I need a live great recording

I've come to realize that there's no better way to hear what your system is capable of than a LIVE RECORDING.

I need your help.

Suggestions for 'live recordings' on cd that can really expose a system's strengths and weaknesses.
RUSH Exit...Stage Left, last song, La Villa-
You need to listen for when Neil hits his hi-hat cymbals
in the QUIET part. Also check out
Rush-Moving Pictures, beginning of songs 6 and 7
stereo phasing.
Rush-Signals, songs 5 and 8 for quiet parts,
stereo phasing. And deep bass drum parts on Chemistry.
Bill Evans Trio - "Sunday At The Village Vangard", "Waltz For Debbie"

Grateful Dead - "Nightfall of Diamonds" Disc 2

Dave Matthews/Tim Reynolds - "Live At Luther College"
I'm with Slipknot's suggestion for Bill Evans "Waltz for Debbie".
The best live recording I ever heard bar none is a two disc CD by Michel Jonasz titled "The Fabulous History of Mister Swing" Vocals and bottom end are incredible.The disc is very hard to find.It's listed as available on CD NOW for $45.00.Only drawback,everything is in French.
I third the Evans recording and add "Four and More",Miles Davis and others,live at Carnegie Hall.
Wondering if anyone has that Bill Evans on sacd, If so..what do you think?

Diana Krall "Live in Paris"
Track 11 - "A Case of You"

Eric Clapton "Unplugged"
Most Tracks..........

Stravinsky "The Rite of Spring"
by Igor Stravinsky, Benjamin Zander
Track 14. Sacrificial Dance
I have "Waltz" on both SACD and 180g vinyl. From a strictly 2 channel playback perspective, I feel the SACD does justice to the format. It's a damn sight more "analogish" on the SACD layer. I've compared both the Redbook layer upsampled and the SACD layer, and the SACD is very good. I still prefer the vinyl on my system. YMMV, as I don't have the ultimate in CD/SACD playback (Music Hall Maverick), but I like what I hear so far, after about 50 hours or so on the machine.
I think the following are all very good:

Natalie Merchant - Live in Central Park
Eva Cassidy - Blues Alley
Clapton - Unplugged
Rod Stewart - Unplugged
10,000 Maniacs - Unplugged

can't tell I am a fan of "Unplugged", can you?
Thanks Slipknot, I like Bill Evans alot. I'm glad this thread came up because I had been thinking about picking this up. I don't have vinyl so I'll never know the difference.

Old and in The Way- Jerry Garcia, John Kahn , David Grisman Peter Rowan and Vassar Clements Superb bluegrass!

Bob Dylan 66 Albert Hall- Set 1 Acoustic

Allman Brothers Live at the Fillmore East (remaster)
I fourth, or is it fifth the Bill Evans. I have the K2 remastered cd and it's fabulous. I would give a slight edge to Sunday over Waltz for Debbie but they're both great. Also many of the Dick's Pick's series of live Dead shows are outstanding if you like that sort of thing. Happy listening!
Let me clean up my own mess. Miles Davis's "Four and More"(and "My Funny Valentine") are recordings of live performances at (then) Philharmonic Hall at Lincoln Center,not Carnegie Hall. Sorry
Harder to find, but on a par IMHO with the classic Evans/La Faro Village Vanguard Sessions/Sunday at the Village Vanguard is Bill Evans at Town Hall w/Chuck Israels and Arnold Wise and recorded on February 21, 1966 (UMV 2053). Verve released the LP as "Volumn One" but never released a "Volumn Two" -- presumably because there wasn't enough material. However, Verve did release two of the three unreleased tracks -- Beautiful Love and My Foolish Heart -- on a compilation LP called Masters of the Modern Piano (VE-2-2511). The CD includes these two tracks and the third unreleased number: One For Helen. The CD is OK, but not as stunning as the vinyl. Happy hunting.
Eva Cassidy - "Live at Blues Alley"

Second Slipknot's Matthews/Reynolds two disk set - Damn that Tim Reynolds can play the guitar! Loved the little diddy about the girl who asked him directions in NYC!

Pletnev Live at Carnegie Hall

Harry Belafonte Live at Carnegie Hall

Jazz at the Pawnshop
Dianne Schuur & the Count Basie Orchesra. Even though it's a 1987 GPR digital master, absolutely incredible bass and can be played at extreme volume levels with very little if any grain. It your room is treated properly you will enjoy an incredible jazzy big band performance with sweet vocals.
Bill Evans "Sunday At The Village Vangard" and "Waltz For Debbie" are among the best records in Jazz history.
I love Keith Jarrett's At the Blue Note box set (worths the money).
Something newer and very interesting is Directions in Music: Live at Massey Hall from Herbie Hancock, Michael Brecker and Roy Hargrove (unbelievable trumpet).
It's from Mapleshade, and about the only one of their offerings I continue to enjoy, Clifford Jordan Quartet, "Live at Ethel's."

a similar thread has been done before but I will chip in with:

Bravo Brubeck! very natural piano tone


I agree with: Eva Cassidy Live at Blues Alley, the atmosphere of a live venue is very apparent.
Rippingtons "Live in LA" and for a night club arena, Zachary Breaux "Groovin, Live at Ronnie Scotts"
Any more?
Dee Dee Bridgewater Live at Yoshi's. A must have for your collection if you like female vocals.
"Jazz at the Pawnshop" is perhaps the best live recording quality I've heard. Analog recording from the '70s. You feel like you are there. This is also straight ahead jazz at its best. You have your choice of redbook, XRCD, SACD. Go to Acoustic Sounds or Music Direct to get a copy. The Bridgewater 'Live a Yoshi's' mentioned below is also quite good.
Lyle Lovett, "Live In Texas."
Alot of great recordings that may not technically be live (not recorded in front of an audience?), have been recorded in one take, using a simple miking approach w/ no overdubbing or steroidal treatments. Discs like Peter Epstein/Old School, Joey Baron/Crackshot, Ellery Eskelin/One Great Day or Pierre Favre/Portrait might fit this description and they all feel like excellent live recordings. Here are some others that are in a more strict sense live recordings:

Lucas Niggli/Big Zoom-percussion,clarinet,trombone,upright bass

Ponga/Ponga- two (pretty inventive + mind altering) keyboards, percussion, and equally mind altering sax (from Skerik)

Harriet Tubman/Prototype- guitar, drums, bass (big jazz brained power trio that knows how to use nuance and texture)

Mark Helias/Fictionary- upright bass, t.sax, violin and drums (sounds like there has to be more than 4 guys on this one)

DKV Trio/Live in Wels & Chicago- reeds, upright bass and drums (not a bad place to start w/ Ken Vandermark)

Bluiett Baritone Nation/Libation For The Baritone Saxophone Nation- (huge grunting and resonating) baritone saxes and drums

Jean Derome/Torticolis- wide variety of woodwinds, e. bass, keyboards, daxophone, e. guitar, trombone and brilliantly depraved percussion

Gebhard Ullmann/Ta Lam Zehn- 9 woodwinds and (very subtle and texturally rich) accordion.

Philip Catherine Quartet/Live- e.guitar, keyboards, upright bass, drums

Ed Thigpen/It's Entertainment- drums, piano and upright bass

John Stetch/Green Grove- Another excellent piano/bass/drums trio disc that's very pleasant and not at all cliched or stagnant.

Rich Halley/Live At Beanbenders- alto, tenor, baritone sax, trombone, trumpet, cornet, bass, percussion (may be a little outside for some, but the playing and the recording quality is superb).

Tony Oxley/Floating Phantoms-percussion,violin, electronics, piano and sampling. This one is pretty out there too, but sonically a real stunner that gets better after a few listens. (listener break in)

Massacre/Live at Meltdown- Guitar, bass and drums (very carefully put together stuff, each member is a master at pushing boundries and finding interesting sounds, an amazingly controlled and detailed piece of work).

Other high quality recordings and performances like the Lounge Lizards discs in Berlin, the Charlie Haden Montreal tapes, and some of the Victoriaville festival recordings also have alot to offer.
Barry Harris- Live in New York
Portishead live in NYC
AC/DC...Got Blood if u want it....
My hybrid multichannel SACD "The Window" was recorded live with an acoustic band in a very good studio in Boulder, Colorado. A central idea of the project was to capture the band live in surround using a live-mix and some isolated tracks. The result has been referred to by some as "reference quality".

Info on this indie-produced SACD (the first of it's kind) is online at http://www.davidelias.com/window

Reviews are quoted and linked at

The hybrid SACD is for sale at

Thanks for reading this - hope you check it out.

David Elias
Paul Barrere & Fred Tackett (the acoustic dou from Little Feat), Live From North Cafe
All Night Wrong - Allan Holdsworth, with Chad Wackerman (drums) and Jimmy Johnson (bass).

The sticker on the cd read something like:

"The greatest living guitar player in the world has finally released his first live recording. It's godlike."

Now, Holdsworth isn't a deity...but you've got to hear this one.
I almost forgot, Dave Alvin and the Guilty Men, "Out in California", a fantastic live rockabilly cd with very good sound and intense energy.
If you like bluegrass I recommend:

Alison Krauss + Union Station "Live"
The Johnson Mountain Boys "Live at the Old Schoolhouse"

Several posters recommended eric claptons unplugged...I agree, and the dvd is dramatically better soundwise than the cd..try it and see..you wont be sorry
Benjamin Zander leading the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra in STRAVINSKY's Sacre de Printemps on Pickwick 1990 (now Carleton Records), live at Jordan Hall, Boston. The awaited revisit performance two years ago wasn't as good (alas).
This was the first recording of the Sacre at original tempo, as well, and has astonishing musicality and tension. You WILL be in the hall, on the edge of your listening chair in the Sacrificial Dance. This is a favorite gift CD of mine after I set up a budget system for a friend. A jaw-dropper everytime. Do NOT have an espresso with your dinner guests if you're going to play this, and plan to go for a walk afterwards to shake off the transferred chi!
Here are some of my best-sounding live pop/rock CDs:

1) James Taylor "Live (1992)"
2) Elton John "Live in Australia"
3) Eric Clapton "24 nights"
4) Grateful Dead "Without a Net"
5) Bela Fleck/Flecktones "Live Art"
Allan Holdsworth's CD called ALL NIGHT WRONG...a trio, so its very uncluttered. He had his hands even on microphone placement. Chad Wakerman on drums and I cant remember the bass player,,Its expensive though,,,from audiophile imports.

Oh! JImmy Johnson on bass...;-)

You will not be dissapointed!!!
I really enjoy a lot of Keith Jarrett's work on ECM, and much of it was recorded live. Highlights include: Up For It (the most recent Trio disc), La Scala (solo), Köln Concert (solo), Whisper Not (Trio in Paris, 2-disc), The Cure (Trio, Town Hall, New York), and so many more.

Also on ECM, Pat Metheny Group - Travels is excellent. The new release by the Dave Holland Quintet - Extended Play: Live at Birdland, is a great display of musical fireworks by the best current working band in jazz.

On the Telarc label, Ray Brown - Live at Scullers; beautiful and energetic straight-ahead jazz. Concord released a 2-CD set of 3 LP's from the 80's, featuring Brown's Triple Scoop trio, with guest John Frigo on violin, also very good.

Rush's Exit Stage Left was the soundtrack of my teenage years, although I don't know about the quality of the recording.
There is a double CD of Bill Bruford's Earthworks concert in NYC which is phenomenal...sharp sharp!
Kurt Elling- Live in Chicago