1 January

Pick a Day

Music History Events: Unusual Performances

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November 20, 1992 L7 lead singer Donita Sparks takes off her knickers during the band's live performance of "Pretend We're Dead" on the British TV show The Word.More

June 21, 1982 The first "Fête de la Musique," a music festival also known as "World Music Day," is launched in Paris. Unlike corporate festivals, this one is about street music, and free to the public. The festival returns every June 21 and spreads throughout the world in various forms.

February 22, 1969 David Bowie begins a UK tour with T. Rex where he doesn't sing, but does a mime act.

May 3, 1968 The Beach Boys begin a United States tour with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who gives a lecture as the opening act. The tour is a flop, and some of the dates are canceled.

November 12, 1966 At Sokol Hall in San Francisco, the Grateful Dead play a show for the Hells Angels biker gang.

June 22, 2020 The day after Spain lifted a 3-month coronavirus lockdown, the Liceu opera in Barcelona opens its season with an unusual performance: Each of the 2,292 seats is occupied by a houseplant.More

May 14, 2020 Keith Urban becomes the first major artist to play a drive-in concert in America during the coronavirus pandemic, performing to an audience of health care workers at the Stardust Drive-In in Watertown, Tennessee.More

February 24, 2019 Queen, with Adam Lambert on vocals, open the Oscars with a medley of "We Will Rock You" and "We Are The Champions." The biopic Bohemian Rhapsody goes on to win four awards, more than any other film at the ceremony.

October 13, 2016 Jon Sudano posts a video on YouTube where he sings the lyrics to Smash Mouth's "All Star" over the music to John Lennon's "Imagine." It takes off, and he racks up millions of views with similar videos where he sings "All Star" over other famous songs, including "Y.M.C.A.," "Under the Bridge" and "Wonderwall."More

May 13, 2016 Tower of Power play a California prison with former lead singer Rick Stevens, who served 36 years for a 1976 drug-related triple homicide.

April 8, 2016 The Guns N' Roses reunion tour gets underway in Las Vegas. Axl Rose, who fractured his foot at a warm-up show, performs from the throne Dave Grohl used to play Foo Fighters shows when he was hobbled.More

January 25, 2016 Neil Young performs "Till the Morning Comes" live for the first time in his career while playing a private concert for French billionaire Édouard Carmignac. Young does the song as a medley with "Cripple Creek Ferry."

October 29, 2014 NPR posts T-Pain's Tiny Desk concert, where he sings three songs without Auto-Tune. Listeners are shocked to hear he can sing really well, and the video goes viral, becoming the most popular Tiny Desk concert in the history of the series.

August 26, 2014 Kate Bush, who hasn't toured since 1979, returns to the stage for a series of 22 shows at the Eventim Apollo in London. Titled Before The Dawn, it's an elaborate production with acting, a puppeteer, and an illusionist. The shows earn rave reviews and, the next week, eight of her albums return to the Top 40 of the UK albums chart.

April 26, 2013 X marks the spot for the Ohio-born Twenty One Pilots, who pledge their devotion to their hometown fans by getting "X" tattoos midway through a performance at the Lifestyles Community Pavilion in Columbus. Frontman Tyler Joseph tells the crowd: "This X is dedicated to you guys. Columbus, Ohio is where we're from and it will always be where we are from. Whenever someone asks what that X means, I am going to say this is for all of you."

November 13, 1999 Garth Brooks hosts Saturday Night Live and performs "Way Of The Girl" as his Australian rock star alter-ego, Chris Gaines.

July 13, 1999 In support of their acclaimed synth-infused album The Soft Bulletin, The Flaming Lips embark on a "headphones tour" that combines pre-recorded material, provided to the audience through customized headsets, with the live stage show.More

October 23, 1995 Def Leppard play shows on three different continents in the same day, starting in Tangier (Africa), then London (Europe), and finally Vancouver (North America). Each show is an acoustic set running 45 minutes; they take the Concorde to the last one, which gets them in Vancouver for a 9 p.m. performance.

August 29, 1994 During the Meat Puppets set opening for Stone Temple Pilots at the Beacon Theatre in New York City, the famous DJ Howard Stern joins them on stage to jam on "Lake of Fire."

July 31, 1992 While performing his song "Don Henley Must Die" at the Austin nightclub Hole In The Wall, the psychobilly singer Mojo Nixon is surprised when Henley, who happened to be in the neighborhood, climbs up on stage and joins him on the song. In doing so, Henley shows he's not as earnestly arrogant as he's depicted in the song (sample lyric: "Poet of despair! Pumped up with hot air!").

January 12, 1990 Bob Dylan plays the longest show of his career, performing 50 songs over four hours and 20 minutes at the club Toad's Place in New Haven, Connecticut. One of the songs in his set is "Dancing In The Dark," the only time Dylan covers a Bruce Springsteen song.

September 7, 1984 INXS play the first of two concerts in Guam, a small island in the Pacific that rarely draws major acts. The stop follows a three-month US tour and precedes their tour of Japan.

December 4, 1979 Fleetwood Mac fans at The Forum in Inglewood get a brassy surprise when the USC Trojan Marching Band is brought out to perform "Tusk." The USC band, which appears on the recording, makes four more appearances at Forum concerts with Fleetwood Mac over the next seven days.

December 7, 1968 The Grateful Dead play "Rosemary" at Bellarmine College in Louisville, Kentucky. Despite the song being one of the most popular among Deadheads, this is the only time the band plays it live.

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