Discover The Music Vault: A Massive YouTube Archive of 22,000 Live Concert Videos

Last sum­mer, we high­light­ed an almost unbe­liev­ably rich resource for music fans: the Music Vault, a Youtube archive of 22,000 live con­cert videos from a range of artists, span­ning about four decades into the present. In a time of soar­ing tick­et prices, the Music Vault allows us to catch a show at home for free, and to see bands we missed in their hey­day per­form on stages around the world. Last sum­mer, I wrote, “enjoy revis­it­ing the glo­ry days and rest assured, they aren’t going away any­time soon.” But I spoke too soon, as many Music Vault videos (there were only 13,000 then) began dis­ap­pear­ing, along with the nos­tal­gia and hip cur­ren­cy they offered. Well, now they’re back up and run­ning, and let’s hope it’s for good.

Unsurprisingly—given its asso­ci­a­tion with Wolf­gang’s Vault, a restora­tion and archive project that began with the col­lec­tion of leg­endary con­cert pro­mot­er Bill Gra­ham—the Music Vault’s store­house includes per­haps more Grate­ful Dead mate­r­i­al than any­thing else, like the near­ly six hour Win­ter­land con­cert above from 1978. Check out the intro inter­view with now Sen­a­tor, then come­di­an Al Franken, doing some polit­i­cal humor for radio sta­tion KSAN. (And see Franken do anoth­er Dead intro skit in 1980 at Radio City Music Hall here.) There’s so much Grate­ful Dead in fact, they get their own chan­nel. You’ll also find plen­ty more live clas­sic rock shows from Neil Young, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Van Mor­ri­son, the StonesJoe Cock­er, and more. (Check out this rare show from a pre-Van Halen Sam­my Hagar in 1978.)

If that’s not what you’re into, there’s also plen­ty of punk and new wave, like the clas­sic Talk­ing Heads per­for­mance of “Life Dur­ing Wartime” above at the Capi­tol The­atre from 1980 (see the com­plete con­cert here). You can also catch Iggy Pop in ’86, Blondie in ’79, the Ramones in ’78, Prince in ’82, or Green Day in ’94. You don’t get the cred from say­ing you were there, what­ev­er that’s worth, but you get the thrill of see­ing these artists in their prime, (almost) live and direct. Fan­cy more con­tem­po­rary fare? Check out the New Music Dis­cov­ery chan­nel with live per­for­mances from cur­rent acts, curat­ed by Daytrot­ter and Paste Mag­a­zine. Dig funk, soul, and reg­gae? They’ve got you cov­ered, with shows from Par­lia­ment-Funkadel­ic, Jim­my Cliff, Cur­tis May­field, and many more. See Bob Mar­ley and the Wail­ers do a stel­lar ren­di­tion of “No Woman, No Cry” at the Oak­land Audi­to­ri­um in 1979, below.

More of a jazz cat? No wor­ries, Music Vault has an exten­sive jazz chan­nel fea­tur­ing every­one from Miles Davis to Her­bie Han­cock to Tony Ben­net, and includ­ing new­er artists like vocal­ist Lizz Wright and trio The Bad Plus. (They’ve even got a sur­pris­ing per­for­mance from Orange is the New Black’s Lea DeLar­ia at the New­port Jazz Fes­ti­val in 2002.) The Music Vault also hosts clas­sic music doc­u­men­taries and inter­views, like the Rolling Stones 1976 Euro­pean Tour doc­u­men­tary below. (Oth­er high­lights include doc­u­men­tary Last Days at the Fill­more and a 1974 inter­view with Bill Gra­ham.) What­ev­er your thing is, you’ll prob­a­bly find a lit­tle bit, or a lot, of it in this enor­mous data­base of live con­cert film and video and oth­er fea­tures (though almost no pop, r&b, or hip-hop). If you don’t, check back lat­er. The Music Vault promis­es to add new “hand-curat­ed” con­cert videos dai­ly.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Grate­ful Dead’s Final Farewell Con­certs Now Stream­ing Online

10,173 Free Grate­ful Dead Con­cert Record­ings in the Inter­net Archive

What Was Your First Live Con­cert? We’ll Show You Ours, Share Yours.

The Clash Live in Tokyo, 1982: Watch the Com­plete Con­cert

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

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