I used to hate live versions of songs. Listening to a live rendition of a song- rife with audio imperfections and crowd noise- instead of the clean polish associated with the studio version of the same track was an unfathomable concept in my teen years. Once I got into punk rock and indie music, my prejudices began to melt away. Although I still prefer the crisp perfection that comes with a studio track, I go ga-ga for the visceral energy and wild improvisational digression of live music.
One band that thrives on their ability to play with sound in post-production is Austin, Texas' Spoon. One of the critical components of the band's success is how aptly they place sounds and instruments into the final mix of their songs. As a result, I never entertained the idea of listening to a live version of their songs- until today. "The mystery zone" has always been one of my favorite tracks from the band's album Transference, but I think the live rendition linked above might be better.