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"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:

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  • Since the start of the Billboard magazine pop music charts in 1940, more than 1,500 different songs have rotated in and out of the No. 1 spot. In the 75-plus year history of the chart, two of those chart-toppers songs changed the very direction of music as we know it:
    • July 8, 1955: "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley and His Comets. Writer Fred Bronson remarked in his book "The Billboard Book of No. 1 Hits" that the average reader of the day might have shrugged upon reading the chart news in that week's issue, and then turned elsewhere in the magazine for what they might have considered more newsworthy. But the fact was, it was the first rock and roll song to top the Billboard charts, had an extended run (eight weeks) at No. 1, was considered by many to be an anthem for rebellious youth of the 1950s... and was widely considered to be the song that more than any other, brought rock and roll into mainstream culture around the world.
    • February 4, 1964: "I Want to Hold Your Hand" by The Beatles. The fact that the artist they knocked out of No. 1 — Bobby Vinton, whose vocal pop style was as different as the British rock style of the Fab Four — would remain popular is awesome in and of itself, but it also laid to rest for good the vocal music era that was in reality still popular. But that said, the song's rise to No. 1 — nothing sounded as different on the radio than this song — would fundamentally change the style of popular music, plus herald (or reinforce) a cultural and social change in America. The song also heralded a little event called the British Invasion, a cultural phenomenon of the mid-1960s wherein rock and pop music acts from the United Kingdom became massively popular in the United States. Apart from existing Motown acts, few pre-1964 popular music acts would see their careers survive. More than 50 years later, "... Hand" is still hailed as a landmark in popular music.
      • Put in further perspective: Prior to "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and the British Invasion, just four songs by British artists – "Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart" by Vera Lynn (nine weeks in 1952); "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" by Laurie London in 1958; and the instrumentals "Stranger on the Shore" by Acker Bilk and "Telstar" by the Tornados, both in 1962 – topped the chart. There had been occassional hits from the UK that gained mainstream popularity in the United States, but the proverbial floodgates opened when the Beatles and other acts, such as The Rolling Stones became hugely popular. In 1964 alone, nine songs by British artists reached No. 1 (out of that year's 24 songs that topped the Billboard Hot 100), more than twice the number of songs from the UK that had topped the chart in the previous 23-year history of the Billboard pop chart. By the end of the 1960s, 39 songs from Great Britain had gone No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, with nearly half (18) by the Fab Four (with The Rolling Stones the next closest at five).
  • Florida Georgia Line – a duo consisting of Brian Kelley (of Ormond Beach, Florida) and Tyler Hubbard (of Monroe, Georgia) – in August 2013 had their song "Cruise" become the all-time No. 1 song to top the Billboard magazine Hot Country Songs chart, logging an incredible 24 weeks at No. 1, the last 19 of those consecutive weeks, dropping from No. 1 and below the top 25, but never falling completely off the charts before beginning its unprecedented run. Here's how things came down:
    • Just before the run of "Cruise" appeared finished in late March, the Remixed Up version featuring Nelly was released to pop radio and gained huge popularity; the remix reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and remained at or near its peak position for several weeks. On the Hot Country Songs chart, "Cruise" rebounded from a low 30s position to quickly re-enter the top 10 and reclaim No. 1 in late April. The relatively new medium of streaming also helps the song's popularity.
    • By the end of May, the song matched parity with Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"note . At this point, unlike many long-running No. 1 songs in other genres and in years past (when a 10-plus-week No. 1 has likely plateaued in popularity and showing signs of its run coming to an end) "Cruise" is actually gaining steam.
    • After overtopping Buck Owens' standard of 16 weeks — at this point, "Cruise" is still gaining in popularity — the other standards fell, one by one: Leroy VanDyke's "Walk On By" (19 weeks in late 1961 and early 1962), then 20 weeks by Ray Price's "Crazy Arms" in 1956, and finally, 21 weeks (three way tie, last held by Webb Pierce in 1955 with "In the Jailhouse Now"). The song's 24-week No. 1 run was capped off with "Cruise" remaining in the top 10 for 3 months after finally falling from No. 1.
    • Since "Cruise", several songs have come close to achieving parity with the cool cowabunga dudes from the southeastern United States, but it took just four years for a hip-hop/R&B-infused ditty called "Body Like a Back Road" by Cedartown, Georgia-native Sam Hunt to achieve parity with a 24-week run atop the Hot Country Songs chart, with 34 weeks in 2017. It would then take just a year for the next longevity standard to be set, and it was Florida Georgia Line who was part of it. Guest vocaling with pop singer Bebe Rexha, the heartbreak ballad "Meant To Be" would go on to shatter the record for most weeks at No. 1 with 50, just two weeks shy of one full year at No. 1 and 56 weeks after "Body Like a Back Road" fell from No. 1.
    • To put into the full perspective, there was 2-1/2 years between Arnold (spring 1948, when his "I'll Hold You In My Heart" spent its 21st and final week at No. 1) and Snow's "I'm Movin' On" (its 21st week at No. 1 in January 1951); and then 4-1/2 years between "I'm Movin' On" and Pierce's "In the Jailhouse Now" (its 21st week at No. 1 in July 1955. Those records held Billlboard's longevity standard for just over 58 years before "Cruise" set the record for most weeks at No. 1 ... and then FGL's be surpassed twice in the next 5-1/2 years.
  • Sonny James, a Hackleburg, Alabama, native who became known to a generation of country music fans as "The Southern Gentleman," once had 16 consecutive No. 1 songs in as many single releases without a miss on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. The string began in the spring of 1967 with his ballad "Need You," and for 4½ years, James couldn't miss; remakes of pop hits and standardsnote  would become huge country hits and spend three, four and five weeks at a time atop the country chart. The 16th and final No. 1 hit was 1971's "Here Comes Honey Again." Then, finally in the spring of 1972, the song "Only Love Can Break a Heart" broke the string, stopping at No. 2 and staying there for three weeks, held out by Capitol Records labelmate Freddie Hart's "My Hang-Up Is You".
    • James' record seemed secure for many years, as the most any artist ever had in a row for the rest of the 1970s and into the early 1980s was 10 (by Ronnie Milsap). At about the same time Milsap missed with a potential 11th-straight No. 1 note , a band not far from James' hometown – Fort Payne-based Alabama – had amassed an impressive string of about eight straight No. 1 hits without a miss. But Alabama wasn't stopping ... they, like James in the late 1960s and early 1970s – were an act that couldn't miss, and in the spring of 1985, they finally achieved parity with James' string with a ballad "There's No Way." That was No. 16 ... and there would be a 17th, with their tribute to the working man, "40 Hour Week (For a Livin')." Alabama would go on to not only overtop James' 16-straight No. 1 standard, but smash it, eventually running their chart-topping streak to 21 straight (1980–87), ending with "You've Got the Touch" in the spring of 1987. (The song that broke the streak was the No. 7 hit "Tar Top", in November 1987.) Incidentally, one of Alabama's biggest congratulators was James himself, who graciously, and without any reservations, conceded his streak.
      • Bear in mind both streaks should be taken with the fact in mind that both James and Alabama had Christmas singles released in the midst of their respective streaks that came nowhere near No. 1. While James' holiday songs never charted note , Alabama's "Christmas in Dixie" would chart and peak at No. 35 on the Hot Country Singles chart in 1983. Broken parity? You be the judge, but there is no denying that Sonny James and Alabama were the dominant acts of their respective eras.
      • For many years, the only other artist who came close to matching either Sonny James or Alabama on the country chart was Earl Thomas Conley, a Portsmouth, Ohio, native who in the 1980s had 15 straight No. 1 hits without a miss. His streak began in the summer of 1983 with "Your Love's on the Line" and ended with "Love Out Loud" in June 1989. As Billboard magazine's rules typically do not regard any non-No. 1 duet or holiday releases as streak-breakers, Conley's 1986 duet single with Anita Pointer (of the Pointer Sisters) "Too Many Times", which peaked at No. 2, is not counted toward his 15-song No. 1 streak; additionally, Conley also released a holiday single (in 1984) that failed to chart.
      • Finally, in 2016, Ada, Oklahoma native Blake Shelton achieved parity with James and, upon scoring his 17th consecutive No. 1 song (taking into account the Hot Country Airplay chart, which began in 2012) with "Came Here To Forget," pushed James to third place all-time. Shelton missed with "She's Got a Way With Words" ... as well as a number of non-charting holiday singles as well.
  • In 1985, Sheena Easton became the first popular music artist to have Billboard magazine top 10 singles on four of the major singles charts: Hot 100 (first with 1981's "Morning Train (9 to 5)"), country (1983's "We've Got Tonight," a No. 1 country hit with Kenny Rogers), dance (first with "Telefone (Long Distance Affair)," No. 9 in 1983), and R&B (first with "Sugar Walls," No. 3 in 1985). Easton's accomplishment has since been achieved by just three other artists: Lionel Richie, Ray Charles and Elvis Presley. Many other artists have charted on three of the particular charts, but these four are part of an elite club and showed that their music crosses many musical tastes and genres.
  • Kenny Rogers, who became one of the few artists (other than perhaps the band Starship) to successfully emerge from the image as a psychedelic rock singer — his first hit, with the First Edition, was "I Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)" — to become one of country and popular music's all-time great singers. While he still performed "Just Dropped In" in concert (albeit rearranged to a more contemporary style) until his retirement, his repertoire expanded to include some folk rock but his best-known styles of story songs and pop-country ballads. And that his career lasted more than 50 years, long after every other psychedelic singer had long since been forgotten, a testament to his popularity.
  • Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" came out of left field (though it was largely unnoticed at first), went viral and became a big hit. There also exists a Star Wars version of that awesome song on Youtube, along with an Obama version.
    • "This Kiss" has a bit of an '80s vibe to it and is a sort of happy-go-lucky song for the dating scene. In the music video, Carly Rae wears a lot of attractive costumes, which make her look so sexy. The plot involves the singer going out with her friends to a nightclub and having a "Girls Night Out" kind of night until she meets a good looking guy, which later on causes her to ditch her friends in the favor of the guy. The video ends with them heading to a swimming pool, diving in and sharing a kiss underwater.
  • Demi Lovato kicking several mental illnesses and getting a Career Resurrection.
    • "La La Land"
    • "Gift of a Friend"
    • "Give Your Heart a Break"
    • "Heart Attack"
  • Both Northern Lights and Southern Cross by 403.
  • Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax, all on the one stage playing Diamond Head's "Am I Evil?", words can't describe the awesome... [1]
  • 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 freak-out Helter Skelter.
  • Speaking of Pink Floyd, The 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 Billboard charts for 741 straight weeks (14 YEARS), a feat replicated by no one else and which is a crowning moment in its own right.
  • The original 1985 Live Aid concert can be considered a Moment of Awesome for music. However, Phil Collins, love him or hate 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.
    • 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 considered 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.note  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 a Lifetime Achievement Award. 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 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 15 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 prison), 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...
  • 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 "Shut up, bitch" in a sarcastic monotone. News of this helped ruin Axl'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 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.
    • 41 years later, British indie rockers Doves gave up a headlining slot at Scottish festival T in the Park to Brown rather than follow his performance.
    • James Brown singlehandedly saved the city of Boston. The night after Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, people rioted in cities all over the country. 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 George Frederic 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 in the English-speaking world 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 Eminem. 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 its an audience participation song:
    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; look at 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 song a week. 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.
    • The awesomeness of the entire S&M album/concert is undeniable, though 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 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).
      • Greece's Eurovision voters had their own minor moment by contributing to Lordi's victory by giving them the maximum twelve points after some of their compatriots tried to get the band banned from the competition for being "satanic".
      • And immediately followed it up with breaking the world's record for the largest Karaoke 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 Moment.
  • 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, 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.
    • Made the Wah-Wah pedal mainstream (Four words: Voodoo Child (Slight Return)).
    • Defied the authorities by allegedly making out with another man to get out of military service. That takes balls.
    • 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!
    • The fact that George Harrison at first found Oasis "silly" and a "passing fad", and refused to speak to them, at the height of their arrogant, obnoxious "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, deal with, or pay any attention to them, much less a former Beatle himself, no matter how "influenced" by them. As if they're the first, last, or only band to be influenced by The Beatles in the history of pop music.
  • The one-and-only Woodstock concert in 1969. Highlights include
  • The New York Philharmonic'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, 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 is 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 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.
  • 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)
  • 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.note 
  • 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, the three former Yardbirds guitarists, joining together to play "Stairway to Heaven".
    • In the same vein, Jeff Beck and Stevie Ray Vaughan live on stage at the same time, in a 20 minute long encore.
  • Kobe Bryant, Michael Phelps, Tony Hawk and Alex Rodriguez covering Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock & Roll" for a Guitar Hero commercial.
  • Ernie Isley's breakthrough performance on The Isley Brothers' 3 + 3 album. His guitar solos for the live cover of Ohio/Machine Gun are 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 Rós' Hoppipola on their live Heima DVD... The thing that makes it so Awesome is the whole crowd. It's a National Holiday 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 Rós concert), no fans screaming, just families in a field listening to music and having a nice time...
  • Donny Osmond, of all people, 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 Buckingham 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 it in one go.
  • Jennifer Hudson showing what a REAL singer is when she sang the national anthem at the Super Bowl in 2009.
  • This fan-made video for Dashboard Confessional's "Thick as Thieves". An 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 couple words wrong, he redid all of it. note  Kudos to him for thinking outside the box and having the balls to do it, and Dashboard Confessional for making it the "official" version.
    • 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 Spider-Man 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.
  • The return of blink-182 is the Crowning Moment of Awesome for the punk music genre.
  • So Dead Kennedys were invited to the Bay Area Music Awards to perform "California Über Alles". Only, a few measures in, Jello Biafra shouts "hold it" and tells the audience that they've sold out now. They then proceed to play a new song, "Pull My Strings", 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.
  • Let's say that many people consider Korn's Blind to be quite heavy and aggressive. If you're one of those, you've yet to see their live performance of it on Woodstock '99. Just 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 'FREE BIRD!' at concerts" meme that endures to this day.
  • 14 March, 2009: The Sound Relief concerts, held in Melbourne 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) 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.
  • Joseph 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. 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 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 '80s.
      • 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 Britain's 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 extremely confident the entire time makes it that much more awesome too! It seems she knew what their first impression would be.
      • The smirk on her face just before she starts singing totally sells this. She KNEW what they were thinking, and that they were laughing at her, and she KNEW she was going to blow their socks off. And she was relishing every second of it.
  • 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 Awesome Music composed specifically for the summit.
  • P!nk'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 in one performance, Emerson stuck his knife between two keys of the organ, causing a dis-chord. 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". They 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 realized and Dom is interviewed as if he is the singer. Doubles as a Funny Moment.
    • 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 Beatles out of the top spot. And that's arguably the least impressive feat of his career. Just check out The Complete Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings, which pretty much laid the foundations for jazz and pop music in general!
  • 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 "explicit music" in general) from the PMRC, the Christian Moral Guardians group founded by Tipper Gore. 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 expectations. 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, flattening it out and everything. He then proceeded to blow them away with a very eloquent, thoughtful speech. Here's his recounting. And if that's not enough, here's the ass-kicking in full.
    • 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 opposite was a huge shock. And when you consider that, out of the three artists involved, it was Denver who lost his RCA recording contract for daring to go against the government and stand up against censorship.
      • Plus the fact that Denver's last album had had songs on it attacking the arms race, and RCA was then owned by GE with its many lucrative weapons contracts.
  • 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.
    • 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. In what may 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; you could even 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 addiction 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 biopic 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-wracking 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 it WITH HIS HAIR.
  • Anna Nalick falls off a table in mid-song, and instead of acting awkward and embarrassed, she manages 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 Funny Moment 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? He organizes an All-Star Cast to play The Wall.
    • The year is 2010. He 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' "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.
    • Speaking of Steve Vai, if you've never seen anybody play a triple neck guitar before, just watch this.
  • 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. 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 & 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.note  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 cowbell.
    • 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 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 the 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 Heartwarming Moment.
  • During the Evelyn Evelyn tour across Europe, Amanda Palmer's crew got stuck in a different country because of the Iceland volcano. 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 theater parts herself, "Tim Curry style". Since the show was supposed to be played together with Jason Webley (who couldn't make it either), he 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 a cappella rendition of Flight of the Conchords' "The Humans Are Dead" manages to be even better than the original.
  • Listen to this live recording of Lindsey Buckingham's "Big Love". How many guitars do you think are being played there? Only one. All Lindsey.
  • 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 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 chorus long solo during "Diminuendo 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 Saturday Night Live, 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". 3 minutes of synchronized dancing in one take, on treadmills.
  • Perhaps not so much a Moment of Awesome for the band itself, but to celebrate Douglas Adams' 42nd birthday, his friend and guitarist for Pink Floyd David Gilmour invited him to come onstage and play rhythm guitar for the songs "Brain Damage" and "Eclipse". And it was AWESOME.
  • 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 Heartwarming Moment.
  • "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 paralyzed 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 unparalleled 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 18, 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, Beyoncé, U2, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Renee Fleming, Stevie Wonder, Bon Jovi, Usher and just about everyone else ever, right alongside 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. Doubles as Heartwarming.
  • 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 would be in March 2011, the fourth one to announce she would 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 '60s, a group often deliberately 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, Capricorn & 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 didn't use a Moog until 1969's Abbey Road. Micky Dolenz helped 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 the same year, when he was an unknown in America. So The Monkees had a hand in popularizing electronic music and hard rock/heavy metal.
  • 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, 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 have sex with her after.
  • Cee Lo Green in a turkey suit with Gwyneth Paltrow and The Muppets. Yes.
  • Green Day's 1994 Woodstock mud fight.
  • 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 outplay 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. Note that Art Tatum was also blind.
  • Bob Dylan's performance in Manchester in 1966, when the moment he came on stage someone shouted "Judas!",note  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 Moment of Awesome, Heartwarming Moment, Awesome Music 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 bug-eyed. 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 Funny Moment.
  • 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 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.note  While it was only mildly well received by critics (it did a lot better with British critics than the narrow-minded American ones), it went platinum worldwide and showed that they definitely weren't consigned forever to the past.
  • The fact that Canadian folk rock stalwart Gordon Lightfoot is still going strong and touring even in his eighties, 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 happened, barely missing a note.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven composed and first conducted his Ninth Symphony (the one with the "Ode to Joy") after completely losing his hearing.
  • Within Aaron Copland's Symphony No. 3, the introduction of the main theme in the fourth movement acts as this. It's audibly a variation on the themes of the prior three movements - except it is also Copland's famous Fanfare for the Common Man.
  • Despite some significant mainstream success, rapper Pitbull has a bit of a Hatedom. So much so that it turned a Facebook contest on its ear: whichever Walmart got the most Likes on Facebook would be rewarded with a special appearance from the man himself. People responded online with a campaign called "Exile Pitbull", and proceeded to amass likes for a Walmart located in Kodiak, Alaska... the most remote Walmart in America. Sure enough, it won by a landslide. Surely most people with that level of fame can pull strings, but most people aren't Pitbull, who is a man of his word. Bonus awesome: he actually paid for the guy who started the campaign to come to Alaska with him.
  • Take That performing at the 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony. For reasons why this is awesome, frontman Gary Barlow's daughter Poppy had been delivered stillborn just over a week earlier. The amount of strength and determination for any parent to even get out of bed following such a tragedy is phenomenal, let alone perform to billions worldwide. Keep in mind as well that all the musical acts performing at the Olympics were only being paid £1 (technically, they played for free, but a formal contract requires a figure, however small), so he wasn't there for the money. He was there because, well, The Show Must Go On.
  • For about a decade, Gary Numan had fallen into a creative slump. Everywhere he looked the music was stale and terrible and so he sort of drifted out of music, when in 1994 for he watched the famous Woodstock '94 performance of Nine Inch Nails, who had exploded onto the world scene in that show. Utterly mesmerized and inspired, he went back into the studio. A little while later, he met with his producer Alan Moulder, who found out he was inspired by Trent Reznor's work. Moulder told Gary that the first thing Trent Reznor did everyday during the production was put on Numan's Telekon. As it turned out, the master had inspired the apprentice, who in turn inspired the master. In 2009, they performed together in London and more recently Numan has been opening for Nine Inch Nails.
  • The legendary 1938 Carnegie Hall concert by Benny Goodman and his swing orchestra with Goodman on clarinet, Henry James on trumpet, Babe Russin on saxophone, and Gene Krupa on drums. The night ended with the climactic performance of the band's signature song, an arrangement of Louis Prima's "Sing Sing Sing" with an unexpected and beautiful improvised piano solo by Jess Stacy.
  • How does the music industry respond to Hurricane Sandy? By holding the biggest benefit concert since Live Aid, that's how! To say they pulled out all the stops at Madison Square Garden on December 12th, 2012, would be the understatement of the year. How awesome was it? Well, let—s look at a sample of the lineup that evening: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, The Who, Alicia Keys, Usher, Kanye West, and Billy Joel were all there! And that's not even moistening your thumb on the fucking surface!! Thanks to the sheer multitude of stars gathered that one night, the total money raised was up into the hundreds of millions. And, thanks to time delay in other parts of the world, counting. When you tell someone that they're not alone, you do so in a way worthy only of the Big Apple. Also counts as a Heartwarming Moment, considering a lot of the performers live in the effected area, so this is also an example of neighbor helping neighbor.
    • One of the too-many-to-count highlights had to have been McCartney performing a heavy rock track, "Cut Me Some Slack", with surviving Nirvana members Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Nirvana/Foo Fighters backup guitarist Pat Smear. How awesome was it? Rumors of a Nirvana/Paul McCartney album and/or tour weren't too far behind.
  • Whitney Houston singing the American National Anthem at the beginning of Super Bowl 1991, was called one of the most powerful singing performances in music history.
  • January 24, 1975. The Cologne (Köln in German) Opera House. Legendary jazz pianist Keith Jarrett is scheduled to play the first jazz concert ever played at the venue on a Bösendorfer 290 Imperial concert grand piano — widely considered to be among the greatest pianos ever made. When he arrives the afternoon before the concert, exhausted from a long drive (he was coming from Zürich, Switzerland), he finds a terrible mistake has been made: the piano set out for him is a worn-out Bösendorfer baby grand only intended for rehearsal use, tinny in the upper registers and weak in the bass. Seeing it, and learning that no replacement was available, he almost refused to perform, but the concert promoter (17-year-old Vera Brandes) managed to convince him, pointing out that the (sold-out!) concert was scheduled to start in a few hours. Keith Jarrett then proceeded to improvise for over an hour, using unusual techniques such as striking the same keys repeatedly to overcome the flaws of the instrument ... and not only was the concert a tremendous success with the audience and critics, the recording made of that concert — now known simply as "The Köln Concert" — has become the best-selling solo jazz album in history.
  • The entire video for DJ Fresh's Louder: three minutes of ridiculous skate and skateboard stunts.
  • Any of Travis Scott's live performance is bound to have one of these: here's a list with 7 of his awesome live moments.
  • A Swedish software engineer named Linus Åkesson, also known as lft, takes apart an old electronic organ and rewires it into The Chipophone — an instrument designed for the live performance of chiptunes. The demo video is sufficient on its own to show how amazing it is, but if you want more, there's a pageful of recordings available for the listening.
  • In 2000, Faith Hill's Breathe never hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Despite this, at the end of the year, Billboard magazine named it the number one song overall. It spent 45 weeks in the Top 40 alone.
  • In 1994, during the 11th Annual MTV Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall, the Finnish band Leningrad Cowboys got up on stage with the Alexandrov Ensemble (the choir of the Russian Army with honest-to-goodness Russian/ex-Soviet military members, complete with uniforms!) to sing...Sweet Home Alabama. It was glorious.
  • In 2012, famous metal site Loudwire held the "Extreme Metal Olympics" to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic Games; many legendary death metal, black metal and grindcore bands participated, with acts such as Opeth, Meshuggah, Despised Icon, Vader, Belphegor, Strapping Young Lad, Atheist, Obituary, Napalm Death and what have you... Guess who won? No, it wasn't Death, or Cannibal Corpse... It was a Japanese band called Dir en grey. That surely was a huge Moment of Awesome for them and their fanbase.
  • KISS' performance at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. While the actual performance dragged in places, they made up for it by unleashing the pyro that was a signature of their concerts. It was so impressive that the hosts were shown standing up in their booth when the song ended - which has literally never happened in the parade since they started using the booth in 1995.
  • Press Play On Tape plays the Cannon Fodder theme on game controllers.
  • This guy from the audience rapping the entirety of Dave and AJ Tracey's underground hit "Thiago Silva" in front of a crowd of thousands at Glastonbury. It is so impressive that the namesake footballer has even asked if he could meet him in real life.
  • In the 1990s, Joe Walsh managed to out-solo Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, and Brian May AT THE SAME TIME!.
  • Garth Brooks: No matter where he is, as soon as he plays the first 4 notes of "Friends in Low Places", the reaction from the audience can be measured on the Richter Scale.
    • Debuting at #1 on the country charts with "More Than a Memory".
    • The mere existence of the song "We Shall Be Free", especially the line "When we're free to love anyone we choose".
  • In general, whenever K-Pop artists appear on Weekly Idol and dance to one of their songs at twice the speed. Special shout out goes to Shinhwa and Sech Kies for being able to nail their choreography while they were nearly forty.
  • "King of The Surf Guitar" Dick Dale beat cancer twice (1966 and 2008), and influenced many hard rock and metal guitarists such as Eddie Van Halen and Jimi Hendrix, who paid tribute to him in “Third Stone from the Sun” after learning of his first cancer diagnosis. At over 80 years old, he literally toured to stay alive (his insurance didn't cover his medical bills), and performed despite back problems that made performing unbearably painful. Dale stated in interviews that he wanted to die onstage, "in an explosion of body parts.” Dale didn't quite get his wish, passing in a hospital in March 2019. At the time, he had scheduled concert dates through November of that year.
  • Pharrell Williams was finally able to get his first #1 solo hit song ("Happy") on the Billboard 100 Charts.
  • What’s more exciting than learning how to play a classic rock anthem on guitar? How about learning “Roadhouse Blues” from Robby Krieger himself?
  • Ashanti being the first female artist to occupy both the #1 and #2 spot simultaneously on the Billboard Top 100 Charts.
  • Saro, the Beatbox Loop station GOAT. When he participated in the 2017 Grand Beatbox Battle, he swept the entire competition by a landslide and won every single vote from the judges. To this date, his Piege and Billie Jean drops are still regarded as some of the best beatbox drops in the entire loopstation history. Made even more awesome by the fact that this is his first time competing in a solo loopstation battle ever.
    • The Billy Jean performance deserves a special mention, because he actually started building up the song backwards. The reversed beats already sounded cool enough, but then he has Alexinho come up on stage and drop the "HEE HEE", at which point Saro reverses the track and let the Michael Jackson music roll. This is enough to send all five judges up on their chairs, and cement Saro as the winner of the competition.