10 Perfect Rock Songs That Got Better Live

From the Studio to the Stage.

Freddie Mercury

The biggest strength that a rock band has in their arsenal is being able to kill it onstage. Outside of the million and one things you can do when you're behind the glass in a studio, making an entire audience surge with energy is one of the single greatest feelings that any rock band can experience with their fans. When you're really going for it though, sometimes even the best bands can go above in beyond during the performance.

As much as some of these songs may have sounded fine in their studio versions, there's something about these live cuts that made everything come alive once they hit the stage. Whether it was some sort of enhanced energy or adding something more to the arrangement of the song, these practically feel like completely different beasts than the ones that we got used to hearing at home.

Oftentimes, bands even manage to pick up some of the more forgettable tracks from their catalog and blow them up to dramatic proportions live, making for some of the most adrenaline-fueled music that has ever come out of the genre. Despite all that goes into making something sound good live, you're going to need to have a good audience to feed off of. The band might be playing the song itself, but the crowd really is the extra member of the band in these scenarios.

10. Better Man - Pearl Jam

One of the highlights of every great live show is being able to sing along to the classics. Even if you have nothing in common with everyone else there, you start to restore your faith in humanity when you get millions of people to come together for a song that you wrote. As soon as Eddie Vedder starts the opening riff of Better Man though, the audience practically takes over for him.

Before he even steps up to the mic, the crowd has actually gone to the trouble of singing most of the opening verse and chorus for Eddie as he plays along with the rest of the track. Compared to the rough baritone, you get legions of people connecting with this sad story of a woman who kids herself into staying in this meaningless relationship (not sure what that says about us all singing along, though).

On each occasion though, Eddie has been nothing but joyful whenever it happens, acting as an impromptu vocal instructor as he almost leads the crowd in the next part of the song with his gestures. Though songs like Even Flow and Alive may have been a lot more chaotic back in the '90s from a live performance perspective, these subtle moments are worth just as much as Eddie swinging from the rafters. Because for just a minute, every one in that stadium becomes an honorary member of Pearl Jam.

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