The list below would be a good place to start. No two acts approach their shows in the same way. There are vocalists, synthesizers, drum machines, guitars, controllers and yes, some laptops. They perform solo, in duos and in bands. And electronic music's restless spirit means their records are often just starting point for their performances. In 2013 there were countless artists who messed with the meaning of live electronic music. Below are the 20 that you enjoyed the most.
There's a good reason Nicolas Jaar tops your live acts list for the third year running. It's the same reason that his RA Sessions video, recorded alongside Dave Harrington as DARKSIDE, has received over a quarter of a million views. And it's the same reason he enjoys one of the largest and most loyal fanbases of anyone on the scene. The guy has star power. When he got his breakthrough in 2009, Jaar immediately stood apart from his peers. His music was a loose take on house and techno that added a charismatic frontman to the equation. He knew how to move a dance floor, but did so unconventionally. In 2013, these things are no longer novel, but his continued artistic growth and magnetic presence has kept everyone coming back for more. This year that's meant an album from the DARKSIDE project, which put a psychedelic, guitar-driven spin on Jaar's sound. It was a departure for him, sure. But the accompanying live shows played with the same teasing sense of dance floor dynamics Jaar has built his name on. He started a new label, Other People, which took a magazine-style approach to releasing music and content, while a solo show at the Barbican in London saw him collaborate with the Joshua Light Show. All of these things are unique to Nicolas Jaar, and they're just a few of the reasons he's your number one live act of 2013.