Hip hop heavyweights Kanye West and Jay Z give a better live show than Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, a psychedelic set from Tame Impala trumps that of Skrillex and Sigur Ros, while The Boss lives up to his title – all discoveries made in a new poll that ranks the world’s best live acts.

Following the backlash over their controversial Boston Bomber cover, Rolling Stone are set to stoke discussion of a more musical kind with a new list of the Top 50 Best Live Bands operating today, as voted by a selection of music industry figures, bands, and writers.

According to the Rolling Stone poll, there are two Australian artists that are not only the best Aussie concert experience in the world today, but among the best – period. Along with his long-running musical partners of 30+ years The Bad Seeds, Nick Cave comes in at #27, falling just behind American touring institutions like Dave Matthews Band and Phish.

The forthcoming BIGSOUND keynote speaker is heralded by Rolling Stone as the “dark lord of psycho-sexual rock ritual,” while praising “gut-bucket violinist” Warren Ellis and murder ballad ‘Stagger Lee’ as highlights of the Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds live show, which draws on “one of post-punk’s great catalogs,” including the band’s first ever #1 album Push The Sky AwayTame Impala places higher than dubstep overlord Skrillex… well as well-honed live acts such as Tool, Sigur Rós, and Green Day.

Meanwhile, Kevin Parker and his Perth cohorts in Tame Impala came in at #41 on the list and though tailgating the Top 50, their ‘trippy’ live show – trumpeted by Rolling Stone as “expansive and transporting” – places higher than dubstep overlord Skrillex (at #42), pop star spectacles (Janelle Monáe at #44, Lady Gaga at #45 and Taylor Swift at #49), as well as well-honed live acts such as Tool, Sigur Rós, and Green Day.

Australians will next get a taste of Tame Impala’s live show as part of the lineup for next year’s Big Day Out, while fans looking forward to the one-day touring festival’s 2014 edition will also be happy to see that co-headliners Arcade Fire placed at #4 on Rolling Stone‘s Top 50 poll, while Pearl Jam landed at #23 (but no love for Britpop icons Blur).

Topping the pole position – beating out the likes of The Rolling Stones, Prince, and Radiohead – is Bruce Springsteen & The E Sreet Band, which would come as little surprise for those that turned out to see the three-hour marathon sets from The Boss’ Australian Tour earlier in the year. The Frontier Touring-presented leg was one of the biggest Australian tours of the year, raking in grosses of $25 million, while the Aussie leg of the Wrecking Ball tour – which included two outdoor concerts at Hanging Rock – also recently claimed a Helpmann Award.

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Other bands bound for an Australian tour that make the list are the ever-bombastic Muse, landing at #29, who will be bringing their sci-fi sized arena show – pegged as their biggest yet – Down Under in November and December. In the country at the same time and ranking three spots higher at #26 is songwriting legend and poet Leonard Cohen, who recently announced an extensive headline tour as well as A Day On The Green appearances.

Others on the Rolling Stone list that are rumoured for a forthcoming Australian tour include legendary live hip hop crew (and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon house band) The Roots, sitting at #19, who are rumoured for the newly-expanded Falls Festival, the reunited Nine Inch Nails, at #17, whose ‘minimal’ new live show may have been snagged by Soundwave according to industry tattle; lastly, Queens Of The Stone Age, at #38, with ringleader Josh Homme talking up plans for a headline tour in 2014.

50 Greatest Live Acts Right Now

According to Rolling Stone

1. Bruce Springsteen
2. Prince
3. The Rolling Stones
4. Arcade Fire
5. Neil Young
6. Jay Z
7. Radiohead
8. Jack White
9. Rage Against The Machine
10. My Morning Jacket
11. U2
12. Wilco
13. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
14. The Black Keys
15. Paul McCartney
16. Alabama Shakes
17. Nine Inch Nails
18. Metallica
19. The Roots
20. Kanye West
21. Red Hot Chili Peppers
22. Tom Waits
23. Pearl Jam
24. Dave Matthews Band
25. Phish
26. Leonard Cohen
27. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
28. Patti Smith
29. Muse
30. Madonna
31. David Byrne
32. Sleigh Bells
33. Beyonce
34. Foo Fighters
35. Bruno Mars
36. Florence and the Machine
37. The National
38. Queens of the Stone Age
39. Rush
40. Eric Church
41. Tame Impala
42. Skrillex
43. Mumford & Sons
44. Janelle Monáe
45. Lady Gaga
46. Tool
47. Sigur Rós
48. Green Day
49. Taylor Swift
50. Fiona Apple

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