Best mainstream live performance of 2022!

Best mainstream live performance of 2022!

2022 ushered in what many considered the first full year of music without restriction since the pandemic began. This year, the photojournalists and writers of Top Shelf Music have had the privilege of covering some pretty amazing shows! In true end of year fashion we have compiled a list of some of our favorite live performances, albums and upcoming artists. While we collectively covered more shows than we can even count and can’t think of a single bad performance, here is a short list of some of our favorites. Today we will be featuring our top mainstream artist performances covered by Top Shelf Music.

THE WEEKND (Santa Clara, CA)

Photo by: Arik Ruiz

In a unanimous decision The Weeknd was voted our top live performance for a mainstream artist. We had the opportunity to cover him twice this year but his show in Santa Clara, California on August 27th absolutely blew our minds! 

“One of the most amazing moments in the show was when thousands of fans’ wristbands started to light up with flashing white lights. It was something completely new to me — quite remarkable! The whole stadium was flashing and flickering lights along with the stage and runway. With the moon lit up, as well, it was the most spectacular light show I have personally ever seen! Fans screamed and cheered as he walked offstage. Thank you, Abel, for this amazing set list and performance! The man truly knows how to control a crowd of over 51,000 fans. He is the captain of the ship and we were all enjoying the ride.” Check out the full gallery and performance recap for more details!

BRING ME THE HORIZON (Minneapolis, MN)

Photo by: Jayme Bigger

On October 12th we were treated to a show for the ages as Bring me the Horizon invaded the Minneapolis armory with special guests Knocked Loose, Siiickbrain and Grandson. The show was high energy and dynamic from start to finish but there was something about Bring me the Horizon’s performance that left us absolutely reeling. Bring Me The Horizon closed out the night, with a set that was unlike anything else.

Their attention to detail in their live shows is unmatched, with production that correlated with their most recent EP perfectly. From the beginning, a digital voice came on to announce the band and lay out the “rules of the show”, which included drinking and smoking whatever was currently in the hands of the crowd members and looking after each other in the pit. The digital voice popped up continuously throughout the show, hyping the crowd up and calling for moshpits. Everything about this show felt as if fans stepped into a movie theater or play production, rather than a rock concert. To attempt to write out the details of the night will never be enough to do it justice; Bring Me The Horizon is something you need to attend and experience yourself. It was well worth the effort!” Full gallery and recap is live!

CAR SEAT HEADREST (San Diego, CA)

Photo by: Kristy Rose

Car Seat Headrest is one of the most exciting live bands we have seen in a long time. On April 29th at their sold out House of Blues show, they showcased exactly why they are becoming one of the biggest names in rock music.  

“Car Seat Headrest is a band that is indescribably next-level, eliciting powerful lyrics, unprecedented tempo arrangements and saga-long songs (some over 14 minutes!!). And, then Will puts on a mask. Despite having his face hidden the whole show, the audience was still in tune with Toledo’s emotions through timed expressions and patterns flashing in the eyes of the head piece. For a ‘love’ ballad (if you can call any of CSH’s songs that), the mask flashed heart eyes. For the tragic implications within the song “Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales”, it was sad eyes to crazy eyes back to sad eyes for the reprise. And, to hear the entire place shout “IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE LIKE THIS” with crowd-surfers pumping their arms in the air… that was the most breathtaking moment I’ve experienced since pre-pandemic.” Click here for the full gallery and coverage!

ROB ZOMBIE (Irvine, CA)

Photo by: Omar Solis

Rob Zombie has spent his entire career carefully crafting live performances that immerse the audience into his spooky and horror filled universe. He has earned his reputation as one of the greatest showmen in metal and on August 12th he showed the Irvine audience why, even after a long and storied career he still has what it takes to put on unrivaled live shows. 

“Zombie showcased exactly how to put on a show, with nonstop head-banging and high-energy action. It also helps that he has the best at their musical craft for the band. The ever-so-amazing John 5 is on guitar; I was happy to see he has his own (well-deserved) solos during the tour. Ginger Fish is on drums, which is beautiful to see John 5 and Ginger onstage together.” Full gallery and write up is available on our site!

Steve Lacy (Baltimore, MD)

Photo by: Anthony McCray

It was a breakout year for Steve Lacy and if you don’t know who he  is yet, I highly recommend checking to see how big the rock you are living under is. The insanely talented, multi hyphenate artist stormed into Baltimore October 13th and we at Top Shelf Music haven’t been the same since. 

“The venue was so packed that the audience bled into the media area. Steve Lacy welcomed the crowd and went on to perform another hit named ‘Buttons’ — a silky sonic fusion of soulful beats, guitar strings and vocals that illuminates any and everyone’s eardrums. Playing the majority of the tracks from Gemini Rights, Steve also highlighted some recognizable singles from Apollo XXI. Steve pointed out that even though the naysayers insist that all he has are TikTok fans, this tour proved them wrong.” Gallery and recap is available here!

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