Concert recordings, or concert bootlegs, are the audience recordings of the live concert performances. Compared with the studio album recordings, a large number of people, especially the “jam band” fans, still prefer the concert recordings, for they can experience more from these live performances, like the atmosphere and energy that one can never get from the pre-recorded albums. Moreover, many music artists and bands like Bob Dylan and The Grateful Dead would perform their songs differently on their tours, and bootlegging their live performances allows the wider audience to experience these unique moments. The concert bootlegs used to be distributed through DVDs and CDs. Yet with the advent of the digital era, those bootlegs also went online. And I’ve rounded up in this post 11 high-quality bootleg-devoted places where you can download concert recordings for free. Let’s explore together!
YouTube is a promised land for people looking for all kinds of videos. And it should always be your first stop to look for any wanted concert because it serves up a wide selection of concert recordings, including audience recordings and TV broadcasts. Besides directly searching for your preferred content, you can also subscribe to some channels like ChesterCopperpot5, Metallica, and HDPinkFloyd to get new concert videos.
How to download: To download from YouTube, you’ll need a third-party video downloader. I’d recommend the freeware WonderFox HD Video Converter Factory. You can use it to download video/audio from YouTube and many other sites. Scroll down the page to see the detailed tutorial on how to download videos from YouTube.
Guitars101 is originally a forum community dedicated to guitar owners and enthusiasts, but it is now more of an active place to discuss bootlegs. It has a special section created for concert bootlegs, and under which are the five sub-forums, Lossless Audio Bootlegs, Lossy Audio Bootlegs, Video Bootlegs, Bootleg Requests, and Elvis Bootlegs, where you can find tons of bootleg treasures from big names to lesser-known artists. I will expose no more details but leave the surprise for you.
How to download: Search for your desired content and click on the post, and you should see the corresponding download links. Click on the links and follow the prompts to download the bootleg concerts.
T. U.B.E (the ultimate bootleg experience) is a personal blog created by EDGE, an administrator of the former Guitars101 site. As of writing this article, he has archived in this blog over fifteen thousand bootlegs, covering concerts of every genre, and the high level of curation - with bootlegs grouped into labels, makes exploration on this site a delight. It also links to other torrent bootleg sites, including DimeADozen and The Traders’ Den, where you can find more live concert downloads.
How to download: Click on the title of the post to redirect to Guitars101 that contains the download links. Then click on the links and follow the prompts to download the bootleg concerts.
DimeADozen (EZTorrent) is a torrent tracker for bootleg music. It has over fifty thousand torrents available now, ranging from rock to classical. You can find whatever you want on this site. But it needs registration to access those torrents. Plus, it also requires an SRE (share ratio enforcement) above 0.25 to join a torrent as a leecher (a person who can download the torrent files). You can read DIME’s wiki to get more information.
How to download: Click on the torrent title to download the torrent file, and then use a torrent client such as uTorrent or qTorrent to download files from the torrent.
The Traders' Den is a team of avid music collectors dedicated to the free trading of lossless unofficial musical audio and video recordings. Like DimeADozen, The Traders’ Den is a torrent site, and you need to register before browsing its content. And how it offers content on The Traders’ Den is similar to that of DimeADozen. But the content varies greatly. What you cannot find on DimeADozen, try your luck on this site.
How to download: Click on the post title to open the detailed torrent info page. Next, scroll down to find the attached torrent file and download it. Then use a torrent client to download files from the torrent.
BigO is a treasure trove of live music, a heaven-sent place to distribute all the latest and remote music bootlegs for free download. However, it is not that easy to navigate through the website as it is covered with irrelevant messages all over the place, and it needs a little extra effort to dig up your wanted concerts. But once you’ve found your answer, you can download it in no time. The highest quality you can get is MP3 320kbps.
How to download: Open your wanted content and click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s.
Tips: The tracks are separated. You can pick your wanted tracks to download instead of downloading the whole show.
Etree is another live concert torrent site. It deals exclusively with legally tradeable music, and all the recordings are from trade-friendly artists (who grant fans the privilege of freely trading some of their music). Hence it has a relatively smaller library of concert recordings. But you can find quality live concert from Dave Matthews, Grateful Dead, and Phish.
How to download: Click on the DL icon next to the file you want to download to save the torrent file. Then use a torrent client such as uTorrent or qTorrent to download files from the torrent.
Internet Archive is your go-to site for thousands of live audio recordings from various artists, though few of them are superstars. It has the most complete recordings of the Grateful Dead, along with many hard-to-find rarities waiting to be explored. You are always to find some hidden gems here on this site.
How to download: On the right side of the page, find the DOWNLOAD OPTIONS. Click SHOW ALL and save any file you like.
Doom and Gloom from the Tomb - A selection of awesome bootlegs + other music.
A Thousand Highways - If you’re into Bob Dylan, here is the compilation of Bob Dylan's best unreleased recordings.
NYCTaper - It offers free live music recordings on the New York club scene. You won’t find many famous figures here.
If you want to download videos from YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, etc., here is the freeware WonderFox Free HD Video Converter Factory to do this kind of work. It can download embedded videos from 300+ sites through only a valid URL. I’ll illustrate to you how to use it to download concerts from YouTube in simple steps:
1. Copy the URL of the concert video you want to download. It could be a URL of a single video or a playlist.
2. Launch Free HD Video Converter Factory and open the Downloader. Click on + New Download and paste and analyze the URL in the downloader.
3. Wait for the URL to be processed. Then select your preferred video specs (format, resolution, and size) and click OK.
4. Click Download All to start the downloading. Your concert video will be ready in minutes.
Since the last seventies, bootleg concerts have captured many great performances that would have otherwise been lost. And thanks to the fast-developing Internet, you can find and download those recordings from the before-mentioned sites for free. And that’s all for concert recordings download. Hope you’ll find this article helpful. Thanks for reading!