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Best Live Bands of 2011

List Criteria: Vote on whether the band's should be considered the best live band of 2011

The best live bands of 2011 include mainstream rock icons like U2 and Foo Fighters, indie and Americana darlings like The Avett Brothers, over-the-top arena acts like Muse and straight up classic bands like The Pixies (really, if you haven't seen The Pixies live, you are doing yourself a great disservice). I've put together this list to recognize the great live bands of the year, though it's a tough order. I've seen almost all of the bands on the list this year, but I'm sure I've missed a lot of great live acts. What was your favorite live band in 2011? If you don't see it on this list, add it. Vote up the bands you thought were the absolute best, and vote down those you saw and hated. Hey, to each his own, right? Not everybody thinks Coldplay is the be-all, end-all of live music.

The bands on this list brought it in 2011, big time, putting on incredible live shows. Several of them hit up the big music festivals, like Coachella, Bonnaroo and SXSW. With concert ticket prices soaring in a hobbled economy, a music festival can be a great way to catch several live bands for one price. That being said, if you have a favorite live band, they'll get a shorter set (usually) at a festival - so go for the whole enchilada and see just them. Also, pay close attention to some of the opening acts for the mega-bands - some of them will go on to become headliners (case in point: I saw Muse and Kings of Leon open for U2 a few years ago and was blown away...now look at them!)

Live music fans, this is your chance to be heard: Add your favorite live acts to this list, so we'll all know who to see in 2012. And if you're a live music aficionado, definitely check out these lists of the greatest live bands/artists of all time and the best rock bands ever.

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Best Live Bands of 2011 Bands/Musicians
  • 8 ReRanks
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    most listed
    Rock music, Grunge, Post-grunge

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    Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock

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    Industrial metal, Gothic metal, Industrial music

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    Blues-rock, New Wave, Classic rock

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    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Folk music, Folk rock, Bluegrass

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    Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

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    Rock music, Jam band, Progressive rock

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    Alternative rock, Indie rock

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    Tropical rock, Western music, Pop music

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    Indie pop, Adult album alternative, Pop music

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    Hip hop music, Jazz rap, Jazz-funk

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    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Nu metal

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    Indie pop, Rock music, Alternative rock

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    Progressive metal, Rock music, Classical music

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    Indie pop, Emo, Alternative rock

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    Rock music, Alternative rock, Alternative country

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    Hip hop music, Electro hop, Electronic dance music

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    Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz fusion

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    STS9 - Sound Tribe Sector Nine

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    Folk music, Neofolk, Alternative country

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    Hip hop music, Horrorcore

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    Rock music, Contemporary Christian music, Christian rock

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    Emo, Post-rock, Punk rock

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    Doom metal, Stoner rock, Sludge metal

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    Alternative country, Gothabilly

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    Rock music, Psychedelic rock

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    Psychedelic folk, Folk music, Folk rock

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    Indie pop, Folk music, Folk rock

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    Mathcore, Emo, Experimental rock

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    Indie folk, Indie rock

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