We don't know about you, but around here, September brings to mind tours and massive live shows — probably because it's the only month where summer and fall, the two biggest rock touring seasons, collide.
So, as our thoughts turn to the gigs we've reported on, witnessed and celebrated this year, we thought we'd get our readers — as in, you guys! — involved as we attempt to pinpoint rock's greatest live band or artist!
Welcome to Guitar World's official readers poll for September (It's the first readers poll we've conducted since November 2013, all you poll haters out there), the Battle of the Greatest Live Bands. It kicked off Wednesday, September 3.
Although we (obviously) had thousands of artists and/or bands to choose from, we decided to narrow things down to a mere 32 names, which is perfect for a month's worth of intense — and fun (it's supposed to be fun, people!) matchups. All the artists were carefully selected by Guitar World's entire editorial staff.
Most importantly, note that this poll involves ONLY still-existing bands, so you won't get to watch the Doors duke it out with Led Zeppelin! Pantera will not go head to head with Cream. The Jimi Hendrix Experience will not compete with ... you get the idea.
Here are our 32 artists, in alphabetical order, and you can check also out the entire bracket of matchups at the end of this page.
AC/DC, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, the Allman Brothers Band, Black Sabbath, Dillinger Escape Plan, Eagles, Foo Fighters, Guns N’ Roses, Iron Maiden, Jack White, Kiss, Korn, Metallica, Muse, Nine Inch Nails, Paul McCartney, Pearl Jam, Phish, Queen, Radiohead, Rammstein, Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Rolling Stones, Rush, Slayer, Slipknot, Soundgarden, Tool, U2, Van Halen and ZZ Top.
Today's Matchup: Voting Closed!
RUSH (63.76 percent) destroyed BLACK SABBATH (36.24 percent). Thanks for voting!
Let's Go to the Video!
QUEEN (54.83 percent) edged out ZZ TOP (45.17 percent). Thanks for voting! Head HERE to see every matchup so far. Tell your friends so that they, too, can see every matchup so far!
Behold the Latest Bracket
Live Bands Bracket (opens in new tab)
How the Bracket Was Compiled
Here's how the bracket was — very unscientifically — compiled.
We drew the artists' names out of a hat (It was, in fact, a Quebec Nordiques baseball-style cap) to help us create our bracket, which is available for your viewing pleasure below. Obviously, none of these of bands are ranked or come from a previously compiled list, so we chose purely random matchups to have as little impact as possible on the final outcome. We're actually pretty pleased with the way the bracket turned out!
Remember that, as with any poll, genre might occasionally clash against genre, so you'll just need to decide which artist has (or has had) the most to offer within his/their genre, perhaps which one has or had more natural talent or technical skill, which one had the biggest influence on other live acts, etc.
As always, you can vote only once per matchup (once per device, that is), and we'll be posting match-ups pretty much every day of the month, sometimes more than once per day, just to give you an early warning!