The Media Man: The Top 10 Best Live Aid Performances
When it comes to the world of music, there are many, MANY things to make music such a memorable form of media. They can be singles, albums, songs you hear on the radio, movie soundtracks, video-game soundtracks and of course, big live concerts that attract millions of people and always put on one hell of a show that makes your time there a true night to remember.
But there is no concert in the world that is more memorable, more important and more impactful on the music industry then the world-changing charity event of 1985. That concert…is Live Aid.
Organized in 1985 by Sir Bob Geldof and co-organized by Midge Ure, Live Aid was a global event that was put together and contained the biggest names and talents in the music industry at the time, and ALL in the name of charity no less. Geldof himself had seen the huge famine crisis that was happening in Africa at the time and wanted to do something about it. Things got started with a charity single known as “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, a Christmas song that many of us still listen to every December. It was performed by many of the world’s biggest singers at the time such as Paul Young, Sting, Boy George and more, with the group officially being called “Band Aid”. Released in 1984, the song raised £8 million and was a Number 1 hit. All of this was just a prelude on what was to come for Live Aid itself.
The event was broadcast in 150 countries with a 13 satellite link-up to broadcast the event (put into perspective, the 1984 Olympics only had THREE satellites!) and was performed in two major stadiums: Wembley Stadium in London for the UK and JFK Stadium in Philadelphia for the US. There were smaller acts in other countries, but all united for the same cause. Overall, Live Aid would go on to raise $127 million for famine in Africa, a huge sum by 1980’s money, and would certainly leave a permanent mark in the history books for many performers and the music industry itself. The event was such a big history-maker that they even made a documentary about it called “When Harvey Met Bob” and the very climax of 2018's Bohemian Rhapsody movie even included Queen’s performance at Live Aid, complete with a 100% accurate recreation of the stage at Wembley!
So which Live Aid acts were the best? Which are the ones that are the most memorable be it the music that was played or the performances given by those that were there? Well that’s what I’m counting down. Also as it’s the 37th anniversary of Live Aid today, what better time to make such a list?
So sit back, relax and put on your jukeboxes for we’re counting down the Top 10 Best Live Aid Performances…
Number 10: Adam Ant
I know how unusual it is to include a guy who referred to Live Aid as “a f****** waste of time” and “the end of rock n’ roll” on a countdown referring to Live Aid, but I do have a good reason for it.
Adam Ant sadly only got to perform one song when he was at Live Aid, and that’s “Viva Le Rock”. Not a bad choice really as it’s a really catchy song with some rocking guitar music and a fast-paced beat that adds to the rocking atmosphere that Live Aid was all about on that special day. But a good song doesn’t just make Adam Ant’s performance one of the best that was performed at Live Aid, it’s also the overall performance itself. Not only does Adam sing the song greatly but his antics are just great to watch!
Seriously, as he performs on that stage, he displays a level of energy that could make even the most energetic of people jealous! He’s constantly jumping around, doing twirls, skipping to the beat, swinging the microphone stand around and busting the moves while somehow never losing his breath throughout the song! How he displays so much energy and can keep singing without stopping to catch his breath is a mystery to me. His energetic performance really does add to the enjoyment of his set here and makes me wish he had a longer time on stage because honestly, Adam shouldn’t have been a one-song set. He should’ve had more if this is what he can give us!
I know Adam felt like Live Aid was a waste of time but seeing him in action here has me questioning that for he really did look as if he were having the time of his life on that stage. The sheer energy and enthusiasm he displays really shows that he wanted to give it his all, and I can sure say he did because out of all the singers at Live Aid who only had one song to do, his was the best and by far the most memorable and that’s why it takes the Number 10 spot.
Why is it only Number 10 if it’s so entertaining? Precisely because of the fact that Adam Ant’s set was only one song. If he performed more, I would’ve boosted his number up a little. Still, Adam Ant sure gave a rocking performance that is worthy of the Number 10 spot. Viva Le Rock indeed.
Number 9: The Who
It may come off as odd that I put The Who so low on the list. I mean whenever people think of great Live Aid performances, The Who tends to be one of the ones that most people think of. So why is it only Number 9 if The Who’s performance is one of the most beloved parts of Live Aid? Well I won’t deny it’s a great performance, but it is hampered by the fact we who never saw the original concert can never SEE the whole performance.
What I mean is that apparently, during Live Aid itself, there was a technical issue that caused the transition to cut out so we literally missed half of The Who’s performance. They performed four songs and the only ones we can see are the last two they performed which is “Love Reign O’er Me” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again”. The other two they did, “My Generation” and “Pinball Wizard” weren’t broadcast due to the technical issue. Their performance of Pinball Wizard only exists in audio format and earlier this year, the Live Aid YouTube channel found some footage that was recorded at Live Aid itself of them performing “My Generation” but unfortunately, you can’t hear them for most of it due to technical issues. Still, we can see their performance of My Generation so at least we can see more than half of their performance now.
As is, from what we do see and hear of The Who’s performance is really good. You have Roger Daltrey with his usual harsh vocals alongside Pete Townshend on the guitar and John Entwhisltle on the bass and all of them perform spectacularly throughout the songs they perform at the show. Even during “My Generation”, they give a good show even if we can’t hear it at its best.
They really give it their all during the whole set, but it’s when they perform their last song “Won’t Get Fooled Again” where they REALLY shine. It gives you the impression that they were saving the best for last for when they get to that one, they proper cut loose and give us a show to remember with Roger doing his trademark microphone swings a few times while he performs and even Pete gets in on the performance by jumping about while playing the guitar and swinging his arm in circles a few times while also giving us a rather comical moment where he does an upwards kick too hard and ends up falling over. XD And before you ask, yes, they do indeed do the famous “YEEEEEEEEEEEEAH!” scream that has spawned many an internet meme during the song, and it sounds just as meme-worthy here as it does in the original. The Who really do stagger me with how they can give such an energetic and lively show and yet still perform all their vocals and instruments so well! I know they’re probably trained for this kind of thing but still, how they get so lively and literally work up a sweat without getting tired is amazing!
So while The Who get knocked down a few pegs because we can’t see or hear their full set the way we were meant to so I can’t fully judge them on that, they still earn a spot on the list for really giving us a show to remember and for displaying a level of energy that really made Live Aid such a legendary concert to remember for years to come.
The Who. When you ask “who” gave us a great performance at Live Aid, you direct yourself to these guys.
Number 8: Ultravox
How ironic it is that the co-founder of Live Aid gets a spot on the list while the founder himself only gets an honourable mention. XD But yeah, the lead singer of Ultravox, Midge Ure, is a guy who tends to get overlooked when it comes to Live Aid. Bob Geldof founded it yes, but Midge co-founded it with him and thus, he should be remembered for bringing the concert to life just as much as Bob himself.
Now then, Ultravox. What’s their performance like? Well it’s on the list so you know it’s a good one. XD They had a four-song set in which they performed “Reap the Wild Wind”, “Dancing With Tears In My Eyes”, “One Small Day” and “Vienna”. And every single song in that set is performed marvellously. Not only does Midge have a memorable presence at Live Aid by basically looking like a rock-themed version of Neo from The Matrix, complete with long coat and sunglasses (and very kickass sunglasses too! I want them!), but he delivers some really solid vocals during his set with some impressive high notes during his performances of “Dancing With Tears In My Eyes” and “Vienna”, the latter in particular really giving an example of the power in his voice. His voice is also pretty smooth throughout which makes his vocals pleasant to listen to as you jam along to these tunes. The instrumental work deserves a mention too with some kickass drumming throughout that makes you feel like drumming along, some synthesizer backing that makes a cool sound to go along with the songs and Midge himself also plays the guitar as he sings and it sounds great whenever he strums a tune. He also plays the synthesizer as well, showing how flexible a performer he is as he can play both these instruments well during his set.
What makes Ultravox’s set one of the greatest performances at Live Aid for me isn’t just the fact they perform really well, but also the fact that all four songs they perform in their set are very memorable with some catchy choruses that’ll remain in your head for a while after you’ve heard them and they all have a great tune to them that you can bop along to and even dance to. Ultravox’s performance may not be as energetic and over-the-top as the first two entries on the list, but it’s still a really awesome performance that made Live Aid the kickass concert it was when it aired back in 1985 and the fact we had four consistently well-performed songs is pretty hard not to enjoy.
Ultravox. After this performance, I find myself dancing with tears in my eyes about a memory of a performance so fine.
Number 7: Elton John
Elton John had a tough act to follow considering he was preceded by the incredible acts by Queen and David Bowie (more on them later) and if you know your history, you may know that Elton was the one that actually said to Freddie Mercury, and I quote “You b*******, you stole the show!” So yeah, Elton probably felt like he had a lot to live up to after those acts before him. XD Luckily though, Elton gave us a performance that is considered one of Live Aid’s finest acts.
Clad in a costume that is honestly pretty tame compared to his more outrageous outfits he’s worn in his career (especially that orange demon costume!), Elton sits down at his piano and does what he does best, which is playing the piano and giving us a great performance. His set included “I’m Still Standing”, “Bennie and the Jets”, “Rocketman”, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”, “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” and “Can I Get A Witness?”. The interesting thing about his set is that he doesn’t do all of it himself. Naturally, he has Kiki Dee come on stage to sing “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” with him as that song is a duet between them and in “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me”, he just plays the piano while George Michael from the band Wham! does the actual singing. Also “Can I Get A Witness” is a Marvin Gaye song, making this the only song in his set that he didn’t originally do himself.
As great as a song selection this is, he does have one thing that hinders his performance a little, hence why he’s only at number seven on the list. During his performance of “I’m Still Standing”, his microphone seemed to be having feedback issues for it screeches a few times as he sings. It doesn’t ruin the song per say but it does get quite distracting and subtracts from what is otherwise a great opening to his act. Thankfully, these issues don’t persist throughout his performance and thus we get everything else sounding great. Elton gives us a great show in his Live Aid performance with his vocals as impressive as ever and his insane piano skills beautifully on display here. Hell, he even plays ONE-HANDED a few times and somehow never misses a tune! How he’s able to be on a stage in front of so many people and simultaneously play the piano and sing is incredible to me, and it’s why he’s so fascinating to watch whenever he performs! Also the audience is clearly into his performance for you see them waving their arms in time with the music during “Rocketman”. Shows Queen weren’t the only ones to captivate that audience that day. XD What also makes Elton’s act a standout is the fact he has a couple of duets to verify things a bit so you get a performance that includes more than just Elton John. You get Kiki Dee joining him for “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” as I said before and the two are just as fabulous together performing the song on stage as they were in a recording studio. Also there’s George Michael who performs “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” while Elton plays the piano. While technically it’d be counted as a George Michael performance, it IS Elton’s song that he’s singing and you have Elton playing the music so it’s still part of Elton’s set even if somebody else is singing it. There is a rather amusing moment where the song starts and Elton puts his mouth to the microphone almost as if he’s about to sing only for George Michael to do it instead. XD Either way, a combination of Elton on piano and George on vocals made for a pretty sweet song and was just a nice way to include the Wham! singer in Live Aid. Also I haven’t heard the original version of “Can I Get A Witness” but all I can say is that if it’s as insanely catchy as Elton’s take on it here, Marvin Gaye deserves all my praise because it really is catchy.
With his great vocals and piano work accompanied by some great singers to do duets with, Elton John gave us a performance that truly shows us that he really was still standing after all this time.
Number 6: Paul Young
Given this guy was part of the original Band Aid that sang “Do They Know It’s Christmas” and eventually paved the way to Live Aid’s creation, it was only appropriate he would be in Live Aid as well.
Paul Young has a performance that is full of the kind of energy that Live Aid really generated from its legendary performers and he not only has that going for him, but he gets the audience to participate as well. His set opens up with a brief version of “Do They Know It’s Christmas” which is done in a slower pace but sounds good with some smooth backing vocals to accompany Paul’s vocals. It’s a pity it’s so short at about a minute for I’d like to hear a full version that sounds the way they did it here. As is, it’s a decent appetizer before we get the main course, which is Paul’s set where he performs “Come Back And Stay”, “That’s The Way Love Is” and “Every Time You Go Away”. Like Elton before him, one of his songs is a duet in which he performs “That’s The Way Love Is” with Alison Moyet, whom I swear to god sounds like Tina Turner a little! XD
Paul’s performance is very energetic as you can see when you watch him. He’s constantly walking and dancing back and forth across that stage as he sings, proves quick on his feet and manages to give us some really neat twirls that wouldn’t look out of place in a scene from Dirty Dancing. Not only does he give us some great songs, but his lively performance just makes these songs even more fun to listen to and you just can’t help but enjoy how into it he is. There are many other things that add to his performance that makes it one of Live Aid’s best from his backup singers that sound surprisingly similar to The Drifters (though I question why one of them is in a pink suit XD), the guys on the instruments and Alison Moyet’s impressive vocal work during the duet on “That’s The Way Love Is”. Like seriously, wow does that woman have one hell of a voice! The one downside to Paul’s performance is when he does “Every Time You Go Away”. I love that song, don’t get me wrong, and he does it well here and gets the audience to join in as well, which is awesome, but after a while it just gets repetitive when they keep singing the chorus over and over and over. It just feels like Paul was worried his act was too short and wanted to drag it out a bit. It’s a great performance regardless, but the repetition does wear it out a bit. I still love how he gets the audience to join in and they get louder and louder the more times they do.
With a huge amount of energy, some really catchy tunes, great accompaniment from the backup singers and instrumentals, Paul Young really gave us quite a show and he deserves some recognition for his contribution to this incredible concert. Every time you go away, you take a piece of his performance with you.
Number 5: Status Quo
It wouldn’t be a Live Aid countdown if I didn’t include the opening act, eh?
Naturally, Status Quo deserves a spot on this list as they had one of the biggest responsibilities in the entire concert. They were the OPENING ACT for crying out loud, what can be bigger than starting what’s supposed to be a big, fundraising charity concert?! And all I can say is that this is the act that proved you was in for a great show for the moment you hear Status Quo perform, that was enough to let people know Live Aid was gonna be amazing.
Their set consists of “Rockin’ All Over The World” (fitting), “Caroline” and “Don’t Waste My Time”. And let me tell ya, ALL. THREE. SONGS are catchy as all hell and will never leave your head once you’ve heard them! So yeah, right from the start they give you something you’ll never forget! XD We have Francis Rossi on vocals and guitar and he really whips up the crowd with his loud cries of “YOU ALRIGHT?!” before they begin. The enthusiasm he displays is evident here, which is funny considering he sees Live Aid as “just a gig” yet he really gives it his all in this concert. His singing is great and we also have the guitar and bass work of Rick Parfitt and Alan Lancaster respectively that deliver some fast-paced instrument work that’ll have you dancing along with the songs they perform. We even have some really awesome piano work too. The fact they’re able to keep up with the fast-pace of the songs and not be a single strum out of tune is astonishing and really has me appreciating just how much work really goes into performing these songs live in front of an audience. These people are incredible at what they do, no doubts there! And you can see just how into it the audience is for fright from the first song they perform, they’re clapping along and joining in with them! That goes to show what an opener Status Quo’s act is for this historical concert.
As great as Status Quo’s performance is, you may be curious why it’s so high on the list. And the answer is precisely because of what the act is, the opening to Live Aid. Being the opening act to such a massive concert is definitely something to be commended and that’s why I feel it deserves to be so high on the list. As is, it did have some stiff competition so it only gets Number 5 but still, I’d say that’s the right place to put it.
Status Quo. One thing I can say about their performance is that I like it, I like it, I like it, I li-li-li-like it, I li-li-li-like it and on that day, they really were Rockin’ All Over The World…
Number 4: Phil Collins
Yeah, it was inevitable that my all-time favourite singer would be on this list. XD
This maybe another strange entry for what exactly puts Phil Collins higher than somebody like Status Quo or Elton John? It’s not like his performance is as energy filled or as enthusiastic as everybody else, nor does he do anything particularly that memorable. Hell, he doesn’t really have his own set! He’s pretty much sharing one with Sting! So why is he here at Number 4? Let me tell you.
Phil Collins’s performance consists of him playing the piano while singing two of his biggest hits at the time “Against All Odds” and “In The Air Tonight” while also singing two duets with Sting, said duets being “Long Way To Go” and “Every Breath You Take”. His performance naturally is awesome because, you know, it’s Phil Collins, when has he NEVER been awesome? XD He gives a great live performance of his classic hits, though it is a bit disappointing that “In The Air Tonight” doesn’t have the trademark drum solo but hey, as a piano-performed song, it still sounds really good. ^^ “Long Way To Go” sounds great with Sting doing the backing vocals as he performs most of it while their duet on “Every Breath You Take” is the opposite. I actually even think this version of the song is better than the original version done by The Police (Sting was in that band) due to the faster pace of the lyrics and the lovely wind instruments we have as they sing. Fun fact: Phil and Sting apparently rehearsed their duet over the phone. I can easily say it paid off. XD
Now here’s the part where Phil’s performance gets REALLY insane. You see, all of that was just what he did in London. Yes, I kid you not, Phil Collins didn’t just perform at the London Live Aid concert! Oh no, he performed in BOTH London AND Philadelphia on the same day! How awesome is that?!?! So how did he do it? Simple, he was flown to Heathrow by Noel Edmonds (who introduced him and Sting’s set) via helicopter and then he flew the Concorde to America so he could perform at Philadelphia. For context, the Concorde is a supersonic passenger plane that can fly between London and New York in 3 ¾ hours, so that’s how he got there so fast. Handy having a supersonic passenger plane to get to two concerts in one day, eh? XD I imagine he must’ve been knackered after that but still, his performance at Philadelphia is on par with his London performance, doing a great take on “Against All Odds” and “In The Air Tonight” on the piano a second time and making it sound pretty much the same as in London. He even quips about how he was in London this afternoon before he begins, which is quite amusing. XD So yeah, performing at BOTH Live Aid concerts on the SAME day and STILL managing to deliver a solid performance…if anybody deserves a medal, it’s easily Phil Collins. His dedication to this fundraising event is so admirable that it’s just hard not to love him for it. Why this guy was ever hated back in the day is a mystery to me…
Phil Collins. I can feel it coming in the air tonight…oh lord, it’s a fantastic performance from a sensational singer who against all odds, made a double performance at a legendary concert.
Number 3: David Bowie
Gotta give some love to the Starman himself in this countdown. Even now, we’re still missing him after his unfortunate passing back in 2016. RIP David Bowie, you’re still a Starman to all of us…
Anyways, David Bowie probably had the biggest pressure of any Live Aid act when it came to the show. Why is that? Because he was literally THE act to come after Queen when they gave their legendary performance. I mean this performance was considered THE highlight of Live Aid as a whole! Can you even IMAGINE trying to follow on from that?! Poor David must’ve been quaking in his shoes when he got on stage! And yet he follows up Queen’s set with one of Live Aid’s best acts and doesn’t skimp on his performance in the slightest.
His set includes “TVC 15”, “Rebel Rebel”, “Modern Love” and “Heroes” and he gives it his all in every single song in that set of his. All four are very memorable songs and they’re performed marvellously with some great instrument work, great backing vocals and an electrifying performance from the late David Bowie himself. ^^ Not only does he look VERY stylish on stage in that dapper suit he’s wearing and sport a big, confident smile that gives the impression he’s gonna give everyone a good time, but he manages to sing all four songs brilliantly and shows a huge amount of energy and power to his voice that few others can match. I mean he gets pretty gravelly in some of his vocal work and yet he never once sounds hoarse as he goes along, he still manages to sound amazing! That is insane vocal work and an example of the true talents of this guy! Throughout his performance, he displays an energetic presence in not only his voice, but his movements too as he’s moving in time to the music, wandering about on stage and he even has a dance with one of the backup singers during his performance of “Rebel Rebel”. He did once say about Queen “How the hell am I going to follow that?!” when they had their performance and it’s safe to say that he followed up brilliantly with his kind of performance. Gotta say though, it’d be awesome if he and Queen actually did “Under Pressure” together at Live Aid but alas, we didn’t get that. Would’ve been awesome though.
You’ve also gotta love how when he performs “Heroes”, he credits everybody on the instruments and backing vocals. It gives the impression that Bowie was a modest guy and clearly didn’t want all the credit for his performance at Live Aid. ^^
David Bowie. “We could be heroes” he sang. In my eyes, he and several others at Live Aid were heroes for that one day of 1985.
Number 2: U2
If you ever watch videos of Live Aid, you’ll notice in a lot of audience shots, you’ll see people waving U2 flags. It’s clear that a lot of U2 fans were there that day. XD I bet they were satisfied with what we got though considering U2’s act is considered among the greatest Live Aid performances with their time there even boosting their popularity after Live Aid ended!
U2 had a two-song set which consisted of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” (ironic considering Live Aid was on Saturday) and “Bad”. They had wanted to do more but for reasons I’ll get into in a moment, they had to cut it down to just the two they performed. U2’s performance really deserves the praise it gets for they really rock the walls down at Wembley Stadium with the kind of act they gave us. We have Bono with his powerful, harsh vocals and electrifying stage presence (and a really impressive mullet to boot), The Edge doing what he does best and slaying that guitar of his alongside Adam Clayton on the bass and Larry Mullen Jr. on the drums and all four don’t hold back with their musical talents here. “Sunday Bloody Sunday” has some sick guitar work from The Edge that proper gets that rock n’ roll vibe going and has Bono really giving it his all and somehow not blowing his voice out while he does it and then we get “Bad” which has that kickass rock guitar solo that’ll never leave your head. During that performance we even get to see Bono do a mike drop. He was doing it before it was cool people. XD We even get a shot of someone running up on stage to pick it up again, which is kinda funny. Pity that guy apparently died some time afterwards…
It’s during their performance of “Bad” as to where U2’s fame REALLY kicked off for you see, we also get one of Live Aid’s most heart-warming moments. During the guitar solo, Bono runs to one end of the stage and seems to be frantically gesturing at the audience for no real reason. It then turns out he was telling the security staff to pull somebody over the wall but they didn’t understand what he was saying so eventually, he jumps off the stage himself and points to the woman he was referring to. Once the woman is pulled over the wall, he embraces her and gives her a little dance, which shows the kind of relationship he could stir up between himself and the audience. The fact he climbed back on stage again and continued performing is amazing I have to say. XD It’s very sweet to see that part and you just gotta wonder what that woman must’ve been thinking getting to dance with Bono like that. ^^
What’s even sweeter is that she later revealed in a 2005 interview that Bono actually SAVED HER LIFE by doing that. Yes people, he LITERALLY. SAVED. HER. LIFE! What did she mean by that? She was apparently being crushed by the audience and Bono noticed this and thus, was trying to get them to save her from that which is why we see him gesturing to the crowd for a moment and he ended up doing it himself as nobody could understand him (which isn’t surprising, it must’ve been loud as hell that day!). So not only is this a heart-warming moment in a legendary concert, it’s also an act of heroism caught on camera for the whole world to see. It’s easy to see why U2’s act was such a memorable moment in Live Aid with all this in mind. He not only made that woman’s day, but he also saved her life by doing so. How wonderful is that?
I also give credit to the guys on the instruments for keeping up their playing during the whole time since because of Bono’s heroic act, the instrumental solo ends up going on for a while and yet they keep it sounding amazing throughout. That’s mad skill right there and they all deserve compensation for that! As I say, because of that, they ended up running out of time and couldn’t perform any other songs they’d wanted to that day.
Still with a rocking performance and a kind-hearted act of heroism in which a woman’s life was saved, U2’s performance was anything BUT bad. U2 will love this performance if you check it out.
And the Number One Greatest Live Aid Performance Is...Queen
I don’t even know why I’m bothering to announce it, everyone and their mothers can tell you that Queen is number one! It’s like THE Live Aid performance that everybody remembers for god’s sake! XD Whenever people think of Live Aid, the FIRST act they ALWAYS think of is Queen! And why wouldn’t they? Queen’s act isn’t just a great act, it’s pretty much legendary! Widely considered the greatest live performance of all time in fact!
Where do I even begin with Queen’s Live Aid set? First of all, the songs they performed. Can you get a better playlist then some of Queen’s biggest hits at the time? We get an abridged version of “Bohemian Rhapsody”, then we get “Radio Gaga”, “Hammer To Fall”, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, a trimmed down version of “We Will Rock You” and then to finish off, we get the most appropriate song of them all, “We Are The Champions”. Considering the impact their performance had on music and the world, they really WERE the champions. XD So already, Queen has an incredible set to perform for the audience at the concert, but that’s not the only thing they did that made it so legendary.
During Queen’s performance, we get it all! Freddie Mercury Freddie Mercurying his way through the show in a way only HE can do, sensational instrumental work from Brian May on the guitar, Roger Taylor on the drums and John Deacon on the bass, some great multi-tasking on Freddie’s behalf in which he begins playing on the piano, then gets up and sings, then plays a guitar of his own during “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, and then getting down on the piano again for “We Are The Champions”, audience participation as they sing along and even clap in unison during “Radio Gaga” and “We Will Rock You” and most of all, the fact that every single song is performed perfectly, LITERALLY perfectly! Queen couldn’t have performed their set any better than they did here if they tried! Everything about their performance is sensational from Freddie’s mesmerizing performance on stage to the interactions with the audience he has. One of the most memorable moments of Live Aid is the part where in-between “Radio Gaga” and “Hammer To Fall”, he gives off some incredible vocalizations to the crowd and gets them to repeat after him. Just hearing him yell “AYYYYYYYYOOOOOOO!” never fails to amaze me and hearing the audience join in is just too wonderful not to enjoy. He had those 72,000 people in the palm of his hand and really punched a hole in the sky that day with what he did.
And it really shows what an impact Queen’s Live Aid performance had after the concert was finished for Queen’s popularity skyrocketed after this, there are many news articles calling this the greatest live performance of all time, alongside calling it Queen’s finest hour and as you all know, they even recreated Queen’s unforgettable performance in Bohemian Rhapsody in which it served as the climax of the movie! And the movie’s recreation of Queen’s performance is just as incredible to watch as the real thing from the great cinematography to the uncanny duplication of Freddie’s movements on behalf of Rami Malek in which if you play the movie version and the real version side by side, Freddie and Rami actually go in sync with each other at certain parts. No really! XD
And yet Queen nearly ended up not being in Live Aid for they feared their involvement would be seen as political. Bob Geldof insisted it wasn’t and a good thing their minds were changed too, otherwise this incredible performance would never have happened.
Queen deserve to be crowned as the Queen of Live Aid with their performance. Sensational, brilliantly performed, full of incredible songs, utterly unforgettable and a prime example of Queen at their best, it is no wonder as to why Queen is the Number One Greatest Live Aid Performance. They were the champions that day and they rocked us all…
So that’s it for this countdown. I hope you enjoyed it and I’ve gotten you interested in one of music’s greatest moments in history. If not, I at least hope I’ve tempted you guys to check out some of these guy’s songs. Feel free to give your thoughts in the comments below. Thank you all for reading and let’s not forget what a time it was on July the 13th 1985 in which music ruled the world and so much money was raised for famine in Africa. This charity was for a noble cause and the impact it’s left on the world will never be forgotten.
Tune in next time as we pay tribute to Kazuki Takahashi by ranking all the arcs from the original Yu-Gi-Oh! anime from worst to best. See you then everyone.