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Five for Friday: Five Contemporary Artists With Crazed Stage Antics

Great songs and a carefully crafted set list are musts for any memorable show. Yet an artist's stage presence – and related antics – remains equally crucial to a concert's vibe and energy. For this week's edition of Five for Friday, Music Direct looks at five of the wildest performers out there.

Le Butcherettes
Teri Gender Bender fronts this Los Angeles-by-way-of-Mexico garage-punk noisemakers that gleefully bend every rule. The group thrives on metaphors. Bender explains the band's name would be "Les Butcherettes" if it was meant to be grammatically correct, and that dropping the "s" represents a "mutilation representing the female issue." As for her stage antics, Bender used to throw raw meat around and defiantly stomp on it. Now, she stalks around with a savage look in her eyes, contorts her body into yoga-like shapes, and sports an apron often soaked in fake blood.

Cage the Elephant
Front man Matt Schultz may be the tamest performer on our list, but that's not an insult. A Cage the Elephant show isn't complete without Schultz diving into the crowd and sailing over a sea of hands for as long as he can. Older brother and fellow band member Brad said in a Rolling Stone interview that when the group first started out, Matt would have broken ribs, occasionally need stitches, and always push his limits for the sake of impressing onlookers.

The Flaming Lips
The Flaming Lips are entertainers in the truest sense of the word, a trait that becomes evident when they perform live. In addition to the liberal use of confetti, balloons, and other colorful visuals, front man Wayne Coyne connects with the audience in a literal manner. He often roams over the crowd in a giant hamster ball, a safer and more visually appealing form of crowd surfing (or rolling, if you will).

Iggy Pop
Iggy Pop remains the godfather of crazed stage antics. The singer primarily performs shirtless, inevitably showing off his scars from self-inflicted wounds – several (if not all) which occurred onstage. In his amphetamine-fueled heyday, Pop became known for cutting himself and rolling around in broken glass. The sinewy front man also rubbed raw meat, peanut butter, and other food products on himself during the Stooges' early days.

twenty one pilots
This popular duo doesn't waste time on simple stage dives. Instead, the Columbus, Ohio pair takes the age-old practice to the next level. Vocalist Tyler Joseph often incorporates backflips into the set when he isn't busy jumping around or running from corner to corner of the stage. Yet the band's best moments arrive when attendees hold up two makeshift platforms – sturdy enough to support drum kits – on which Joseph and drummer Josh Dun play dueling drum solos while being propped up by the audience.

July 1, 2016

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