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Lighter at concert

Picture this:

Fifty billion rainbows

And the sun is setting

And the moon is setting also

And you're there in a gazebo

And then God descends from heaven

And he gives you a million dollars

Take that feeling

And put it into a song
—Tobuscus, Dramatic Song

Hold those lighters high for these Moments of Awesome in the world of music.

See also Awesome Music.

Bands and artists with their own pages:

  • Everything made by thelonelyisland.
  • Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax, all on the one stage playing Diamond Head's "Am I Evil?", words can't describe the awesome... [1]
    • And now Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax AND Diamond Head. [2]
  • The Ramones' first British concert on July 4, 1976, the United States Bicentennial. Before the performance, the band hung out with fans including members of the Sex Pistols and The Clash. During their encounter, Clash bassist Paul Simonon explained that his band had not played a show yet because they felt they were not good enough. Johnny Ramone responded, "We stink. You don't have to be good, just get out there and play." And so Punk was well and truly born.
  • Ever head of the Nicholas Brothers? You should. They just might be the best dancers of the 20th century, but their best moment came up in the 1943 movie Stormy Weather, where they show up in the middle of a Cab Calloway number and proceed to do a dance number that would cause anyone to drop their jaw.
  • In June 2005, sextugenarian Knight of the Realm Sir Paul McCartney takes the stage at London's Hyde Park for the 'Live 8' charity event and plays... an awesomely near-apocalyptic version of the terminally Manson-linked Beatles metal freakout Helter Skelter.
  • The original 1985 Live Aid concert can be considered a Moment of Awesome for music. However, Phil Collins, love him or loathe him, takes the cake by flying on a Concorde jet to play in both the London and Philadelphia shows.
  • On an episode of Haromoni@, Hello! Project member Junjun won many hearts by stealing a banana that was supposed to be used as a prop and eating it. She did this other times, too. There's also the episode where Junjun cried after being able to successfully memorise the English names of 20 different types of cats.
    • There are also many other Hello! Project examples of Crowning Moment of Awesome. Half their live performances will make you go "Holy crap, that's awesome".
    • This. Just... this. Hagiwara Mai (the one on the far right who opens the song) is amazing for a 12 year old.
  • Alan Jackson had one of these at the 2000 Country Music Association Awards. The academy had invited legendary country singer George Jones to perform his Grammy-award winning song "Choices" during the show, but only an abridged version right before a commercial break. Outraged at what he perceived to be an act of disrespect against a traditional country music singer, Jackson stopped halfway during his own performance and begin playing "Choices" in protest. That takes balls. You can see it here.
    • Similar to what Elvis Costello did on Saturday Night Live, when he interrupted his band and told them to break into "Radio Radio", a song he was specifically told not to perform. Costello's whole career is a case of Beware the Nice Ones, not to mention multiple Moments of Awesome.
    • At the 1994 Grammy Awards, Frank Sinatra earned Lifetime Achievement. But when it looked like his speech might run long, the orchestra cut him off and the show went to commercial, much to the ire of all the stars in attendance, who wanted to hear what Ol' Blue Eyes had to say. While presenters mentioned the slight against the Chairman of the Board in passing, Billy Joel, up for nominations on his album "River of Dreams" and performing the title song, staged his own form of Moment of Awesome protest. When the pause in the middle of the song came up, he stopped the song... Then turned to the audience and checked his watch. "Valuable advertising time slipping away. Dollars...dollars...dollars." While the crowd roared its approval, he sat there for another fifteen dead seconds with the biggest shit-eating grin on his face before launching right back into the song, and there wasn't a thing the suits backstage could do about it.
    • The French rock band Les Wampas was invited into the national official TV news. At the end of it, they proceed to sing one of their tunes... and then changed to a new one, "Chirac en prison" (Chirac in jail), in order to protest against the lacking of judicial actions against the then actual president, Jacques Chirac, which was into many financial scandals. The commercials quickly came to shut them...
  • This troper is most definitely not a Limp Bizkit fan, but he has to give them major props for one thing: in the year 2000, when everybody and their dog was suing Napster for contributory copyright infringement, they instead embarked on a summer tour of free shows sponsored by the makers of the eponymous file-sharing software. Fred Durst, the band's frontman, even issued a scathing Take That to the entire rest of the industry:

 Fred Durst: "We could care less about the older generation's need to keep doing business as usual, we care more about what our fans want and our fans want music on the Internet."

  • Outside the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards, Kurt and his wife Courtney Love meet Axl Rose. Courtney asks "Axl, will you be the godfather of our child?" Axl, infuriated, screams to Kurt "You better tell your bitch to shut up or I'll take you to the pavement!" Kurt humiliated the macho Axl by simply turning to his wife and saying, in a sarcastic monotone, "Shut up, bitch." News of this confrontation helped ruin Axl Rose's career.
    • That same night where he told the producers he wanted to play "Rape Me" on stage, getting a nervous reaction, to say the least (everyone just assumed they'd play Smells Like Teen Spirit. When it's his time to perform, and after being told not to, he played the first line of "Rape Me" and then immediately cut into "Lithium", knowing that about fifty suits hit the floor as soon as he started.
    • Another great Nirvana moment, when on the UK show "Top of the Pops", they protested the shows forced use of prerecorded audio by Krist and Dave playing intentionally off track (including throwing the bass in the air in the middle of a verse) and Kurt's mocking Morrissey style vocals.
  • James Brown's performance in the 1964 concert documentary The T.A.M.I. Show. Easily the most electrifying moment of the show, and one of the greatest show-business performances ever caught on film. (This abbreviated clip gives you the tip of the iceberg -- at one point, he dances across the stage on one foot.) Unbelievably enough, Brown was only the second-to-last act on the bill, and the band that had to follow him -- a bunch of English youngsters called The Rolling Stones -- were terrified over the prospect of having to top his act.
    • Forty-one years later, British indie rockers Doves gave up a headlining slot at Scottish festival T In The Park to Brown rather than have to follow his performance. This troper is reliably informed that it was a wise decision.
    • James Brown singlehandedly saved the city of Boston. The night after Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, cities all over the country rioted. His concert performance at the Boston Garden was televised locally and then repeated, keeping people at home and calming the city's nerves.
  • The Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah. Some say that its debut performance moved King George II so much that he stood up in appreciation, and the rest of the audience followed suit. Since then, it became tradition that the audience stand in this section of the performance.
    • King George II was always a Handel fanboy, though. George brought Handel over from Germany, and many of Handel's greatest compositions were commissions from George, Water Music being the best-known.
  • Weird Al's interview of K-Fed.
    • It's kind of hard to say that's a Moment of Awesome; picking on K-Fed is too easy. For real awesomeness, look at his "interview" with Eminem, where he not only does the requisite editing to make him look insane, but at four minutes in, takes on his hypocrisy for advocating free speech and then denying Al permission to make a video parody of one of his songs.
  • Say what you will about Rap/Hip-Hop, you will be hard pressed to find a more electrifying live performance than LL Cool J doing an acoustic version of "Mama Said Knock You Out" on MTV. A performance made that much more legendary by MTV/Viacom's inexplicable decision to not to re-air LL's MTV Unplugged episode or include any of his stuff on any of the Unplugged compilations. Judge for yourself.
  • The 1963 Royal Variety Performance. The Beatles take to the stage to perform 'Twist and Shout'. Before they play, John Lennon addresses the primarily upper-class audience and informs them that this is an audience participation number:

 John Lennon: Would the people in the cheaper seats clap your hands? And the rest of you, if you'd just rattle your jewelry.

  • The Sex Pistols renting a barge and following Queen Elizabeth's Silver Jubilee parade while blasting "God Save the Queen" deified them in the minds of the Punk community. Even after the group utterly failed in the U.S. and fell apart, they are still remembered for having the cast-iron balls to actually do it.
    • There are some slight misconceptions in that statement, but I urge fellow tropers to read Jon Savage's magnificent history of English punk, "England's Dreaming", to get the real story. Savage was on the boat, which, to up the Moment of Awesome quotient of this moment, was called, yep, the Queen Elizabeth.
  • Jonathan Coulton: Thing A Week. One week, one song. For an entire year.
  • "The Call of Ktulu" as performed by Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.
    • And, from the same occasion, a tribute to Ennio Morricone...this is the Ecstasy of Gold.
      • Your Mileage May Vary. This troper finds that the singer going "eeeeeyyy" in the background is a poor substitute for the soaring soprano in the original.
        • While I do not deny the awesomeness of the entire S&M album/concert, their crowning moment has to be either Master of Puppets or One.
  • 8th July 2007 Metallica and Machine Head at Wembley, London. Machine Head's crowning mosh pit of awesome and thousands of fans singing along to the closing of The Memory Remains long after Metallica stopped playing it.
  • In a similar manner, Within Temptation's Black Symphony, accompanied by the Metropole Orchestra, the Pa'dam Choir, several guest artists, and Winston fucking Churchill.
  • Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé singing the theme song for Barcelona '92. Awesome of epic proportions, specially for the Barcelona citizens.
  • Finland got yet another crowning moment of awesome when it shipped the latex-clad monsterband Lordi to Athens to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest, an event at which Finland has never even placed in the top five before...and won the whole thing.
    • With the highest points scored by any entry ever (at the time, it's since been broken).
      • And immediately followed it up with breaking the world's record for the largest Kareoke performance of "Hard Rock Hallejuah"!
    • While we're on the subject of the ESC: Bosnia-Herzegovina's first appearance as an independent country on the contest. In 1993, smack in the middle of the war. The ovation for the artists went on for so long that they actually did not hear their clue. And then, later that night, the ovation when the telephone line to Sarajevo was established. Halfway between Moment of Awesome and Heartwarming Moments.
  • The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus. Early on in the show, The Who took the stage and played A Quick One, regarded as one of their best live performances ever, which is something for a band like The Who. They kicked so much ass that the Rolling Stones, whose show it actually was, ended up not releasing it until 1996 allegedly because The Who upstaged them so much. Yeah, the Stones aren't very lucky with that kind of thing.
  • Perhaps the guitarist with the most Moments of Awesome, Jimi Hendrix.
    • After simulating making love to his guitar during a psychedelic rendition of 'Wild Thing', he proceeded to pour lighter fluid on his precious instrument, light it on fire, and then smash it on stage.
    • Played lefty guitar on a RIGHT handed Strat! To be fair, he strung it backwards, then rotated it 180 degrees.
    • Brought the Wah-Wah pedal to mainstream (Two words: Voodoo Child).
    • Defied the authorities by allegedly making out with another man to get out of military service. That takes balls.
    • I'm not sure if this is true or not, but there's a story that says that Hendrix played a guitar with his teeth while it was on fire. That's some pretty bad-ass stuff!
  • Noel Gallagher of Oasis raised a giant noise about Jay-Z being invited to headline Glastonbury 2008, declaring that he "wasn't having hip-hop" at it. Jay-Z's response? He comes out with a guitar, singing "Wonderwall" off-key, and gets the entire crowd singing along before discarding it and going into "99 Problems". Take That, Mr. Purist!
    • I'd say that the fact that George Harrison at first found them "silly" and a "passing fad", and refused to speak to them, at the height of their arrogant, obnoxious, far from accurate "biggest band in the world" hype, counts as a Harrison Moment of Awesome. No, there should be no reason why George should speak to them, or why anyone should kiss up to them or deal with them or pay attention to them, much less a card-carying Beatle. no matter how "influenced" by them. As if they were the first, last or most influenced band to have a Beatles influence in the history of popular music.
  • The one-and-only Woodstock concert in 1969. Highlights include
  • The New York Philharmonic Orchestra's visit to North Korea in early 2008. Not only was it a move to strengthen USA-North Korea relations, but it allowed the usually heavily censored media free and unrestricted access to it. Included on the set list were the works of Gershwin, Wagner, and Bizet, as well as Aegukka (South Korea's national anthem) and The Star-Spangled Banner. The concert is especially amazing when you consider that since there was no peace treaty for the Korean War, the United States technically still at war with North Korea.
  • The story of Sepultura, the first big metal band to come from the third world. After suffering under a brutal dictatorship until 1985 this band rose from poverty and limited resources to become the symbol of Brazil's metal scene. Playing in their homeland to a roaring crowd makes for a huge Moment of Awesome.
  • French electronica group Daft Punk had worked their way into a bit of a spot in 2005 with the release of an album that didn't quite live up to their previous work. Some fans found the album, Human After All so bad, they claimed the duo was done. Daft Punk changed EVERYONE'S minds in 2006 with an appearance at the Coachella Music Festival, playing their first live show in 10 years, dressed in robot costumes, standing inside a glowing LCD pyramid, mixing and mashing up all their best songs from all their albums, awesomeing it up to the point that doubting fans found themselves loving even Human After All's songs in the live mixes. See foryourself!
  • That sound you're hearing is a crowd of thousands roaring an instrumental. Rush - YYZ.
  • I think this has to count: Funtwo and Joe Satriani rocking out on the same stage at the same time! For those of you a little less Youtube nerd inclined, Funtwo is the guitarist in the most viewed version of Canon Rock. If you don't know who Joe Satriani is, go and shoot yourself now (or look him up on Google, if you really must)
  • Rick Astley hijacking the 82nd Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and lip-snycing to Never Gonna Give You Up. Yes, the guy who performed the song in the first place effectively Rickrolled all of America.
  • Bob Marley performing live after having been shot.
    • And bringing together the leaders of the two main parties onstage as a gesture of goodwill in a period when Jamaica suffered severe political violence.
  • The Cure's "Robert Palmer Version" of "A Forest" at the 1981 Werchter Festival in Belgium. Performed only when the band was threatened with being booted off the stage if they didn't stop after the next song so Robert Palmer could play and thus played a nearly ten minute, extremely overlong and slower version of the song. You can practically hear Robert Palmer getting more and more annoyed with each additional minute The Cure are on stage.
  • Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton. "Stairway to Heaven." Need I say more?
    • Yes, seeing a drugged up Jimmy not being able to play is more sad than awesome...
    • Yes. Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughan, live, on stage, at the same time, in a 20 minute long encore. A special Moment of Awesome for this troper because he saw them a scant few weeks before Stevie died in a helicopter crash. I'm ok, just Sand in My Eyes.
  • Kobe Bryant, Michael Phelps, Tony Hawk and Alex Rodriguez covering Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock & Roll" for a Guitar Hero commercial. C'mon how could you not like that!!
  • Similarly Ernie Isley's breakthrough performance on The Isley Brothers 3 + 3 album. His guitar solos for the live cover of Machinegun/Ohio is legendary.
  • Living Colour, pretty much earned this for their SNL performance. That and the fact they were one of VERY few black rock bands at the time.
    • Their cover of American Skin, even with Vernon's guitar cutting out they still pulled off a very emotional moment. See for yourself.
  • When Garth Brooks won the 1996 American Music Award for Artist Of The Year (his third win in a row), he refused to accept it and left it on the podium. He stated that Hootie & The Blowfish should have won because they had sold more records and done more for music than he did that year.
  • Just watch the live version of Sigur Ros' Hoppipola on their live Heima DVD... The thing that makes it so Awesome is the whole crowd. From what I gathered, it's some kinda National Holyday and the band just plays there in a field for the benefit of everyone, no rock crowd headbanging (though you won't headbang much for a Sigur Ros concert), no fans screaming, just families in a field listening to music and having a nice time...
  • One person this troper probably would not have imagined having one, Donny Osmond, gets his for his transcendent dance performance in Weird Al's "White and Nerdy". Pop pop.
  • Queen's epic 1985 Live Aid performance of "Radio Ga Ga", where the crowd of 75,000 people clapped in unison to the song's chorus.
    • Also, Brian May playing the Queen version of "God Save the Queen" from the top of Buckinham Palace for the Queen's Golden Jubilee is one of those moments that will live on in Rock History!
    • While recording "The Show Must Go On", Brian believed that Freddie would have trouble doing the vocals, due to his failing health. Instead, Freddie drank a shot of vodka, said "I'll fucking do it, darling!", and nailed the vocals in one go.
  • Jennifer Hudson Showing what a REAL singer is when she sung the national anthem at the Super Bowl.
  • This Troper deems the return of blink-182 as the Crowning Moment of Awesome for the punk music genre.
  • So the Dead Kennedys were invited to the Bay Area Music Awards to perform California Uber Alles. Only, a few measures into the song, Jello Biafra shouts "hold it" and tells the audience that they've sold out now. They proceed to play an entirely new song, Pull My Strings, which is the single most sarcastic, angry and dead-on criticism of the entire music business ever written. Kick. Ass.
    • Here's the best part. At the beginning of the performance the band were wearing shirts with a big "S" on the front and neckties that hung down their backs. When they started playing Pull My Strings they pulled their neckties around to the front so that it now looked like they were wearing giant dollar symbols.
  • Your Mileage May Vary on this one, but let's say that many people consider Korn's Blind to be quite heavy and aggressive. If you're one of those, you have yet to see their live performance of the song on Woodstock '99. And try to survive those killer riffs.
  • The live version of Free Bird. Left until the second encore, added another 4 minutes of solo bringing it up to a seven minute solo, and started the "shouting 'FREEBIRD!' at concerts" meme that endures to this day.
  • 14 March, 2009: The Sound Relief concerts, held in Melboune and Sydney to raise money for victims of the Victorian Bushfires. In Melbourne, a crowd of over 80,000 (the largest paying crowd in Australian music history), including this troper, braved pouring rain to attend the event.
  • Aaron North, co-founder of Buddyhead Records and ex-member of Nine Inch Nails' live band, once attempted to "liberate" a guitar in the memorabilia section of a Hard Rock Cafe while playing a show with his old band, The Icarus Line.
  • Haydn's Die Schopfung starts with God creating light. Apparently they had to stop the first performance of it to wait for the spontaneous audience applause to die down. YouTube link - the Moment of Awesome starts at 5:00.
  • Michael Jackson's epic HBO concert during his Dangerous tour was quite possibly the high point of his career. And it was, in This Troper's opinion, one of the single best concerts in the history of mankind.
    • His Motown 25 performance of "Billie Jean" where he did his first moonwalk, the dance move that would come to define The Eighties.
      • The sparkly black sweater? From said performance? Belonged to his MOTHER.
    • Need proof that Michael Jackson's death was the most epic death to hit the music industry ever? Very shortly after his death, the sheer mass of downloads of his songs on iTunes made him dominate almost the ENTIRETY of the Top 40 songs. It also made MTV play music videos again.
  • Susan Boyle from Britains Got Talent 2009. When she walks into the stage she's making a complete fool out of herself. Every member of the audience treats her as a bad ugly joke. And then she starts to sing, and it's all magic!
    • The fact that she's extremly confident the entire time makes it that much more awesome too! It seems she knew what their first impression would be.
  • This is a double whammy. The YouTube Symphony Orchestra summit. Carnegie Hall sent out a global call to all musicians to audition to play in Carnegie Hall by posting a video performance of themselves playing on Youtube for the judges, and those chosen got to perform in Carnegie Hall itself, playing a CMusicOA composed specifically for the summit.
  • Pink's concert video of "Fingers", which she sings while doing a Cirque de Soleil act thirty feet above the concert stage. Has to be seen to be believed.
  • 16 street musicians, 10 countries and one Motown classic about standing together.
  • Keith Emerson's antics with organs are particularly known, but the father of This Troper recalls one performance where Emerson stabbed his knife between two keys of the organ, causing a dischord. After their set, the band walked away...leaving the organ still playing the dischord.
  • Around the time of The Resistance's release, Muse appeared on a Italian TV show and were asked to lip-sync to Uprising rather than perform it live. The band weren't happy about this, so they went on stage and mimed playing each other's instruments (Matt on drums, Chris on guitar/keyboard, Dom on bass/vocals). Even better after they finish: no-one in the room has realised and Dom is interviewed as if he is the singer. Could double as a CMOF.
    • When playing with playback during an Italian talk show, all the band members switched roles.
      • Iron Maiden pulled the musical musicians' chairs trick in the 80s, while promoting Somewhere In Time, on a Spanish talk show. They weren't asked back.
  • MTV generally doesn't get much love from music fans anymore, but their (very) short-lived MTV Ultimate Mash-Ups series managed to bring together artists from (somewhat) different genres to produce the likes of this performance, probably more well-known now than either of the parent songs.
    • Maybe Encore. Numb was already a massive hit for Linkin Park, whereas Encore wasn't really a big deal until the mix- which, by the way, was just one song on a full LP/Jay-Z mash-up album.
  • Linda Thompson gets one for going on a drunken rampage and smashing up a hotel room, and being informed by the manager that the Sex Pistols had been in the week before and hadn't been half as bad. Yes, that's right Britain's most notorious and anarchist punks outperformed by a folk-singing mother of four.
  • The music video for Fatboy Slim's Weapon of Choice is probably the best example of showcasing Christopher Walken's mad dancing skills. The song also gets bonus points for referencing Dune.
  • Louis Armstrong. In 1964 he took "Hello Dolly" to #1 on the charts, at the age of sixty-three. And in the process knocked the fucking BEATLES out of the top spot. And that's arguably the least impressive feat of his career.
  • Country artist George Strait was recently named ACM Artist of the Decade for the 2000s, shortly after getting his 57th number one country hit.
  • Dee Snider (of hair metal band Twisted Sister), Frank Zappa, and John Denver teaming up to defend heavy metal (and "explict music" in general) from the PMRC. The people on the PMRC's side did not seem to think that Dee Snider would be intelligent. But he put forth his case very eloquently and intelligently, and heavy metal lived to fight another day... though with the "parental advisory" stickers on the albums. But record sales still went up simply because of the stickers.
    • That's a very bare bones account of what happened. Dee Snider knew the board expected him to be dumb, rude, vulgar, etc. etc. So he met their expectation. Visually, anyway. He entered the hearing in last night's jeans and denim vest over whatever t shirt he had lying on the floor, half-assed smudged makeup and hair all a mess. He went up to the stand, and pulled out a piece of paper, folded about 27 times, unfolded it, flatening it out and eerything. He then proceded to blow them away with a very eloquent and thoughtful speech. Here is his recounting
    • It's even more of a Moment of Awesome for Denver, who everyone expected to be on the PMRC's side; his standing up for freedom of expression alongside artists whose music and lifestyles were pretty much his polar opposites was a huge shock. And when you consider that, out of the three artists involved, it was Denver who lost his recording contract for daring to go against the government and stand up against censorship...
  • Rob Halford of Judas Priest had his Moment of Awesome during the Painkiller Tour when he rode a motorcycle onto the stage, crashed into a drum riser and broke his nose, and proceeded to perform the full concert before seeking medical attention.
    • This troper saw Judas Priest at Sunmmerfest 2009. Ten minutes before Priest took the stage, the crowd was getting impatient and tired of listening to the same Aerosmith album they used as prerecorded music all day. Out of what this troper believes to be coincidence, they started playing Black Sabbath's "War Pigs." At least 5,000 people stopped restlessly calling for Judas Priest and started singing along.
      • It wasn't coincedence. They played that song before taking the stage when I saw them in September of '09. But still, the whole crowd sang along and you could find a lot of people "drumming" along in the crowd.
  • Aretha Franklin's career in general, but this moment stands out. Pavarotti was billed to perform "Nessun Dorma" during the 1998 Grammy Awards broadcast, but came down with a throat ailment and was advised by his doctors to give his voice a rest. Literally at the last minute, Aretha agreed to fill in for Pavarotti, and proceeded to bring down the house!
  • Ray Charles. The man's life is one 73-year-long crowning moment. After watching his brother die and going blind before the age of seven, he learned to play the piano, revolutionized the worlds of jazz, blues, soul, country, and gospel, beat a nasty heroin addict in the 60s, had "Georgia on My Mind" instated as the state's official song, won 17 Grammy awards over his career (five after his death), and did it all without seeing a single goddamn thing.
    • His meeting with Jamie Foxx during production of his bio-pic can also be considered a Crowning Moment; Jamie sits down with this master of soul in what would be for most the world's most nerve-racking jam session, and impresses him enough to declare on the spot that Foxx is perfect for the movie. Which he was, in every aspect (though that belongs in Moment of Awesome of films).
  • Chris Broderick. Observe.
  • Coheed And Cambria's song "The Final Cut" often gets stretched out to over 20 minutes live. On their Neverender DVD, a theremin is brought out on stage before the song, and during the ensuing jam, vocalist/guitarist Claudio Sanchez plays it like he normally would, but then he starts playing the damn thing WITH HIS HAIR.
  • At the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, Taylor Swift won the Best Female Video award and was interrupted halfway through her acceptance speech by rapper/career asshole Kanye West. Kanye said he would let her finish while insisting that Beyonce (who was also nominated in that category) should have won. Taylor never got to finish her speech, and Kanye was booted from the theater almost immediately afterwards. This sorry state of events led to two Moments of Awesome: whenever Kanye's name was mentioned the rest of the night, it was met with a violently negative reaction from the crowd, who seemed to finally grow tired of his antics; later on, Beyonce wound up winning Video Of The Year, and instead of giving an acceptance speech of her own, she showed a huge amount of class and brought Taylor Swift back out on stage to finish the speech Kanye interrupted.
    • It's also somewhat of a Moment of Awesome for Kanye West seeing how his ultimate talent is making an ass of himself, and there's not much more dirtbaggery you can do than that (although he'll think of another way to make an ass of himself).
    • Another arguable Moment of Awesome came from P!nk, who by all accounts had to be physically restrained to keep her from attempting to beat Kanye's face in.
    • Taylor just seems to have a way of bringing out Moments of Awesome in others. After a poor performance at the 2010 Grammys (followed by her winning a bunch of awards), her manager attempted to defend her by saying, "This is not American Idol. This is not a competition of getting up and seeing who can sing the highest note...It's not about that technically perfect performance." Needless to say, Kelly Clarkson was NOT amused. Just one more reason that Idol will never be able to outdo their initial performance.
  • Anna Nalick falls off a table in mid-song, and instead of acting awkward and embarrassed, she mannages to joke about it for two hilarious minutes, and THEN actually goes on to finish the song as though nothing had happened- and it was all captured on film! Also definitely a Crowning Moment of Funny for a very funny woman.
  • Elvis Presley had some of the greatest rock and roll songs, but his crowning moment probably came from his movie "Jailhouse Rock." If you haven't seen the title song performed in the movie, you should know it's probably the first music video ever. There's a reason he's called the King.
  • Roger Waters, bitter after years of being asked if he would ever play "The Wall" again, declares he would "when the real wall comes down". Germany pulls down the Berlin Wall, and how do they celebrate? Roger Waters organises an all-star cast to play "The Wall".
    • The year is 2010. Roger Waters is about to reach 67 years of age. How does he celebrate? He announces a brand-new tour of "The Wall." AND IT IS GOOD.
    • And for one night on this tour, David Gilmour and Nick Mason reunite with Waters, who says that he and Gilmour have gotten over their differences.
  • When The Clash was about to tour the United States, their manager wanted many punk bands to support them. The Clash refused and said they wanted their idol, R&B legend Bo Diddley. The Moment of Awesome came when Bo directly replied and was their opening act.
  • Modern blues player Joe Bonamassa. On his 2009 tour, he celebrated his 20 years as an artist. During that tour he not only filled out his dream arena, The Royal Albert Hall, but who walks up on the stage to play with him? His idol, Eric Clapton.
  • While he's written many excellent and witty pop songs in the past 20 years, Jarvis Cocker's Crowning Moment of Awesome is arguably when he interrupted Michael Jackson's performance of "Earth Song" at the 1996 BRIT Awards. Cocker took exception to Jackson portraying himself as a Christ-like figure. Here's the full performance, as context is key.
  • Linkin Park's cover of Nine Inch Nails's "Wish" is insanely good. Listen to all the fans clapping in time and it's just awe inspiring. No wonder Mike tells the crowd to sing along, adding "I don't give a shit if you have to sing it in German."
  • In December 2009, a grassroots campaign as a protest against talent show The X Factor asked people to buy "Killing in the Name" by Rage Against the Machine into the lucrative Christmas singles list number one... and succeeded, gaining rather wide support, including from a previous winner of X Factor. What makes it more awesome is that it got to #1 by downloads only (whereas its opponent had a physical release) and still it outsold the #2 song by fifty thousand copies.
  • What happens when Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and John Petrucci play Smoke On The Water? Minds get blown. See for yourself.
  • When the Red Hot Chili Peppers were trying to get Warner Bros. Records to pick up "Under the Bridge" as their next single, some executives came to see them play it in concert. Anthony Kiedis missed his cue to start singing the song, so the entire crowd did it for him. Kiedis was angry with himself for screwing up until the executives told him that when the whole crowd sings your song for you, that's your next single.
  • The year: 2002. The event: The 75th Academy Awards. The favorite to win the award for Best Original Song was U2 for the song "The Hands That Built America" from the Gangs of New York soundtrack. Everyone was so sure of their victory, one of the nominees didn't even bother attending. And the Oscar goes to... Eminem for his song "Lose Yourself" from the semi-autobiographical 8 Mile. He was the first rap artist to win an Oscar in that category and he spent the monumental night sleeping.
  • Tori Amos had always proved that she could rock like the men, but this performance of Cruel is definitely her Crowning Moment of Awesome. This is what some YouTube users had to say about the video:

 ProfessionalWidow83: Excuse me, but this makes me want to fight, fuck, and dance all at the same time.

byakuugan86: I want Tori to chain me up violently and play my body like a piano while she sings cruel in a deathly tone

OceanAnimus: Now that's how you scare an audience ^^

koolaidnhemlock: tori was ANGRY at this point in her life.. suffering makes for great art.

peacebiotch: I love Demon Tori. So much.

  • How did Snoop Dogg respond to Moral Guardians going all The New Rock and Roll on gangsta rap and publicly destroying hundreds of various rappers' CDs? By telling them that just because you destroyed them doesn't mean he (or the record label) didn't make money off the sale of them.
  • Both musical performances on the last episode of The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. First, Neil Young doing an acoustic version of Long May You Run. Then, the Grand Finale, Will Ferrell (dressed as the late Ronnie Van Zant of Lynyrd Skynyrd), his heavily pregnant wife (who gave birth hours after this performance) Viveca Paulin, BillyGibbons, Ben Harper, Beck, Conan O'Brien, and Max Weinberg and The Tonight Show Band performing "Free Bird". And you better believe Will broke out the cow bell.
    • Similarly awesome moments were found on two separate occasions on Conan's Late Night, where he grabbed his guitar and joined in with Bruce Springsteen and his band for performances of "Merry Christmas, Baby", and "Pay Me My Money Down".
  • This fan-made video for Dashboard Confessional's "Thick as Thieves." One long, unbroken chain of card tricks that was entered in a contest against dozens of standard "relationship" videos that took the song literally. And when the fan discovered that he'd gotten a single word of the lyrics wrong, he redid the whole thing. Kudos not only to him for thinking outside the box and having the balls to do it, but to Dashboard Confessional for showing that they too enjoy creativity.
    • On the subject of Dashboard Confessional, take their song Vindicated as an example. While an epic track on its own, the story behind it is also awesome. Chris was to write a song for the Spiderman 2 soundtrack. He wrote it, but then watched a screening of the movie, scrapped the previous song, then sat down and wrote Vindicated... in 15 minutes.
  • This performance by Owen Pallett of his song Lewis Takes Off His Shirt. While playing at a festival, Pallett's set is interrupted by a thunderstorm. He continues to play amidst lashing rain and howling gales, and despite lightning almost hitting the stage. The techies start to shut things down and tell Pallett to stop playing and leave the stage for his own safety. To which he responds, "LET ME FINISH THIS SONG!". Which he does, with style. Absolute astonishment and rapturous applause ensues.
  • How about Alice Cooper still doing his stuff at the age of sixty? Said stuff includes beating a woman, impaling a baby with a spike and hanging himself.
    • Rob Zombie and Alice Cooper singing a duet on "School's Out" at the end of May 21st, 2010's "Gruesome Twosome Tour" concert. To footage of freakin' DEVILMAN.
  • Perhaps the most obscure reference on this page, but Iranian musician Shahram Nazeri wrote a song in support of the protesters after Iran's controversial 2009 election while in New York and then returned to Iran, refused to disavow the song and was briefly arrested. The song contained lyrics such as (translated): "The soil of the homeland is in the hands of others, rise, my son and reclaim what is yours."
  • Back in the days when Jim Crow laws were the norm (but kinda-sorta on their way out) was the same time the Rat Pack was in their prime. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. were incredible draws for Las Vegas; when Sinatra announced that the Rat Pack would boycott any venue or hotel that wouldn't allow his friend Sammy on the premises, the resulting backlash desegregated Las Vegas practically overnight.
  • Ladies and gentlemen, Steven Tyler sings God Bless America at the 2010 Yankees/Red Sox opener. Listen to that powerful, emotional voice, and then consider what he's been through in the past year [though he did bring a lot of it on himself]. Then it pulls double duty as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
  • During the Evelyn Evelyn tour across Europe, Amanda Palmer's crew got stuck in a different country because of the Iceland vulcano. Instead of using her crew, she pulled two fans onto the stage to stay there throughout the show and play the theme from Clue on her keyboard, while she ran around the stage between the songs acting out the theatre parts by herself, "Tim Curry style". Because the show was supposed to be played together with Jason Webley (who couldn't make it either), Jason joined in over Skype, with his face on a laptop screen being held up next to Amanda throughout the entire gig. Oh, and the entire thing was broadcast live over the internet (she crowdsurfed her Mac so that her webcam could get a good shot of the stage), with Amanda constantly talking to her online fans and tweeting.
    • Not to mention that at the next gig, with Jason still stuck in America and with virtually everything organized via Twitter, Amanda and her fans managed to get instruments, props, and a giant screen onto which they projected Jason via Skype so that fans could see him better and so that the sound quality from his end would be close to Amanda's. Keep in mind that these gigs were international, saved/reorganized within hours of showtime, and all so that the fans could have an amazing time despite the insane circumstances.
      • Think about it; Jason Webley managed to sing along over a transatlantic Skype call. Which means Jason Webley managed to sing along and cope with a delay measured in seconds.
  • YMMV, but this acappella rendition of Flight of the Conchord's "The Humans Are Dead" manages to be even better than the original.
  • Listen to this live recording of Lindsay Buckingham's "Big Love". How many guitars do you think are being played there? No, just one. All Lindsay. Holy crap.
  • The live version of Fleetwood Mac's "Tusk" from "The Dance" concert DVD. The song is pretty decent and going along nicely and then the entire fucking USC Marching Band marches up on stage and plays the instrumental portion of the song. It is badass.
  • The Duke Ellington Orchestra's performance at the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival, specifically tenor saxophonist Paul Gonsalves' 27 blues choruses during "Diminduendo In Blue And Crescendo in Blue".
  • Mahalia Jackson's rendition of "The Lord's Prayer" at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival, as shown in the movie Jazz On a Summer's Day.
  • The 1997-1998 Season Finale of SNL, which had musical guest Puff Daddy (as he was known at the time) performing his new single "Come With Me", accompanied by Jimmy Page and a full orchestra.
  • OK Go, "Here It Goes Again". Three minutes of synchronized dancing. One take. Treadmills.
  • Perhaps not so much a Moment of Awesome for the band itself as for Adams, but: to celebrate Douglas Adams 's 42nd birthday, his friend and guitarist for Pink Floyd David Gilmour invited Adams to come onstage and play rhythm guitar for the songs "Brain Damage" and "Eclipse". And it was awesome.
  • Arcade Fire pulled off one of these recently. Their song "Wake Up" [which in and of itself is a Crowning Music of Awesome ] was used in advertisements for the 2010 Super Bowl, which naturally earned them a lot of royalties. Since one of the members of the band is Haitian, the group decided that they would donate every penny earned from the ads to relief efforts.
  • Lenny Kravitz is in a New Orleans restaurant. He hears some kids from an amateur church band playing one of his themes outside. He joins them in their singing.
  • Concert for George. Doubles as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
  • We shall overcome, or its Czech version Jednou budem dál. That's a song that moves history.
  • Sophie_Scholl of The White Rose resistance movement is said to have played Die Gedanken Sind Frei outside the prison walls holding her father who was arrested for speaking out against Hitler.
  • Marilyn Manson and Trent Reznor performing "The Beautiful People" and "Starfuckers.Inc" together!
  • They Might Be Giants performing "Birdhouse in Your Soul" with the Tonight Show Band back in 1990. Just hearing Doc Severinsen wailing on the trumpet during the instrumental part just adds so much to the song.
  • Sheffield, England, 1993. despite my 8 year old self's expectations to the contrary, One armed drummer Rick Allen plays "Rocket". Goosebumps is an understatement.
  • A mention must go to the jazz guitarist, Django Reinhardt, who, when he was 18, had the third and fourth fingers of his fretting hand paralysed in a fire. Doctors at the time told him he would never play guitar again. He went on to record some of the most profoundly affecting performances in the history of jazz, exhibiting unparalled virtuosity. Not bad for a fella playing all his solos with only two fingers on his left hand. Pure, undiluted AWESOME.
    • And for those who think that Jazz is just more old people music, keep in mind that THIS is the guitarist that inspired Tony Iommi to continue playing guitar after having the tips of two of his fingers cut off. This effectively means that Django was the inspiration towards the creation of Heavy Metal as we know it.
  • On January 18th 2009 just about a half a million people from around the US braved the freezing cold to gather on the National Mall in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Why? To rock out to people like Mary J. Blige, Beyonce, U2, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Renee Fleming, Stevie Wonder, Bon Jovi, Usher and just about everyone else ever, right along side Obama. Did I mention they were all introduced by the likes of Jamie Foxx, Tom Hanks and Samuel L. Jackson? Pure, undiluted awesome and then some.
  • In the 2003 Grammy awards ceremony, the very last person listed in the "In Memoriam" section was Joe Strummer -- and the reason he was last was because Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Dave Grohl, Steven Van Zandt and No Doubt then proceeded to RIP INTO a rendition of "London Calling" to pay him homage.
  • Melissa Etheridge, at the 2005 Grammys, managing to rock the HELL out of Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart" even though she was on chemo.
  • Primus and Buckethead at Ozzfest. Les Claypool, one of the most talented (and insane) bassists in the business, with Buckethead, one of the most talented (and likely THE most insane) guitarists. Not to mention the latter's epic intro.

 Les Claypool: Who's this geetar-playin' sons-a-bitch? It's a question common asked. On his head a bucket of chicken bones, on his face a plastic mask. Well he's the bastard son of a preacher man, on the town he left a stain. They made him live in a chicken house, to try and hide the shame. He was born in a coop, raised in a cage, children fear him, critics rage! He's half alive, he's half dead, folks just call him Buckethead!

  • DJ Scratch Bastard became a legend at this battle for scratching the Imperial Theme out of a completely different song.
  • The fact that Renard Queenston has fucktons of aliases likely counts.
  • Aaliyah was the first known artist to have a song go to the top of the charts based solely on airplay.
  • On December 2, 2010, after yet another set of rumors involving Britney Spears, this time from Star magazine (with input by her first husband for two days Jason Alexander (no, not that one), about her boyfriend allegedly physically abusing her and her keeping silent to the police on the matter, Britney personally makes five posts on her Twitter account. The first two for congratulating her fans for wishing her a happy 29th birthday, the next one announcing that the release date of her new album will be in March 2011, the fourth one to announce she will be enjoying a romantic vacation for the weekend, and the last one..., well, you can see it for yourself. Beware the Nice Ones, indeed.
  • The Monkees, a fictitious bubblegum pop band created for a TV show in The Sixties, a group often deliberate overlooked by the hipster Caustic Critics for having any influence or importance in popular music in spite of "bringing long hair into America's living rooms", is the first ever band to have a successful hit record in pop music using a synthesizer when Micky Dolenz uses a Moog modular synth on the track "Daily Nightly" (from the album Pisces, Aquarius, Capircorn And Jones, Ltd. and its promotional video. In 1967. Ahead of The Byrds, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who and other pop innovators. Ahead of even Wendy Carlos' "Switched-On-Bach" a year later. In fact, one story goes that John Lennon was up all night visiting Dolenz in California making space noises on Dolenz's Moog. The Beatles wouldn't use a Moog until 1969's Abbey Road. Micky Dolenz helped to usher in much of the next forty-something years of musical innovation on a slapstick teenybopper TV sitcom on NBC.
    • Actually, a synthesizer was used in Telstar, by The Tornados, in 1962. That song is also something of a Moment of Awesome, as it reached number 1 on the charts despite being an instrumental, and was recorded in an apartment (the mixing board was in the kitchen). There are even rumors (albeit not very credible ones) that the distortion in the song came from beaming the song to space and back.
      • At least a year before "Telstar", in January 1961, a synth (or an proto version of the same) was used in the Del Shannon song "Runaway", which reached number 1 in the Billboard Top 40 (U.S.) charts (the first American #1 to feature a synth or synth-like instrument) AND number 1 on the British charts (two months after it reached number 1 in the U.S.).
    • Oh yeah, and Jimi Hendrix opened up for them earlier that same year, when he was an unknown in America. So the Monkees had a hand in popularizing electronic music and heavy metal/hard rock.
  • The band Phish had a festival called Big Cypress on December 30th and 31st 1999. Some 85,000 people attended, making it the largest concert on Earth on the eve of the new millennium - a crowning moment in itself, given the other acts playing that night. The most impressive part, though, is that for the second set of their New Years Eve show, they played from midnight until dawn on New Years Day - seven and a half hours of music.
  • On a recent episode of Conan O'Brien, Zooey Deschanel singing the shit out of Screamin Jay Hawkins' "I Put A Spell On You". It's a safe bet everyone watching(yes, everyone) wanted to fuck her brains out after that.
  • Cee Lo Green in a turkey suit with Gwenyth Paltrow and the Muppets. Yes.
  • How could anyone not say anything about Green Day's 1994 Woodstock mud fight? One of the most awesome things I have ever seen in my entire (but short) life so far.
  • Back in the 1930s, stride piano players (think ragtime but more complex) in Harlem would frequently engage in "cutting contests", friendly competitions in which each would try to out-play the other. So in 1933, a typical three-way cutting contest took place between two renowned players- James P. Johnson and Fats Waller- and the relative newcomer 24-year-old Art Tatum. When it gets to be Tatum's turn, he plays an arrangement of Tea for Two... and both of the elite players are stunned. For his second turn, he breaks into a completely insane version of Tiger Rag at over 350 BPM that continues to ruin piano players' hopes and dreams even now.
    • I forgot to mention... Art Tatum was also blind.
  • No Bob Dylan? Not even his performance in Manchester in 1966, when the moment he came on stage someone shouted "Judas!", to which he just coldly responded "I don't believe you [...] you're a liar!", then turning to his band saying "play it fucking loud", as the first chords of "Like A Rolling Stone" roll out of the amps. Truly awesome.
  • The final chorus of Gay Pirates is a combination Crowning Moment of Awesome, Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, Crowning Music of Awesome and Tear Jerker.
  • Any time the Irish tune "Mason's Apron is played, expect sheer damn awesome. Here is The Chieftains playing it live as a solo for flutist Matt Molloy; at 1:55 you can see ROGER DALTREY sitting backstage looking bugeyed. Here is The Chieftains again, this time with Leahy, and the relevant part is at 2:40; the fiddler jumps back and forth between bowing and plucking the strings at a blinding speed.
  • Sabaton's song Metal Crue is full of Heavy Meta. So full of it that just about every other word of its lyrics is the name of a metal or rock band. And somehow all of it is put together in a way that actually avoids Word Salad Lyrics.
  • The 2010 Rally To Restore Sanity And/Or Fear, held by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, featured the combination of Cat Stevens and Ozzy Osbourne. Doubles as a Crowning Moment of Funny.
  • There's a youtube video of The Jesus Lizard performing "Seasick" in a small club, where about a minute into the song, vocalist David Yow gets hit in the head with a glass bottle thrown by an audience member. Naturally, he falls to the floor, then club security is conferred with and the glass is swept off the stage. For a lot of bands, this would likely cause a concert to be cut short, and understandably so. However, after managing to get back on his feet, Yow mockingly asks his attacker to try it again, and when no such thing happens, the band start the song over and complete the rest of the set.
  • Five Iron Frenzy played their last show ever, wanting to end on a high point and not rehash the same things over and over. Reese Roper's voice on their last song ever is a major Tear Jerker.
  • In the music video for Firework by Katy Perry, every main character gets one.
    • One teen boy gets one when he decides he's had enough of his father bullying his mother. He runs into the room and shoves his father against the wall.
  • Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters kicking a dude out of a concert for trying to start a fight.
  • In 1992, Duran Duran were considered all washed up. Their last album, 1990's Liberty, was a massive critical and commercial failure, they were having difficulties with figuring out songs for a new album, there was a lot of behind the scenes drama, and they were considered pretty much relegated to the '80s forever. Then in January 1993, they anonymously released a single to radio, which got lots and lots of positive feedback and airplay. That song? "Ordinary World", which introduces the band to a new decade and the new decade to the album commonly known as The Wedding Album. While it was only mildly well received by critics (it did a lot better with British critics than the narrowminded American ones), it went platinum worldwide and showed that they definitely weren't consigned forever to the past. (Then they completely messed things up in 2001 with the whole "reunion" crapola, but that's for another topic.)
  • The fact that Canadian folk rock stalwart Gordon Lightfoot is still going strong and touring even in his seventies, after many decades of hard living and a lot of medical complications, could be considered a Moment of Awesome.
  • The 2009 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame concert. John Fogerty playing with Bruce Springsteen, U2 playing with Patti Smith and Bruce, Crosby Stills & Nash playing with Bonnie Raitt, and toss in some occasional Mick Jagger and other rock royalty.
  • During a concert in London in 2010, Versailles guitarist Hizaki fell on the stage at the beginning of his solo. That's not awesome. What is awesome is how he continues playing as if nothing at all happened, barely missing a note.
  • Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon. While the album itself is most definitely awesome, special mention must be made to the fact that it remained on the bilboard charts for FIFTEEN YEARS, a feat replicated by no one else and which is most assuredly a crowning moment in its own right.
  • Disco Demolition Night. The first time a musical genre was ever declared dead. It started out as a joke, then became the epicenter of the rejection of the shallow, narcissistic, and manufactured values that disco music spawned. After that night, disco records stopped selling like hotcakes, and radio stations dropped disco in favor of rock music.
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