The 7 Best Artists To See Live, Now

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Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

"If you're going to see anyone live," my parents once told me, "see Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Prince." They often talked about all the times they saw each of those artists perform, how each iteration of their show was more satisfying than the last. "True performers," they'd call them, and I absorbed that. Unfortunately, MJ and Prince passed before I had the opportunity to see the truth my parents spoke of. The silver lining, however, is YouTube exists, and there's a gamut of live videos to consume at our fingertips. Of course, nothing beats the real thing.

Though many of our "true performers" are gone or stopped touring a while ago, the space for new ones to occupy is opening. Concerts these days are bigger, bolder, and more expansive (and expensive) than ever.  While bombast can be used as a crutch to distract from a less-than-opportune vocal range, it doesn't detract from the experience. But we're not here to talk about just the visuals and effects. We're here to talk about those performers today who put on a show and do it damn well—from the singing to the special effects to the crowd they draw. They're the new guard of "true performers" we'll be telling our kids to see. So do yourself a favor and make it a point to see the following artists live now. It's your cultural duty.