Music Monday | My Top 5 Favorite Live Performances

Out of the 58 bands I've seen live (so far), I've tried to narrow down my Top 5 favorites.

Honorable Mentions:

Toby is a great performer, always adds unexpected twists to his shows, and I love when he talks about his family in between songs.  His love for the LORD is very explicit and he is definitely still a Jesus freak.

'If You wanna steal my show, I'll sit back and watch You go.  If You've got something to say, go on and take it away.'

I saw Parachute in a very small, intimate coffee shop venue in downtown Portland.  I loved it.  Especially when lead singer, Will Anderson, ran out into the crowd and I got a hug from him.  You should add them on Snapchat.  Their stories are fun! (@parachutemusic)

'Now I'm not sure what this is gonna be but with my eyes closed all I see is a skyline through the window, the moon above you, and the streets below.  And I hold my breath as you're moving in.  I taste your lips and feel your skin.  When the time comes, baby, don't run.  Just kiss me slowly."


#5 - Tenth Avenue North
This group of guys is one of the most humble bands I know.  Lead singer, Mike Donehey, is an incredible spiritual influence on many people - including myself.  Each and every one of their walks with the LORD is so evident.  They're all great performers, keep the crowd active, and most importantly, they welcome the presence of God so beautifully into their time.  I always, always, always get chills whenever I see/hear them.  And I've had the privilege to help man their merch booths the last two times they've been in Portland.  If you ever get a chance to see them, do it.
Oh and there are always beautiful lights on stage at their concerts.

'So won't You empty my hands, fill up my heart, capture my mind with You..."

#4 - The Script
Fabulous live performance.  They're very interactive with the crowd, keep the energy going so well.  Danny is absolutely adorable, and has an incredible voice.  He ran through the crowd both times I've seen them, but I never got to touch his hand.  I grabbed Patrick Monahan's though (lead singer of Train) when The Script opened for them.
And I mean, c'mon.  Irish accents.  #what

"When you've been fighting for it all your life, you've been struggling to make things right - that's how superheroes learn to fly.  Every day, every hour, turn the pain into power."

#3 - Rend Collective
Another Irish band (can't go wrong with them, huh?), Rend Collective not only has the celebratory feel to them (they use super fun instruments!!), but they are one of the few Christian bands that I've seen live where I have been so completely overwhelmed by the presence of God while raising my hands in worship along with their songs.  I had one of those 'WOW' moments when I saw them...and I still remember the feeling so clearly.  Love these peeps.

"My lighthouse, my lighthouse, shining in the darkness.  I will follow You!  My lighthouse, my lighthouse, I will trust the promise.  You will carry me safe to shore!"

#2 - Owl City
Adam Young is not only talented, but he's just plain adorable.  I wasn't quite sure what to expect at his show because, as most people know - and as he readily admits - he's a pretty shy dude.  But I think, when he's on stage, surrounded by the sound of his music, and the energy of a crowd that absolutely loves him, he just loses himself in the moment.  And it's so beautiful to watch.  That was definitely an evening to remember.  It was in a venue with no seats, so my legs were aching by the end of the night.  But there's just something about being shoulder to shoulder with complete strangers, being fascinated by a favorite artist of yours, complete with live cellos, that just...gets to you.
Oh and if you haven't heard his latest single, My Everything, check it out now.  Like, why are you still reading this?!

"If the darkness falls and my angel calls, in my despair, will you be there?  In the darkest night, when I need your light, will you show me the way?  If my time runs out and the sky falls down, despite my fear, will you appear?  If the world goes blind and I lose my mind, will you show me the way?  Tonight."

#1 - OneRepublic
Literally, everything about this concert, I loved.  The band's entrance, the lights, the music, the voice, the talent, the pure epicness.  I was dazzled.  And I will still say that OneRepublic is my #1 Favorite Live Performance that I have seen TO DATE.  It'll take a lot for that placement to be moved.  Ryan Tedder is one of my biggest music inspirations.  Not only is he super freaking talented, but he has a super freaking incredible voice.  He sounds just as good live as he does on record...but better.  And he's super crazy and fun with trying out different trills, hitting risky notes, and changing up his songs - for the better (if that's even possible).  I literally will never be able to stop talking about how epic their show is, so I should probably just end this little paragraph now...
On my Instagram post of the night I saw them, this is what I said:
'Out of the 53 bands I've seen, OneRepublic took the Number 1 prize for Best Show.  Wow.  I'm still in awe.  Music is so powerful and emotional, and they know how to make someone stand in complete stillness but feel like they're flying.'

"I did it all.  I owned every second that this world could give.  I saw so many places, the things I did, with every broken bone, I swear I lived."


Out of all the concerts you've been to, which artists/bands are your top 5 favorites?


  1. I would love to see Tenth Avenue North, Owl City, and One Republic live!! ^_^ I've only seen 23 artists live, but I'm going to two concerts this fall that will take that total up to 26. ;) and I have seen 5 of those 23 artists twice. I love concerts. ^_^
    My top 5 favorites out of those I've seen so far are Lecrae (I got to high five him! haha), TobyMac, 5 Seconds of Summer, Royal Tailor (Tauren - the lead singer - had some awesome dance moves!), and Audrey Assad. :)

    xx Sarah

    1. I love concerts too! Woohoo for almost 26 artists/bands that you've seen live!
      I saw Lecrae too. He's pretty rad. I'm not a huge fan of 5 Seconds of Summer but I wouldn't mind seeing them live - if it didn't cost so much:p I missed Royal Tailor when they were in Portland last, but I really, really want to see them soon!! Tauren has an incredible voice AND dance moves. Audrey Assad has an angelic voice. I loved her feature on Tenth Avenue North's new album. Have you heard it?

    2. 5SOS tickets aren't suuuuper duper expensive if you're cool with lawn seats, but I understand you wouldn't want to buy them if you weren't that into their music. :) I saw Royal Tailor when they went on tour with WinterJam in 2013. You should see them - so good!
      I hadn't heard her feature yet, but I just looked it up, and it is so beautiful!! Thanks for recommending it!

  2. Love Owl City's "My Everything". Incredible song. Would love to see him live some day.

    Sadly, being in Australia I don't see many live shows I'm actually interested in going to, but out of the very few I've attended, my favourites were seeing Third Day and NEEDTOBREATHE in concert, and also Tommy Emmanuel. Both very different styles of music, but both very entertaining and exciting.

    1. Right?? I've listened to it SO many times since it was released.

      Darn... That sucks. Well hey, I promise that whenever my band goes on tour, we will TRY to go to Australia. How does that sound?;)
      Third Day is good. I want to see NEEDTOBREATHE live SOOOO badly ohmygosh!! My parents have seen them. And I'm envious of you now too;) I haven't heard or seen Tommy Emmanuel.

  3. Wow you have gotten to see quite a few awesome bands.

  4. Tenth Avenue North has been my favorite band since high school and I've seen them perform live three times. Their performances are always amazing but personally my favorite performance of theirs was the first one I saw. It was in a church and felt a little more intimate than the other larger produced performances, which were still amazing, grant you. Mike's messages always hit home and I love it when he starts explaining concepts like justification and sanctification...it's great to see a more mainstream Christian band reaching a young crowd with hard-core, deep truths.

    I also saw Owl City perform in high school! His live performance is still one of my favorites to this day! I saw him on his "All Things Bright and Beautiful" tour in 2010. That album is still my favorite though I really like a lot of his newer songs as well. He is so adorably awkward and endearing. It's like he just forgets about the audience...but not really. I think he sort of has to forget how many people are watching him to overcome his shyness. His performance was one of the most fun to watch, the colorful lights, the beautiful blend of the instruments, vocals...yeah it was fantastic.

    My all-time favorite live performances (I haven't been to as many as you) would have to be Nickel Creek, Carbon Leaf and then Mumford and Sons. Mumford and Sons are by far my favorite. I saw them on their Gentlemen of the Road tour and they were phenomenal. For a mainly acoustic band, their performance had an incredible amount of variety. I'm always impressed with how rhythmically driven they are, even without a drum set. Also, it was incredible to see how intensely engaged they kept an audience of 30,000 with nothing but raw vocals and no instruments...yeah.

    My favorite genre of music is definitely folk-rock. I'm a big nerd when it comes to traditional Irish music but I love any kind of music that fuses the traditional folk with other newer genres like jazz, rock, pop, etc. I'm also a big fan of The Script and OneRepublic and might be a little bit jealous of you. ;)

    Dani from A Vapor in the Wind

    1. That's awesome. And yeah, usually the smaller, more intimate venues are the best.

      Right? 'Adorable awkward' describes him so well. I love him. Hoping I can see him when he comes to Seattle in October.

      I've never seen Mumford and Sons. I've never been a HUGE fan of theirs, but I'd see them in concert if I got the chance.

      haha Yeah, The Script and OneRepublic were insanely amazing. You should definitely try to see them sometime.