10 Artists We Love to Watch Perform Live

The best way to experience dance music is live. You can only get so much with your ears and headphones or a stereo system. You need to be in a crowd,

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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The best way to experience dance music is live. You can only get so much with your ears and headphones or a stereo system. You need to be in a crowd, sweaty, to truly understand the euphoria that can wash over you with hearing beats leaping from a top-notch system. The problem is, some DJs and producers just bring boring shows. No matter how dope the beats are, people want to spend money on being wowed, and no matter how you slice it, today's EDM is big on the "wow" factor.

The Chemical Brothers' released an awesome live album (Don't Think) that's up for a Grammy this year, and the documentary on the project is just amazing. Their live show is so massively epic (and trippy) that we figured we'd look at the artists we feel really bring it with their live shows, be it with interactive sculptures or just physically showing us how into their music they are. These are the performers that excite our bodies with great music as much as they excite our eyes with the visuals they provide.


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Of course Deadmau5 had to be featured. His "Cube" really sets the Deadmau5 show apart from others. Just check how the speed of the images on the separate cubes speed up with the music. Plus, with his grandiose mau5head having the ability to be integrated into the designs on the cubes, all of the elements add into the immenseness of the show itself.


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Lunice is another example of him feeding his energy to the crowd just as easily as he is serving them piping hot beats. The way his head's nodding when something's particularly cracking, and him just bouncing around from side to side. He has no problem fist pumping, walking away from the decks to engage the crowd, and overall just giving his all for the people who came to see him spin.

Check out how different Lunice's performance during this TNGHT show is compared to HudMo's:

Chemical Brothers

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The Chemical Brothers' Don't Think live-album comes alive with on-screen, showcasing the psychedelic beauty of a live Chemical Brothers show. They're in the middle of this massive rig, churning out these club-thumping beats, but in this huge open stadium. The epitome of bringing the rave to the masses. They have always been technically sound, and hearing them reconstruct their hits in this environment is, in a word, epic.


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Diplo's Major Lazer shows are things of beauty. Even if it's just a DJ performance, he's got about two hypemen, three dancing beauties, confetti, lights, colors, and he even gets into a huge inflatable ball and bounces around the crowd. Even if he wasn't playing some of the biggest tunes out there, it's a party that everyone's invited to.

Feed Me

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Not only is Feed Me dropping high energy tracks, but he really emulates the character that's become synonymous with his sound, and embodies his stage show with "The Teeth." You're getting the best of both worlds: huge tunes being played behind a huge sculpture of this mischevious grin, all synchronized. Just a big bag of fun.

Amon Tobin

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Producer Amon Tobin runs the gamut with his sound, and his ISAM 2.0 live show was just beyond epic. The actual show piece, a geometric dream with the ability to provide all kinds of visuals, interacting with each track he's playing in captivating ways. It's almost like watching the inside of a machine come to life to these electronic beats.

DJ Marky

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Brazilian drum & bass DJ Marky is a sight to see for a few reasons, none of them having to do with elaborate set-ups. First off, he's just so into the music. Just seeing him behind the decks grooving, smiling, and generally enjoying himself, it just brings a deeper appreciation to the sets he throws down. Marky is also known for spinning for long periods of time. His "Marky & Friends" shows have been thrown in two rooms; in the main room, Marky has been known to drop four to six hour sets, of varying styles and genres. Third, Marky is a turntablist at heart. There's nothing like hearing him cutting up a sound to the melody of a track right along with the record. Taking that to the next level is his cigarette pack trick, where he rigs the tone arm of the turntable so he can physically pick up the deck and scratch while holding it in the air. Check out his scratch technique in this video:


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2012 saw Datsik launch his "Vortex" set-up for his live shows. It's a pretty sick visual, seeing this DJ within this open cone-link structure, and once you see it in action, with all of the lights and images circling him during his set, it is really telling. We love the selfishness of it - it literally makes you focus on the DJ more than most set-ups are. Plus, those visuals can be super trippy.

Daft Punk

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Daft Punk are the mad scientists nestled within a massive structure, full of a wall of lights complimenting the sounds emitting from the duo. They walk around in helmets, and the structure they chose to perform within makes the whole futuristic robot vibe that much larger. Plus, their ALIVE 2007 tour found them mixing music and live video as well, adding another dimension to their vibrant new takes on classic Daft Punk material.

DJ der guten Laune

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His name translates to "DJ of good vibes," and that's exactly what he provides. Yeah, he's not the most technically-sound DJ. He is literally just dropping huge tracks and dancing around, but you can feel the love he has for the tracks he's playing, be it a huge house record or a James Brown classic. It's definitely hokey, but you have to respect him for doing something a lot of ravers preach: Being himself.

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