My view is that music is intended to be listened to "live". Therefore, I tend to judge a band / singer's ability to reproduce faithfully their catalogue "live", taking into account stylistic variations / interpretations. (I'll include "live" performance recordings as "live" music although I know that some artists have improved / overdubbed their live output to some extent.) I've been very lucky to be able to attend hundreds of gigs down the years and the vast majority have been very good, some exceptional with only a few being truly disappointing. Right up at the top of the tree, for me, are Led Zep, early Sabbath, Yes and Rush as I've never been disappointed with either their live musical reproduction or their energy / audience interaction. I walked out of a Meatloaf gig. Where do you stand on live -v- studio? Who've you seen that were inspirational and who drove you to distraction?