Some bands are way better live than others. Those of us with some experience going to concerts will tell you that right away. If you’ve ever listened to a band play live and thought, “they are way better on their albums,” then you know exactly what I mean by this.

Likewise, there are some groups that are better live than they are in the studio. This might not necessarily be the precision of the music that’s played, but rather the energy that the group exudes when they’re on stage. If you’ve ever walked away from a concert after a group that you weren’t all that excited to see play has finished and gone and bought their music, then you’ve experienced this before. The group was so fun and energetic on stage that you suddenly loved them. You didn’t have these strong feelings before you saw them, but their stage presence completely changed how you thought about them.

These are the groups that are the most fun to see play live. These are the bands that make the festival experience that much better.

There are a number of jam bands that have earned a reputation for putting on amazing live shows. They might not be the best musicians in the world, but they know how to perform and work a crowd up. Groups like Phish, Rusted Root, and Dave Matthews Band all have carried on this tradition in recent years. They are performers in the same vein as the Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, and other great groups of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Although the style of music might be a bit different, the spirit of the music is the same. They are groups that thrive off of the crowds and give their best show after show. Seeing one of these groups play live is a breathtaking experience. It’s something that you will never forget.

Not Just Jam

Jam bands might have a lot of the spotlight when it comes to playing live, but this is a limited way of looking at music festivals. After all, rock music wasn’t really the original focus of music festivals—jazz was. There are a lot of groups and individuals that love playing live. While the impromptu nature of jazz and rock can make for an awesome festival experience, you are likely to find performers that prioritize playing live music in every single genre of music out there. Knowing which groups are best live will just help you to get the most out of your next concert experience—especially when there are multiple stages to choose from. This goes for every style of music you can think of. Whether it’s Country, Punk, or Classical, there are always some performers that are much better on the stage than they are in the studio. Hitting up these bands when they’re playing will make your next festival much more enjoyable.

If you’re not sure which bands perform best on stage, hit up their reviews. One of the great things about technology is that it makes the sharing of information like this a lot easier. You aren’t the first person to see this group play. Odds are, someone has posted their thoughts online. There are a lot of sites out there dedicated to music, especially live music. A quick Google search should help you find what you’re looking for.

Remember, you’re not the last person to see these bands play, either. When the festival is over, be sure to share your thoughts on the bands and the festival itself online. Your experiences will be helpful to others, just like other’s were to you.