Most professional musicians pride themselves on delivering their material live. While the studio offers a change of pace where the artist can experiment with different sonic effects, the song doesn't have the ability to truly come alive until it hits the live stage.
This has led to many musicians turning in world class live performances that make the studio version of the song sound dull by comparison. That doesn't mean there was anything necessarily wrong with the studio version, but the live stage presented far greater artistic opportunities that you wouldn't get in the studio.
When you're in the frail space of a recording studio, some bands can get bogged down with doing a part over and over again to the point where it sounds too robotic for its own good. Putting those songs to the test in a tour setting can be absolutely mortifying for many bands. Once you hit the road, the stage becomes an all-out battleground where only the strongest cuts of your catalog survive. Whether it be through different arrangements or just a renewed sense of energy, these songs became completely different animals once they actually got to the live setting.
10. Everlong - Foo Fighters
"Everlong" will always be lauded as one of the classics in the Foo Fighters catalog. Ever since it's release in 1997, the song has become the band's signature tune thanks to Dave Grohl's remarkable gift for melody. While it was successful in its day, it was the live performance with just Dave and a guitar that turned the song from good to spectacular.
The first time Grohl had performed it acoustically was on the Howard Stern show, where he turned the song from a rager into a much more intimate ballad. Sure, the original tune is able to kick out the jams at any occasion, but the core of the track is a love song, which works wonders in a more subdued setting. Now Grohl's nerve shredding studio performance has been replaced with a level headed vocal that floats above the ringing guitars.
The song became such a fan favorite that the band actually included the acoustic version of the song on their greatest hits album alongside the original recording. It may not be the most ferocious moment of the band's career, but Grohl's performance brings so much more life to what was already an alt-rock staple.