Best of the Best: Vocalists

So, I had this idea to sort of break down a band by members and highlight my picks for the best of the best, and I think that the best place to start with that would be lead singers. There are multiple aspects that make a lead singer truly captivating, being how they sound, what liberties they take with their own songs, how they interact with the crowd and much more. I’ve been to many shows in the past six years and four of them were warped tour shows, so even more sets than shows. These five vocalists have held my attention and kept the energy going through their entire show each time I have seen them,

5. Oliver Baxxter of Broadside: I won’t lie, the first time that I saw Broadside I was a little disappointed. There was little crowd engagement and honestly little engagement with the music itself. Oli was sick that night and their guitarist at the time didn’t really seem to be with it either. So, when I found out they would be opening for Set It Off I decided that I would give them another chance and see if it was just a fluke show, which it was. Oli danced around and owned every moment on stage and had the entire crowd singing along and wondering what he would do next. His vocals were incredible and I am honestly so glad that I could see Broadside again and be able to experience how great they really are and how great Oli is as a frontman.


4. Bradley Walden of Emarosa: In 2015 I had tickets to see Blessthefall and Emarosa were set to open for them. I found out the night of the show, in the venue, that Emarosa had dropped the tour. I was absolutely crushed and then come 2016 when they played Warped tour, I missed them AGAIN. Then I finally got the chance to see them when they also opened for Set It Off and I can easily say it was worth the four-year wait. Bradley came out swinging and wasn’t slowing down anytime soon. Flipping his bassist…literally…and putting his guitarist on his shoulders to walk through the crowd was just the beginning of it. The banter with the crowd had people laughing and snapping back at him with huge smiles on their faces. There’s also absolutely no denying his vocals, if I could listen to him sing all day every day, I think I would cry.


3. Jeremy McKinnon of A Day To Remember: For being one of the founding bands in this scene of music, you have to be able to command a crowd and draw people in. This is something that seems absolutely effortless to Jeremy. Both times that I have seen these guys have been the most intense shows that I have EVER been to. The split-second Jeremy takes the mic in his hand the energy in the room soars through the roof. I didn’t realize all the bruises that I had from those shows until the next day and in the end, I didn’t even care. Jeremy doesn’t stop moving either, even when he’s playing acoustic he is swaying and moving around, he never seems bored or like he doesn’t know what his next move is. Throwing rolls of toilet paper and slapping massive beachballs into the crowds also seem to be his thing.

2. Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco: You all know who he is and have probably heard about his antics many times. He is one of the best out there, no doubt about it. Brendon Urie is the definition of a showman and having seen him in both a bar and an arena, the energy that he exudes and radiates doesn’t change a bit. It’s always filling the room and the hearts of everyone around him. You’re never bored watching him play or sing or dance or pretty much just exist. I am so thankful that I have had both opportunities to see him do his thing. You all also already know that his vocals are flawless and there are notes that that man can reach that I wouldn’t have a chance at hitting so, falsetto.

1. Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach: I don’t think he has a low energy setting if we’re being honest. The stage is his no matter the size or the position on the lineup, plus how many lead singers do you know that would make merchandise out of a meme that came from one of their songs? I’ll link that shirt for you down below. Plus are we going to talk about the vocal transition and musical transition along the way and how absolutely amazing all their music is? Adding to that, Jacoby has fronted Papa Roach for almost 30 years, talk about longevity. I will always say that Papa Roach is a great band and overall seem to have a pretty great grasp on how this industry seems to run itself. With his energy, the time he’s been singing, and how much the band has accomplished, I can say with ease that Jacoby Shaddix is my pick for best frontman out there right now.

Honorable Mentions (in no particular order):

  • Trenton Woodley of Hands Like Houses
  • Chris Motionless of Motionless In White
  • Brent Smith of Shinedown
  • David Boyd of New Politics
  • Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low
  • Caleb Shomo of Beartooth


I do understand that a band isn’t their lead singer. So I’ll be making sort of a series out of this with polls on my Instagram deciding which one to make next so stay tuned. Until next time…

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