9 Live Performances Guaranteed To Make You Air-Punch Your Day

27 November 2015, 15:27 | Updated: 8 May 2017, 17:09


By Victoria Pavlova

Amazing live music exists.

"Live music is dead." 

If you've said that you're either a) one of those hipster types, b) clearly not paying attention or c) just in need of some truly great performances from the past couple of years to be convinced. Well, guess what? PopBuzz is here to provide. 

We've truly seen some masterpieces in 2014/15 and so we thought we'd compile our favourite ones into a playlist for you to enjoy with your eyes, ears and heart. You're welcome. 

The Weeknd at this year's VMAs.

Sometimes all you need for a crowd pleasing moment is a good banger, a great vocalist and a s*** ton of pyrotechnics, like this breakthrough moment from The Weeknd. What an amazing performance. 

2. Rihanna at the iHeartRadio Music Festival, 2014.

Rihanna had never really left the public eye, but this was still a killer comeback performance. The iHeartRadio gig was RiRi announcing that she had a new album coming (at some point) and that it would be *fire*. Her attitude was on point, her dancers killed that choreo and that green Versace coat haunts my dreams to this day.

3. Demi Lovato at the AMAs.

Controversial opinion: Demi's "Confident" was probably the best performance of the night. It had all the energy we wanted but never really got from the video. The choreography was amazing, Demi's facial expressions were L.I.F.E. and her vocals showed massive improvement from the Neon Lights tour. Slay, Demi, slay.

4. Common and John Legend at the Oscars.

"Glory" is undeniably a great song, but it would have fizzled in the hands of any other artists, or on any other night. The Oscars had the perfect energy for the inspiring tune, and this remains one of the greater pop culture moments of 2015. Just listen to the sheer emotion brought by that gospel choir - actual chills. The world thanks you, gentlemen.

5. Taylor Swift on The Voice.

Taylor Swift- Blank Space on The Voice from Stephanie Orta on Vimeo.

This is such a good pop performance, you guys! Taylor stuck with her crazy, man-dating character throughout her "Blank Space" phase and she played it so well. People actually believed she was serious! To be honest, any "Blank Space" live version will do but I'm choosing this one solely for the hair twirling and Pharrell's reaction. Yes, please.

6. Nicki Minaj at Hot 97 Summer Jam, 2014.

Ok, here's the deal: there were some problems with this performance. Technical glitches meant that Nicki wasn't able to do some of her verses justice. But she soldiered on, delivered a mindblowingly cool performance and let the world know that "The Pinkprint" would be truly cray.

7. Halsey at Troubadour.

This was Halsey's first show as a headliner and she made the world fall in love. The low-key instrumental worked great for "Colours" and the smallish crowd meant that Ashley's voice really got a chance to shine, before she was thrown into the pits of hell... er... I mean the festival circuit.

8. Kanye at Glasto 2015.

Kanye's entire Glastonbury set was pure fire, which it kinda had to be after he proclaimed himself "the greatest rock star on the planet". This particular bit though - Yeezy performing "The Good Life"/"Touch the Sky"/"All of the Lights" on a ginormous crane - summed up everything we love about him. It was theatrical, it was grand and it was ridiculous. It also showed a side of 'Ye we hadn't seen during shows ever since the Graduation days - triumphant, joyous and literally on top of the world. Living for it.

9. Adele at the NRJ Awards.

Ok fine, Adele is amazing live. She's won me over. She's an angel among vocalists and she doesn't have a single false note to her name (as far as we know). Including Adele on a list of live performances feels a bit like cheating but not including her at all would have been a monstrosity. So there we go. Adele said "Hello" at the NRJ Awards and we all collectively flipped our s**t.

Which 2014/2015 performance do you think should complete this list? Let us know in the comments.

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