Top Worst Performances by the Greatest Rock Bands

Do you think great musicians always succeed? But no! We have compiled a selection of the most epic failures of famous rock bands.

Some of the most disastrous performances of popular rock bands

Even great performers have unsuccessful speeches. There are many reasons why this happens: lack of rehearsals, technical problems, drunkenness and, of course, quarrels within the band. Well, just the playing or singing of one or more musicians starts to go by.

We remembered four performances where great musicians did not live up to their rank and level, as well as the expectations of the fans.

Led Zeppelin Reunion play "Whole Lotta Love" in «Live Aid 1985"

Photo: Ebeth Roberts-Redferns
Led Zeppelin Photo: Ebeth Roberts-Redferns

Led Zeppelin decided for the first time meet after the death of the drummer John Bonham in 1980 to play Live Aid on July 13, 1985 at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia.

Zeppelin performed to an audience of around 100,000 and to the 1.9 billion people who watched them on television. There were many factors that made the performance "not the one". First, the voice of singer Robert Plant is strongly tired from participating in three solo concerts the night before "Live Aid". Secondly, guitarist Jimmy Page was given a guitar that was not configured properly, and Phil Collins was put in as second drummer at the last minute and didn't know the material well, so improvised.

But bassist and keyboardist John Paul Jones, as well as drummer Tony Thompson, played perfectly. Probably, most viewers initially did not notice the shortcomings in the performance.

But Jimmy Page noticed them right away and later insisted on exception Led Zeppelin performances from the Live Aid DVD set released in 2004. Unfortunately for the bands (or fortunately for the fans), in the same year a new Internet service called YouTube made that performance accessible for everyone who has a computer and internet.

Red Hot Chili Peppers "Under the Bridge" on "Saturday Night Live"", 1992

Photo: Michael Linssen-Redferns-Getty
Red Hot Chili Peppers. Photo: Michael Linssen-Redferns-Getty

February 22, 1992 Red Hot Chili Peppers spoke on the evening show "Saturday Night Live" live. At the time, the band was famous for such hits as "Give It Away" and "Under the Bridge" from the album "Blood Sugar Sex Magik". The album became extremely popular and the band was invited to perform on the show.

Guitarist John Frusciante was so dissatisfied sudden success that deliberately sabotaged performance by the band "Under the Bridge", playing slowly and erratically, then yelling incoherently at the end of the song instead of singing his part as he usually did.

Singer Anthony Kiedis wrote in his autobiography ("Scar Tissue"):

"It felt like I was stabbed in the back to shamefully 'die' in front of all of America while Frusciante was in the shadows in the corner, playing past and slow."

Drummer Chad Smith spoke about how Frusciante played during this period:

“John just stood there and acted like he didn't care about anything (in a more rude way). You can't play in a band and think only of yourself without caring about others. A lot of our shows at the time were terrible."

Shortly after this performance, Frusciante would leave the band.

Van Halen performing "Romeo Delight" at the 1983 US Festival

Photo: Chris Walter-Getty.
Van Halen. Photo: Chris Walter-Getty

In 1983, David Bowie was the highest paid solo artist, earning $1 million from the Devore, California festival. But most highly paid the group at the time was Van Halen: their contract stated that the American festival had to pay them smooth the same amount.

Before and during the band's performances, singer David Lee Roth was regularly drunk and repeatedly forgot lyrics to many songs, including this performance: it happened on their opening song "Romeo Delight". Eddie, Alex Van Halen and bassist Michael Anthony did an excellent job, but spoiled Dave's performance knocked the whole band down.

Peter Gabriel, Sinead O'Connor, Sting and his band play "Don't Give Up", 1990

Photo: Michel Linssen-Getty.
Photo: Michel Linssen-Getty

Sting, Peter Gabriel, Jackson Browne, Wynton Marsalis, Sinead O'Connor, Reuben Blades, "New Kids On The Block" and others spoke at the An Embrace Of Hope' Amnesty International Festival in Santiago, Chile in October 1990.

Peter Gabriel and Sinead O'Connor performed Gabriel's "Don't Give Up" with support from Sting and his band. From the Beginning at song, it becomes clear that the Sting team is clearly unfamiliar with this song and, perhaps, is playing it for the first time (from notes).

Gabriel and O'Connor trying find your place in the whimsical arrangement and adjust. Gabriel stops singing the first verse because the band doesn't get in rhythm with him, he adjusts. This awkward moment could have been avoided if Gabriel had played the song with his band.

Successful concerts

Despite all the failure of the performances, which we wrote about above, it is worth recognizing that the fans' love for the artists did not decrease from this. Perhaps even the opposite, because it showed that musicians are the same people as everyone else. Sometimes they make mistakes too.

To prove that artists are still called great for a reason, let's give an example of their successful performances.

Led Zeppelin

Here, Led Zeppelin perform "Black Dog" in front of a huge crowd at the O2 Arena at the "Celebration Day" concert in memory of Ahmet Ertegun, former director of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Here's what one fan had to say about the concert:

“Honestly, I think it was the best Led Zeppelin concert ever. No pampering, full concentration and purity of performance. Absolutely incredible."

And it really was a great performance, one of the best from Led Zeppelin, revealing all the talent of the musicians.

Red Hot Chili Peppers

August 23, 2003, Red Hot Chili Peppers performance at Ireland. The group confidently plays in front of an audience of thousands, and the musicians no longer make any mistakes. The guitarist in the band has changed a long time ago, so everyone plays harmoniously, and the band's fans do not stop rejoicing.

Under the YouTube video, we came across one funny comment:

“I watched this concert so many times that I probably would have recognized people from the crowd on the street.”

Van Halen

One of the group's relatively recent performances. The musicians played on American television in 2015.

That's what said about this talk by David Lee Roth:

“It was a good way to start the tour. We've never played on American TV before. We felt that there was simply no better audience than this one.”

David Gilmore: a genius whose craftsmanship goes beyond Pink Floyd

David Gilmore: career before and after Pink Floyd, solo work, biography This was before Pink Floyd. Passionate about music since childhood, in the '60s David Gilmore is...

Zakk Wylde: more than Osborne's guitarist

Guitarist Zakk Wylde: biography, art, collaborations with musicians Zakk Wilde became famous for his work with Prince of Darkness, but his influence and legacy extend beyond that...

"Unconventional" domestic rock bands that are not ashamed of

The most unusual Russian rock bands: list, photos, hits and facts Despite the fact that many listeners do not take Russian rock seriously, saying - too much...

How an Italian Duke Deceived Sting and His Wife: The Story of the Purchase of Villa Il Palagio and Its Further Fate

The Story of Sting's Estate: How the Musician Bought a Luxury Villa and Started His Own Winery Already a cult musician, Sting bought a villa in Tuscany in the late 1990s,...

The Led Zeppelin song John Bonham didn't like the most

Why John Bonham of Led Zeppelin didn't like the song "D'yer Mak'er" Few bands have had as much success as Led Zeppelin. If you study their repertoire thoroughly, it becomes...

"Return of the Dream Canteen has just begun" - RHCP released the album "Return of the Dream Canteen"

Return of the Dream Canteen" album by the Red Hot Chili Peppers (RHCP): review, tracks, clips In 2019, the Red Hot Chili Peppers finally reunite with...

Favorite songs performed by Sting

Sting (The Police): best songs, hits and clips, selection and facts His story as a musician began when he was spotted by drummer Stuart Copeland,...

How and why Led Zeppelin's "Hey, Hey, What Can I Do" surprised everyone

Why "Hey, Hey, What Can I Do" is the most amazing Led Zeppelin song There are a lot of amazing songs in the world of rock - and amazing they are by...

Led Zeppelin classics at their best, or great covers of the iconic "Black Dog"

Top covers of the classic rock hit "Black Dog" by Fuzz Music magazine It's undeniable: Led Zeppelin is the band that shaped the world of rock and roll. Into it...

"Mother's Milk," or the redeeming Red Hot Chili Peppers classic that broke new ground

Remembering "Mother's Milk," the legendary Red Hot Chili Peppers album that might not have existed It's easy to forget today, but in the late '80s Red Hot...

Led Zeppelin's favorite song, and six other Robert Plante favorites

Robert Plant and his favorite Led Zeppelin songs Given how extensive and varied Led Zeppelin's catalog of songs is, it seems impossible to choose the best of them... Every track...

Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Return of the Dream Canteen" (2022): interesting facts about the album

Return of the Dream Canteen" album (2022) by Red Hot Chili Peppers The American musical group Red Hot Chili Peppers, which most recently, namely in...
Featured Articles

Metallica in Moscow, 1991: How was it?

Metallica's performance at the "Monsters of Rock" festival in Moscow in 1991: famous songs, setting, participants' memories The music world knows a lot of festivals that left behind...

Top 7 moments when something "went wrong" at concerts of national stars

Incidents at concerts of Russian stars: phonograms, falls Very often at celebrity concerts, incidents happen that end up being an extra reason for the audience to smile. Of course, we're talking about...

Plante, Osborne, Harrison - members of iconic rock bands who don't like to remember this period

Plant, Osborne, Harrison: why these iconic rockers don't like to remember their popular bands Music history remembers quite a few truly iconic rock bands - their influence...

More than fellow members: iconic bands that never changed the lineup

Rock bands that never changed their lineup - list, photos and names, interesting facts The history of music knows a huge number of rock bands. This form of music-making is currently...

The secret of the success of "Black Dog": the song or the attractiveness of the performers...

The real meaning of the song "Black Dog" by Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin is the legendary British rock band that showed the world what it means to play rumbling rock. The band's repertoire includes many...

"Came to her fans' concert": how Billie Eilish was over-sung by Russian fans in Luzhniki

Billy Eilish's concert in Russia: devoted fans and the success of "Bad Guy" When famous foreign musicians come to Russia, fans can't believe their luck, and...

"Are you sure" - why Michael Jackson is recognized as the King of Pop

Michael Jackson's fame: Marketing or true talent? In today's world, where trends change one after another almost every day and the Internet is flooded with a huge amount of...

How an Italian Duke Deceived Sting and His Wife: The Story of the Purchase of Villa Il Palagio and Its Further Fate

The Story of Sting's Estate: How the Musician Bought a Luxury Villa and Started His Own Winery Already a cult musician, Sting bought a villa in Tuscany in the late 1990s,...

The Led Zeppelin song John Bonham didn't like the most

Why John Bonham of Led Zeppelin didn't like the song "D'yer Mak'er" Few bands have had as much success as Led Zeppelin. If you study their repertoire thoroughly, it becomes...