No height is too high, no coal mine too deep, no ice continent too far away for some maniac not to have installed a PA and lighting system there at some point and blasted a few songs. The thing these concerts have in common is that they happened somewhere on planet Earth or at least in relative proximity to it. The #SummerMusicMadness continues, keep cool and enjoy this article…
1. Pink Floyd in the Pompeii amphitheater
The prog rockers Pink Floyd got a special opportunity, in 1971, to perform in a place that is more than 2,000 years old: the amphitheater in Pompeii, Italy. It was certainly gigantic, as you could see from the footage afterwards. However, it was, in a way, a four-day ghost concert without spectators. Only the band and crew saw what was happening. The recordings emerged in the concert film “Live at Pompeii”.
2. Power plant with Alexander Gerst on the ISS
Does it also count if there is only one fellow musician at a special event location? We think so in this case! Kraftwerk played at Stuttgart’s Schlossplatz in 2018 and switched live to their “fellow musician”, the astronaut Alexander Gerst, who was in orbit around the earth on board the International Space Station. It was an insane technical effort and feat. The five gentlemen played the song “Spacelab” – including the calculated latency. It took a while for the audience to realize what was happening. Gerst certainly had the most “hard to reach” location of all.
3. Queens Of The Stone Age – Journey To The Center Of The Earth
It’s the year 2007, Queen Of The Stone Age are performing at the bottom of a salt mine, 700 meters below Sondershausen. Wearing yellow hard hats and blue overalls, the 300 spectators witnessed a 70-minute show of amorphous emotions. Singer Josh Homme then joked that now they are “(…) officially the most underground rock band in the world.” Does the concert belong in the list of outdoor locations? Kinda yes, kinda no. Does not matter. The very idea was bizarre, with a stroke of genius.
4. Foo Fighters on a truck in Kansas
The Foo Fighters were in Kansas for a gig during their 2011 tour. Some members of the Westboro Baptist Church protested against the concert. Every religion in the world is bound to have a group of extremists… Logically enough, Dave Grohl and Co. didn’t want to accept this without a musical comment. They got a truck with a bed, heaved their gear on it and – disguised as red-neck truckers – played the Bee Gees cover of “You Should Be Dancing” and spreading the message of “love one another”.
5. Sex Pistols on the chartered boat
In July 1977, Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her silver jubilee. For the Sex Pistols as rebellious icons of punk rock, the gathering of the staid and aristocratic society was a godsend. Johnny Rotten and his band members rented a boat which, interestingly enough, was also called the “Queen Elizabeth”. Together with their invited guests from the music and art business, including the film crew, they sailed on the Thames. The punk rockers played their protest song “God Save The Queen” louder than ever. Until they were arrested by law enforcement after a chase with the river police.
6. Rod Stewart right on Copacabana
Summer, sun, beach feeling, Rod Stewart’s concert on the world-famous Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was a perfect match. With an estimated 4.2 million visitors, the concert landed directly in the Guinness Book of Records. However, many people were already gathered on the beach because of the traditional New Year’s Eve fireworks. How many of them really came because of Rod Stewart? One does not know.
7. Jean-Michel Jarre at the Pyramids of Giza
On New Year’s Eve 1999, Jean-Michel Jarre played a 31-song concert at the Pyramids of Giza. It was a gigantic millennium concert, where 120,000 fans greeted the new millennium together with the pioneer of electronic music. They experienced a fascinating light show in which sensational images were projected onto the pyramids steeped in history. In fact, it was a concert in front of an extraordinary backdrop in the kingdom of the pharaohs, but the pyramid show wasn’t his greatest performance.
8. Jean-Michel Jarre – Oxygene in Moscow
Two years earlier he played in Moscow in front of an estimated 3.5 million people. In 1997, on the occasion of the 850th anniversary of the city of Moscow, Jean-Michel Jarre was commissioned to give a spectacular citizens’ concert. The imposing architecture of Moscow State University served as the backdrop. The event was the largest outdoor concert in the world at the time. As a surprise, a direct live connection to the manned Mir space station was even broadcast directly from space.
9. Juanes in the Plaza de la Revolucion in Havana
In 2009, Latin pop star Juanes not only gathered numerous Latin pop stars on Revolution Square in the Cuban capital, Cuba, but also an incredible 1.15 million people who attended the gigantic event. Millions of other fans experienced the musical call for unity and peace across national borders on their televisions.
10. Boyz II Men on the Great Wall of China
In any case, the monumental Great Wall of China is high and long enough to host a spectacular outdoor concert. In 2004, the R&B stars of Boyz II Men delivered The Great Wall of China Concert, which also featured Alicia Keys, Cindy Lauper and other heroes. The organizations described the gig as the first concert by foreign musicians on the Wall. More than 5,000 Chinese fans held many handmade signs and screamed almost hysterically. Everything was well organized.
What do think?
Do you have spontaneous ideas in which crazy and bizarre places you would make music? Or which concert on our list particularly amazed you? We are looking forward to your comments!