This trope is pretty straightforward: A band or singer stands on top of an unusual or unconventional location as a stage to perform their song. This could be anything from a floating platform out in space, a cloud, or even a a giant creature or person (the latter usually being an attractive woman).
Since VFX and other forms of movie magic can bring to life such locations with ease, this is largely a music video trope. Though it's not unheard of to have this trope pop up from time to time in concerts.
Why this is done could be for any number of reasons. The most obvious is because it makes the performance more visually interesting than it would be on a run of the mill concert stage. Another could be because it relates to the overall theme or motif of the music video. And for instances where the band is playing on something resembling female anatomy, (or just on a female herself) it can provide plenty of eye candy for the audience.
One common variant is to have a tiny version of the band playing atop of an everyday object.
In order to qualify for this trope:
- The stage has to be over the top, a place most people would not (or physically could not) normally stand on to perform. The inside of a building wouldn't count, (even if it would be an unusual venue choice). But on top of a speeding fighter jet, volcano caldera, or giant shoe would.
- For live performances, the overall stage could be simply shaped like something unusual to count. As long as the thing is under and/or completely surrounds the musician(s) it can qualify.
- David Bowie's 1987-1988 Glass Spider Tour featured an elaborately-designed stage featuring a gigantic spider hovering over a wall of scaffolding, on which backup dancers would perform. The stage also made heavy use of LED lighting, which made the whole thing look more visually appealing during nighttime shows; indeed, while the Glass Spider Tour was critically panned, the nighttime performances received much acclaim from the critics who attended those.
- The Grateful Dead performed atop the Pyramids of Giza in 1978.
- Pink Floyd's 1980-1981 tour for The Wall featured a large metal grid, onto which the titular wall's bricks would be inserted. As the concert progressed, the band would become less and less visible, the band being completely closed off at the end of the first half, and the wall would be used as a projection screen for Gerald Scarfe's various grotesque animations.
- Earlier in their career, they recorded a concert film in the ruins of Pompeii.
- In the music video for Lit's Miserable, the bad perform for a gigantic Pamela Anderson, occasionally playing on top of parts of her body, like her butt, knee, her hip, and the sole of her platform shoes.
- Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back" video features, for obvious reasons, an enormous butt that is used as a stage.
- "Pizza Girl" by the Jonas Brothers features the band playing on a giant pizza while a pretty girl sprinkles toppings on and around them. The song then ends with the titular pizza girl putting the pizza into the oven and baking the boys alive.
- To show off the then-impressive CGI of The 80s, "You Might Think" by The Cars has the lead singer, Benjamin Orr, messing around with everyday objects at a girl's apartment and having the band playing atop a soap bar and in a medicine cabinet inside her bathroom.
- Limp Bizkit's "Rollin' (Air Raid Vehicle)" had the band playing atop the South Tower of the former World Trade Center.
- The video for Tonight Tonight by The Smashing Pumpkins has the band members each perform on a small cloud.
- At one point in the video for Your Favorite Martian's song "Booty Store", the band performs on a giant, scantily clad redhead. For obvious reasons, they are playing on her butt.
- In a video played live during a tour, Noodle from Gorillaz plays her melodica while standing on the hand of a gigantified Russel, who's just standing in the middle of the ocean himself.
- Ironheade's stage in Brütal Legend is shaped like Ormagaden, the gigantic Fire Beast whose death gave birth to the Age of Metal. Having weaponized The Power of Rock, each faction/band's stage also serves as their home base in battles (of the bands).
- Standard operating procedure for Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA. Some examples from the mirai series are a cake, a platform on top of a locomotive, and a football field.