I have to admit I’m addicted to live music. When booking a vacation, my main concern is that I’ll miss a great show at home.
This year I’m leaving Berlin for good and it hurts to see that Gossip and Pearl Jam will perform live after I have left. I saw both bands in 2009, so I know what I’ll miss out on.
However, as I start looking around my new home I find good news all over. Shinedown are touring North America and they will play a show in Calgary at the end of May and another one in Vancouver in June. Guess where I’m headed.
The best way to refresh memories of a great show is to obtain a bootleg and re-listen to it on tape. Until about 15 years ago, it was quite complicated to get your hands on a live recording. Today, however, the internet makes it incredibly simple to stream live music free. Here are three legal resources for streaming or downloading free live music.
Allegedly the place where live music lives, Wolfgang’s Vault is one of the greatest archives to stream live music for free. Besides many unknown bands, it provides recordings from many mainstream artists. The sidebar lists the most famous performers, among them U2, Pink Floyd, Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith, and The Beatles. The available shows reach back to the early 60’s.
With a free membership, you can play the music online. VIP members receive enhanced streaming and can download several concerts as MP3.
Over 70,000 items from almost 4,000 bands can be downloaded for free from the Live Music Archive. All music is provided by trade friendly artists, who “grant fans the privilege of freely trading some of their music.” This means that all material is non-commercial, i.e. free and unsalable.
To be honest, the archive is not intuitive to use. In fact, it’s rather difficult to discover new interesting bands as there is no way to browse by genre. Fortunately, it’s possible to stream most shows to a media player such as Winamp before downloading the entire ZIP file. I also like that you can search by venue or city.
Metallica has an entire website dedicated to their live shows. At The Vault you can purchase recordings of their more recent gigs. However, a handful of shows from 1982 through 2003 are free to download.
Before you can launch the advanced download manager to receive the MP3 files, you must sign in.
As mentioned in a previous article, Coldplay handed out a free live album during concerts in 2009. The album Left Right Left Right Left can also be downloaded.
At Tiscali Showcase you can stream live music videos for free that were played exclusively for Tiscali. You’ll find videos of The Subways, Kate Walsh, The Levellers, Amy Macdonald, and Kula Shaker.
Interested in more free music? Check out my articles 3 More Exciting Ways to Discover Free Music, Top 10 Websites For Free & Legal MP3 Music Downloads, The 3 Best Free Classical Music Download Sites, Top 3 Sites To Find Free MP3 Music Downloads For European Artists, and 5 Free MP3 Full Albums You Can Download Legally Now. Finally, Tim Watson wrote about 7 Sites To Get Free Music (Legally!).
Which is your favorite live show of all time?
Image credit: Mr_Basmt