The Best Live Bands That Deserve Their Sold-Out Crowds

There is nothing quite like the energy of a band during a live concert. But the drum solos, guitar riffs, incredible vocals, and showmanship have bands such as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and the Eagles soaring above the rest. They’re not the only ones, though!

Get ready to book a show because these live bands are the greatest of all time and will have you itching to go to a concert.

U2

The Irish band U2 has been touring since 1976 when they originally formed the group in Dublin. With this popular rock music, the band became popular for their live performances, selling out crowds around the world.

U2 Performs During The Amnesty International Concert
Paul Natkin/Getty Images
Paul Natkin/Getty Images

Their 360° Tour remains one of the highest-attended single concerts in the United States, with 97,014 attendees at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden is known to be one of the toughest bands on the concert circuit. To promote their album Powerslave, the group underwent one of the longest tours in history, being on the road from August 1984 and July 1985.

Iron Maiden's Legacy of the Beast tour stopped at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul
Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune via Getty Images
Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Their insane, futuristic stage sets, complete with lights and fire, are huge standouts when it comes to watching this band live.

Foo Fighters

Dave Grohl formed Foo Fighters in 1994 and it didn’t take long before the group became one of the best concert bands of the 90s.

36th Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony - Inside
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

A 12-time Grammy-winning group, the Foo Fighters have played numerous arena shows, crowd-funded gigs, and even headlined major festivals such as Coachella, Reading and Leeds, and the Hangout Music Festival.

Eagles

The Eagles Greatest Hits is the number one best-selling album in the United States, and the band’s concerts are typically sold out. Formed in 1971, the Eagles toured North America and Europe into the 2010s, performing at sold-out concerts in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Brad Elterman Archive
Brad Elterman/FilmMagic
Brad Elterman/FilmMagic

Footage of the 2018 tours was released on ESPN back in 2020.

The Who

The Who has been touring the world since the 1960s, having played everywhere from Europe to Japan, and North America to Australia. But one performance really stands out in the mind of lead guitarist Pete Townshend: the 1970 Valentine’s Day show at the University of Leeds.

Pop Group The Who
Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images
Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

In front of 2,000 people, the band played a 38-song set that included a 15-minute rendition of “My Generation.”

The Beatles

The Beatles made rock and roll history, with Beatlemania having started in Britain before hopping the pond to the United States during the British Invasion.

Beatles in Hamburg - Bravo-Beatles-Blitztournee
Peter Timmullstein bild via Getty Images
Peter Timmullstein bild via Getty Images

From the start, Beatlemania had people lining up trying to get into their concerts, wanting to hear the live versions of iconic songs such as ” A Hard Day’s Night.”

The Allman Brothers Band

The Allman Brothers Band’s 1971 show at the Fillmore East Theater in New York is one of the more iconic moments for the group, as they sang a 23-minute rendition of their popular song “Whipping Post.”

The Devon Allman Project With Special Guest Duane Betts
Harmony Gerber/Getty Images
Harmony Gerber/Getty Images

In fact, their album At Fillmore East is widely considered one of the best live albums ever made!

Guns N’ Roses

Formed in 1985, Guns N’ Roses is now known as one of the best-selling acts in history. With a band comprised of the dynamic duo of Slash and Axl Rose, it isn’t too much of a surprise!

ACL Music Festival 2019
Gary Miller/Getty Images
Gary Miller/Getty Images

Then, in 2021, the band went on the Not in This Lifetime…Tour, a tour that became the third highest-grossing concert tour on record. That stat shows just how good of a show the band puts on.

Aerosmith

A bonified arena rock band, Aerosmith put on one great show with stellar vocals from the one and only Steven Tyler.

62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards - Inside
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Formed back in 1970, Aerosmith went from playing small gigs in Boston to performing on some of the world’s biggest stages, belting out lyrics to “Dream On” and “Walk This Way.”

Kiss

Kiss made waves when they formed in 1973, shocking concertgoers with their outrageous stage presence, costumes, and antics such as fire breathing, shooting rockets, and spitting blood! When it comes to a Kiss show, there is never a dull moment.

Guitar Paul Stanley, Drummer Peter Cris, Bass Player Gene Simmons, Guitar Ace Frehley, Of Rock Band “Kiss”
Armando Gallo/Getty Images
Armando Gallo/Getty Images

Sadly, the band announced that its final tour was going to most likely conclude by 2023.

David Bowie

A David Bowie live show was never boring. A man who constantly reinvented his sound and image, Bowie thrived off of visual presentation and stagecraft that left his audience wanting more.

David Bowie On Stage At Phoenix Festival
Mick Hutson/Redferns
Mick Hutson/Redferns

A worldwide sensation, Bowie’s final live show was in 2006, and in 2016 Rolling Stone named him “Greatest Rock Star Ever.”

Metallica

Metallica is one of the most commercially successful bands of all time, having released ten studio albums, a cover album, 37 singles, and four live albums since their formation in 1981.

Metallica in Bethlehem
Lisa Lake/Getty Images
Lisa Lake/Getty Images

Their biggest success story came on September 28, 1991. That day, Metallica played at Moscow’s Tushino Airfield in front of more than a million people. As of 2021, it is the largest audience to attend a single concert.

Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi, named after the lead singer, is one of the premier bands from the tri-state area.

Bon Jovi Perform On Stage
Mike Cameron/Redferns
Mike Cameron/Redferns

An arena rock group, they seamlessly blended together pop and metal to form such an incredible sound it had people lining up to hear Jovi belt out lyrics to “Livin’ on a Prayer,” “Runaway,” and “You Give Love a Bad Name.”

Grateful Dead

The Grateful Dead is considered “the pioneering Godfathers of the jam band world,” something that made their concerts a thrill to attend.

Photo of Grateful Dead
Malcolm Lubliner/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Malcolm Lubliner/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

With devoted fans, The Grateful Dead always had a packed audience ready to sway along with songs such as “Friend of the Devil,” Touch of Grey,” and “Uncle John’s Band.”

Elvis Presley

There is a reason Elvis Presley is known as The King of Rock and Roll.

Elvis Presley Performing on Stage
Bettmann/Getty Images
Bettmann/Getty Images

One of the most iconic people of the 20th century, The King had people lining up for just a quick listen of his deep vocals and a glimpse of his hip-swinging dance style, a very controversial move at the time. His final live show was on June 26, 1977.

Led Zeppelin

Considered the “biggest band of the seventies,” Led Zeppelin held record-breaking tours. Their 1973 album Houses of the Holy topped charts worldwide, allowing the group to play sold-out venues around the world, most notably Madison Square Garden in New York.

Led Zeppelin Win Award
Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images
Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

That year, Led Zeppelin had record-breaking attendance at their concerts, including three back-to-back nights of sold-out shows at MSG.

Deep Purple

In 1975, The Guinness Book of World Records named Deep Purple “The Globe’s Loudest Band,” after a lie performance they did in London’s Rainbow Theatre. Rumor has it that the noise left three concertgoers unconscious!

Deep Purple File Photos
Chris Walter/WireImage
Chris Walter/WireImage

Formed in 1968, the band might have different members, but they have remained active in the music scene and are still touring around the world as of 2021.

Queen

Formed in 1970, crowds knew exactly what to expect when they went to see Queen live — the absolute musical genius of Freddie Mercury and an energetic performance from the band that would leave them wanting more.

Queen Perform At Live Aid At Wembley
Pete Still/Redferns
Pete Still/Redferns

A bonified arena rock group, Queen performed for more than one sold-out stadium, both with Mercury and with his replacement, Adam Lambert.

Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen, aka The Boss, is one of the most loved musicians to come out of the tri-state area. Putting on live performances since his debut in 1973. He didn’t gain worldwide recognition until a few years later, with his 1975 album Born to Run.

Robin Hood Benefit 2021
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Robin Hood Foundation
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Robin Hood Foundation

From there, it was tours and energetic stage performances that sometimes lasted up to four hours.

Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers

Formed back in 1976, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers would go on to tour for the next several decades. Their form of heartland rock was widely popular throughout the 70s and 80s.

GettyImages-2554169
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Even when the genre waned, the band remained active and relevant for people who loved nothing more than to see an amazing rock performance led by Tom Petty singing “American Girl.” Sadly, Petty passed away in 2017.

The Doors

During the 1960s, people would line up to watch a live performance of The Doors, particularly the band’s lead singer Jim Morrison. A controversial yet influential group, The Doors, toured the world to promote their music, leaving people wanting more after the encore.

The Doors File Photos
Chris Walter/WireImage
Chris Walter/WireImage

They are one of the best-selling bands of all time.

Rush

Rush has a solid fanbase that doesn’t hesitate to run to a venue if the band is performing. Formed in 1968, the group’s final large-scale tour was the 2015 Rush R40 tour.

Geddy Lee On Stage
Paul Natkin/Getty Images
Paul Natkin/Getty Images

As of 2021, guitarist Alex Lifeson and bass player Geddy Lee are ready to make music together again. Sadly, just not part of Rush.

Prince

While he went by many names throughout his career, one thing stayed the same — Prince put on one great live performance.

Prince In Detroit
Ross Marino/Getty Images
Ross Marino/Getty Images

Between his fun showmanship, iconic falsetto vocals, a wide variety of musical genres, and insane instrumental skills, he was one of those live concerts that were typically sold out.

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper, “The Godfather of Shock Rock” has a live performance unlike any other. With props and special effects such as pyrotechnics, fake blood, reptiles, and even baby dolls, concertgoers are never bored.

Paul Natkin Archive
Paul Natkin/WireImage
Paul Natkin/WireImage

As of 2021, Cooper doesn’t seem to be slowing down, having toured in September of that year to promote his new album Detroit Stories.

Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd formed in 1964 and became known for their widely electric and eccentric live shows, which even included the band building an actual wall on the back of the stage.

Pink Floyd
Cyrus Andrews/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Cyrus Andrews/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

By the end of the concert, the bricks would fall down, very symbolic structure when their iconic album The Wall was released in 1979!

The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Jimi Hendrix is a rock icon. For people alive during his time, it was all about seeing the legend during one of his live performances, whether his solo act or with The Jimi Hendrix Experience.

Jimi Hendrix Experience
Gunter Zint/K & K Ulf Krugher OHG/Redferns
Gunter Zint/K & K Ulf Krugher OHG/Redferns

Have it be the summer of 1969 at Woodstock or the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival; there was nothing quite like watching Hendrix strum his guitar to “Purple Haze” or even light his Fender Stratocaster on fire during “Wild Thing.”

The Rolling Stones

Formed in 1962, The Rolling Stones have been a force in the music industry for multiple decades. One of the leading rock bands of the 60s and 70s, people would scream while watching Mick Jagger sing “Satisfaction” onstage.

Rolling Stones On Thank Your Lucky Stars
David Redfern/Redferns
David Redfern/Redferns

While the group stopped touring in 2007, they decided to get back for the band’s 50th anniversary, going the 50 & Counting tour in 2012 and the No Filter Tour in 2017, a tour that extended into 2021 due to popularity.

AC/DC

AC/DC was formed in 1973 and began touring soon after. For decades, they’ve been selling out stadiums with their fun and lively performances and iconic songs such as “It’s a Long Way to the Top,” “Back in Black,” and “Highway to Hell.”

AC/DC In London
Fin Costello/Redferns
Fin Costello/Redferns

As of 2021, the band is still touring and making new music for people to enjoy!

Pearl Jam

Starting as a band known as Mookie Blaylock and performing in front of a crowd of 300, the band known as Peal Jam finally got its break and made huge waves in the music industry.

2021 Ohana Festival Encore Weekend
Scott Dudelson/Getty Images
Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

One of the most popular rock bands in the 90s, Pearl Jam regularly played at some of the world’s biggest venues, selling out the concerts along the way. In 2021, the band announced they were going to release a digital collection of 200 of their concerts!

St. Paul And The Broken Bones

An eight-piece soul band from Alabama, St. Paul and The Broken Bones brings everything they have to the stage during a performance. Led by frontman vocalist Paul Janeway, each show has him belting out notes with everything he has.

2018 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival - Day 4
Erika Goldring/Getty Images
Erika Goldring/Getty Images

It’s a show that leaves the audience with no other option but to cheer him on as he sings encore after encore, hopefully, one of which includes “Call Me.”