This post is a long time in the making. I've made countless references to my favorite rock stars, whether blatantly calling them out for being incredible masters of their work, or for being dangerously talented. But, I haven't come out and say who I think is the cutest. This information may seem a little unnecessary, but it should be said. For us die hard music fans, looks are usually the last thing to come into play. I think what makes a celebrity, or a musician cute or good-looking is a combination of three things:
1. Attitude: Is this rock star owning his personality and music?
2. Presence: Can this rock star work a room of 50,000? Do they have the stage presence to send people into a frenzy with just a look or guitar solo?
3. Passion: Is this person enjoying what they do on stage? Do they live through the music.
Physical traits are sort of irrelevant. It's all about how invested they are.
10. Mark Hoppus / Tom DeLonge - Blink 182
Attitude: 6 / 7
Presence: 7 / 8
Passion: 7 / 5
Total: 20 / 20
I had to rate these two as a pair, because Blink 182 can't exist without both of them, in my opinion. Don't get me wrong I love Alkaline Trio and Matt Skiba, but I'm not sure the pairing will work out.
Anyway, these guys have fantastic chemistry on stage. What started out as childish and playful stage banter, moves and focus on fucking around became a stream-lined tight rock and roll show. I love the side projects of all three members, but nothing is as good as maximum Blink 182.
9. Adam Lazarra / Taking Back Sunday
Adam is known for his mic-swinging abilities on stage, but what really captivates me is his attitude. He makes sure you can understand every single word he says. And with lyrics as good as Taking Back Sunday's, that's understandable. He seems to smolder a bit on stage, and stalks around like some kind of rock and roll jungle cat. It's seriously cool. Even though TBS has had a few musical identity crises due to member changes and style experiments, he has remained the constant. That's why he's kicking off this list!
8. Alex Gaskarth / All Time Low
Alex is one of those musicians that you have to watch constantly, or they'll lose them. Seriously, he's always moving. Blink and he'll be gone. A constant showman Gaskarth leads All Time Low, an energetic pop-punk band infused with 20 something malaise.
He can really work up the crowd and is a genuine joy to watch.
7. Patrick Stump / Fall Out Boy
Patrick Stump's voice pretty much speaks for him on stage. Since most of the crowd control is delegated to bassist / lyricist Pete Wentz, all Stump has to do is kill the musicianship thing. Which he does, every time. Fall Out Boy has gotten better and better live over the years. They were my first concert, The Nintendo Fusion Tour. I think it was 2006?
Anyway. I saw them again in 2012, and then in 2015, this past summer. I also caught Patrick on his solo tour when he was supporting Soul Punk. Totally different performance than with FOB, but equally as compelling. Words can't describe how powerful and amazing his vocals are. You'll just have to see for yourself.
6. Carl Barat / Libertines - Dirty Pretty Things
You may not know Carl Barat, and that's a damn shame. He's the kind of rock star that oozes attitude. Even when he walks, it's just apparent. Total attitude all the time. Although sometimes things can get a bit shambolic on stage, especially with co-frontman Pete Doherty, Carl always seems to nail that rock and roll malaise. The ultra-cool concept of looking blissfully content on stage in front of a bunch of people is always welcome.
Brit-rock grit and hard work puts Carl so high on the list, because not once in his nearly two decade long career, did he stop hearing the music.
5. Brandon Flowers / The Killers
Brandon Flowers is a word man. Fond of story tellers like Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young, he brings that Americana feel to the glittery Vegas inspired world of The killers. What makes him such an enigmatic frontman is his balance. Never yelling or rowdy, always composed. Flowers is a new breed of rock star. He's tailored to the T, and constantly awestruck of his audience. Ever ernest and appreciative, he puts on marathon performances both with The Killers and solo.
His iconic stage moves characterize him as one of the greats. Sometimes less is more.
4. Pete Doherty / Babyshambles - Libertines
Okay, Pete Doherty is the epitome of effortless rock and roll cool. He's retro and fabulous. He takes pages from the books of Jagger and Richards. He's the modern day rock icon that people want to see. He's also painfully sensitive, intuitive, courageous, poetic and altruistic. Basically, he's a giant paradox. Much like myself, Doherty likes to play with elements of the profoundly ugly in his songs, sussing them out with playful melodies and sing-song lyric lines.
He's really cool because he actually cares about his fans, the bands he's in and the mythology that surrounds him. He's a modern day renaissance man, and romantic as ever, Doherty lives through his words. Even when things look like they're completely screwed up, he somehow fights through, and that's pretty damn cool.
If you want to see maximum Pete, check out the video for "F**K forever."
3. Gerard Way / My Chemical Romance
Gerard Way transforms when he hits the stage. It's like a switch is flipped, and every insecurity that he seems to have falls away. I identify with this. Gerard's home is the stage, and that's easy to see. I saw MCR a few times, thankfully, and on The Black Parade tour, he was playing this...character. The Patient.
It was the character that took us through the album, and he was magnificent. It was like watching a macabre piece of Broadway. Animated and surprising yet dark and gloomy in all the right ways. Not since Ziggy Stardust have I seen someone so invested in a character.
His voice, stage presence and unbridled passion for the words coming out captivates audiences. He is simple but effective, and creates an atmosphere for those watching. MCR was high energy, and now, as his solo tour draws to a close, I'm really sorry that I missed it.
Constantly reinventing, Gerard Way is always one to watch.
2. Brendon Urie / Panic! At The Disco
I've seen Panic! At The Disco in concert several times, and each time Brendon Urie got better and better. His voice is pretty much exactly what you hear on the records, except better. And his stage presence? Man. It's like watching a devistatingly handsome preacher hypnotize you. He commands crowds unlike any other, and I challenge anyone to match his energy.
He's insane. Backflips, flashy outfits and a whole lot of passion, Brendon Urie is a front-man that can not be stopped. No matter what gets in his way, he presses on. He's got the vibe of Freddy Mercury if he were struck with a lightning bolt.
1. Billie Joe Armstrong / Green Day
Billie Joe went from playing for 20 people at 924 Gilman Street, to 100,000 people at the Milton Keynes Bowl in the UK. His presence and flare for the stage remained just grand though. For those 20 people recall Billie being like the Beatles at Shay stadium. That sentence always inspired me. Play like there are millions watching you and you'll never disappoint. He's got passion for music that is visible in every breath he takes. He's a true rock and roll frontman. Fun and playful one minute, and painfully cool the next.
He's alternative's ultimate showman, and even along side rock greats like Paul McCartney and Bono, he still sticks out. Some people are just born to capture your attention and Billie is one of them.