo performance, playing three pieces from J.S. Bach, Prelude (from Suite No. 1), Sarabande (from Suite No. 6), and Gigue (from Suite No. 3), regaling us with a story about why each piece is meaningful to him.

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Mac Miller: Tiny Desk Concert

Mac Miller: Tiny Desk Concert

(PG-13: Language) Mac Miller shows how much he’s grown both as a rapper and as a person in his sweet visit to NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Concert. He performed Small Worlds, What’s the Use and 2009, the latter two from his new album Swimming.

The Breeders: Tiny Desk Concert

The Breeders: Tiny Desk Concert

(PG-13: Language) ’90s alt-rock sensation The Breeders return to the lineup that gave them hits like Cannonball and Divine Hammer. This three song set offers a stripped down and fuzzed-out mix of folk and garage rock, including two from their new album All Nerve.

Tyler, The Creator: Tiny Desk Concert

Tyler, The Creator: Tiny Desk Concert

(PG-13: Language) Odd Future co-founder Tyler, The Creator graced NPR Music’s first ever nighttime Tiny Desk Concert. He and his band performed Boredom, See You Again and Glitter from his amazing new album Flower Boy.

Billy Corgan: Tiny Desk Concert

Billy Corgan: Tiny Desk Concert

He’s turning into a creepy uncle, but nothing can change the fact that Billy Corgan and The Smashing Pumpkins helped define alternative rock. He recently dropped by NPR Music’s office to perform Tonight, Tonight and two songs from his new solo album, Ogilala.

Gorillaz: Humanz Live

Gorillaz: Humanz Live

Gorillaz fans will want to tune in for the next 98 minutes for this complete recording of their recent concert in Cologne, Germany, featuring their album Humanz, along with six fantastic encores. Thanks to Telekom Electronic Beats for the awesome concert footage.

Radiohead: Paranoid Android (Live)

Radiohead: Paranoid Android (Live)

Radiohead headlined the first night of the TRNSMT 2017 music fest in Glasgow. Their 2.5h set included this performance of Paranoid Android, which BBC Music was kind enough to share. Check out more videos from TRNSMT here and here.

Chance the Rapper Live

Chance the Rapper Live

(PG-13: Language) Chance the Rapper finally got around to visiting NPR Music’s office. He performed Juke Jam from his latest album, recited a poem that he wrote just for this set, and finished with a cover of Stevie Wonder’s They Won’t Go When I Go.

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Best Festivals You’ve Never Heard of

Best Festivals You’ve Never Heard of

There are lots of big, well-known festivals around the country, but if you’re looking for something a bit more off the beaten path, check out Rides and Drives‘ feature, which catalogs eight wonderful music and arts gatherings which are well worth a road trip.

Aimee Mann: Tiny Desk Concert

Aimee Mann: Tiny Desk Concert

“This song is called ‘You Never Loved Me’ — it’s another extremely cheerful, optimistic number,” Aimee Mann offers up four tracks from her album Mental Illness on NPR’s consistently excellent concert series, accompanied by Jonathan Coulton, Paul Bryan & Jamie Edwards.

alt-J: Tiny Desk Concert

alt-J: Tiny Desk Concert

5 years after their first appearance on NPR music’s excellent concert series, alt-J returns to their offices to perform with a string trio. The set list includes 3WW and In Cold Blood, from their upcoming album RELAXER, as well as Warm Foothills, and Taro.

Alicia Keys: Live in Paris

Alicia Keys: Live in Paris

La Blogothèque generously shares Alicia Keys’ intimate set in Le Comptoir Général. She sang She Don’t Really Care, Hallelujah, In Common and The Gospel, all from her new album Here, as well as You Don’t Know My Name.

Prince in Concert: 1982

Prince in Concert: 1982

If you never saw Prince play live in his early days, tune in for the next hour or so, and check out this amazing performance from 1982 at the Capitol Theater. The video quality stinks, but it’s the music that counts, and boy is it some music.

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