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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Two US rock bands at their live best

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - The Live Anthology

When this was released in 2009 there was a bit of a gap to be filled in terms of a live album from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Earlier live release in 1986 Pack Up The Plantation Live! didn’t quite hit the mark and disappointed many. The Live Anthology more than compensated with its 48 songs on a four-disc box set. But of course, having lots of material isn’t always a positive move.

Much detailed research and time were invested, though, in going through available recordings and selecting the best tracks over the years for this collection. It spans the period from 1978 to 2007 and offers an amazing insight into the man and his band live on stage. There are plenty of extended versions, improvised solos, live jamming, and good old rock n roll to please fans and collectors. 

Wilco - Kicking Television: Live in Chicago

This live album from Wilco has an odd background. When you know that the concerts were also filmed for a DVD but not released you wonder why. Learning that the band didn’t like the footage and the way it didn’t reflect their strong energy on stage doesn’t help either. What would the record sound like? Well, there was more than enough great live music from their four shows in Chicago to fill a double album with 23 songs and a bonus track when released in 2005. 

The band is on fire here and has the crowd singing along noisily. It’s loud and brash at times. It’s full of the best of Wilco at that point in time, both in terms of the selected songs and the live performances. Let’s not worry about the DVD, the album rocks incredibly well without it.