The 40 Greatest Live Acts of All Time

As voted for by Absolute Radio listeners

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time
Author: Scott ColothanPublished 25th May 2020
Last updated 26th May 2020

Following thousands of votes over the past few weeks, music legends Queen have been crowned the Greatest Live Act of All Time by Absolute Radio listeners!

We’re all missing concerts and festivals right now because of these turbulent times we’re living through, so here at Absolute Radio we’ve been asking you to remember the glory days when we could all freely attend gigs and have your say on your favourite live act ever.

Held in association with the Teenage Cancer Trust, The Greatest Live Acts of All Time results were revealed by Danielle Perry during a three-hour Bank Holiday Monday special on Absolute Radio tonight (Monday 25th May) and it was a closely fought contest for the top spot.

Fronted by arguably the greatest showman of all time, the late-great Freddie Mercury, and blessed with phenomenal musicians in Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor, it’s little surprise that Queen have come in at number one.

Queen crowned Greatest Live Act

Queen’s performance at Live Aid has widely and rightfully been proclaimed as one of the greatest live performances ever, and over a 16-year period from 1970 to Freddie Mercury’s final tour in 1986, Queen were truly imperious in the live arena.

After a five-year collaboration with Paul Rodgers in the noughties, over the past decade Queen have been performing with the ever-flamboyant Adam Lambert, who is helping bring the band’s timeless anthems to a new generation of fans.

Queen’s Roger Taylor says of their win: “Wow that really is the most incredible news! An absolute honour to hear that Queen have been voted the best live act of all time. We’re thrilled. Thank you so much Absolute Radio listeners, it’s much appreciated. We really hope in all this horrible time that we are going to be performing for you next year. In the meantime, see you on the other side, and we look forward to that!”

Close behind Queen in second spot are rock titans Foo Fighters – a band who effortlessly consume vast stadia with their cavalcade of rock anthems, flawless musicianship and Dave Grohl’s mesmeric aura.

Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl

With his sprawling three-hour sets often nothing short of a religious experience, the boss himself Bruce Springsteen came in at number three ahead of Teignmouth purveyors of brilliantly bombastic rock and gloriously overblown stage shows, Muse.

Not too far behind in fifth spot at Irish music giants U2. A truly incredible live force, Bono, The Edge, Larry and Adam have been setting the benchmark for lavish stage productions for decades from the 165-foot-wide (50 m) LED screen and giant lemon on the PopMart Tour in 1997/8 to the giant structure dubbed The Claw on the epic U2 360° Tour from 2009 to 2011 – the second highest grossing concert tour ever.

Completing the Top 10 are five highly influential acts from different sides of the music spectrum; rock torchbearers The Rolling Stones, serial anthem makers Coldplay, rock-pop heroes Fleetwood Mac, the late-great Prince and hard-rock juggernauts AC/DC.

Check out the full Top 40 Greatest Live Acts as voted by Absolute Radio listeners below!

Teenage Cancer Trust

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time poll has been held in association with our good friends at Teenage Cancer Trust.

Cancer doesn’t stop for anything, and right now young people need Teenage Cancer Trust more than ever before.

Teenage Cancer Trust has always had incredible support from the music industry, and they were due to hold a sold-out week of comedy and music shows at the Royal Albert Hall in March, for the 20th year running. It was set to raise them over £1 million-but had to be cancelled because of the Coronavirus.

Teenage Cancer Trust

The charity faces the dilemma of a sharp drop in income- at exactly the time when young people with cancer are feeling more isolated than ever.

Teenage Cancer Trust relies on donations for all their work, but like many charities they’ve been impacted by cancelled fundraising events and their income this year could drop by as much as 50%. They've launched an emergency appeal so they can raise the £5m needed so they can maintain their frontline services in 2020.

If you can, please donate RIGHT HERE

The 40 Greatest Live Acts of All Time:

40) Kaiser Chiefs

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

39) Florence + The Machine

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

38) Mumford & Sons

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

37) James

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

36) Pearl Jam

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

35) Linkin Park

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

34) Aerosmith

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

33) Ed Sheeran

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

32) Arctic Monkeys

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

31) Red Hot Chili Peppers

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

30) Blondie

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

29) The Prodigy

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

28) Madness

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

27) Kasabian

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

26) Paul McCartney

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

25) Adele

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

24) Eagles

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

23) The Who

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

22) Biffy Clyro

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

21) Stereophonics

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

20) Green Day

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

19) Led Zeppelin

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

18) Radiohead

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

17) Guns N' Roses

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

16) Michael Jackson

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

15) Kate Bush

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

14) The Killers

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

13) Pink Floyd

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

12) Bon Jovi

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

11) Oasis

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

10) AC/DC

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

9) Prince

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

8) Fleetwood Mac

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

7) Coldplay

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

6) The Rolling Stones

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

5) U2

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

4) Muse

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

3) Bruce Springsteen

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

2) Foo Fighters

The Greatest Live Acts of All Time - as voted by Absolute Radio listeners.

1) Queen

Winners of Absolute Radio's Greatest Live Acts of All Time poll - the mighty Queen!

Check out the Absolute Radio presenters' favourite live acts ever, featuring some surprises, right here:

Absolute Radio presenters' favourite live acts

Listen to Absolute Radio on DAB nationwide, on our free app, by hitting that play button on the bottom of your screen, via your smart speaker (“Play Absolute Radio”) and on Freeview, Sky, and Virgin Media TV.

Absolute Radio

Always by Bon Jovi

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