Ten exceptional live albums from the 2000s

The popularity of live albums continued through the 2000s with many brilliantly capturing some amazing performances.
The Killers in concert
The Killers in concert / Tim Mosenfelder/GettyImages
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Live Rocking In Rio

Rush - Rush In Rio

When a band like Rush has released 11 live albums it’s not going to be easy to name their best one. Rush In Rio was their fifth live album when released in 2003. All, bar a couple of added bonus tracks, were taken from a single night in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil during their Vapor Trails tour. It’s a stunner of a live album. 

Rush was phenomenal live and this album reinforces that fact. It’s a great capture of a single night, the setlist in order, and the crowd enthusiastic and driving the band on. The three musicians responded superbly to that and delivered a great performance, probably their best on record.

Iron Maiden - Rock In Rio

What is it about the Brazilian capital that brings out the best in bands? Certainly several factors all combined perfectly here for this live album by Iron Maiden. The band had fresh energy after the return of lead singer Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith on guitar shortly beforehand. The recording was on the final night of their Brave New World tour and that also happened to be at the 2001 Rock In Rio festival in front of around 250,000 fans.

Like Rush, Iron Maiden aren’t short of live albums in their back catalogue but this one is well worth its place there. The band sounds amazingly good and is running on high energy throughout. Sometimes returning to a band can be a bad move all around. Dickinson has improved over the years and his vocals are superb here. This has Iron Maiden as good, if not better than ever, and listening to the album helps you recognize their status as a top live act.