5 Unforgettable Rock Concert Moments

A great concert stands the test of time. Tales of rock’s biggest shows have been passed down through generations like an urban legend. Though you may not have been present in the crowd for the iconic moments below, we’d venture to guess you’ve at least heard of them a time or two.

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1. Dave Grohl literally breaks a leg

Dave Grohl held true to the “Show must go on” mentality during a 2015 concert in Gothenburg, Sweden. The frontman was playing through the Foo Fighters’ stellar catalog when he fell off the stage and broke his leg. Ever the crowd-pleaser, Grohl decided to return to the stage and complete the two-hour concert—after a little stitching up, of course.

2. Metallica concert goes up in flames

What is more metal than pyrotechnics? Metallica shows are typically riddled with flames and, more often than not, they go off without a hitch. In 1992, however, James Hetfield rocked a little too close to the sun and found himself engulfed in flames. “I’m burnt,’ Hetfield recalled. “My arm, my hand, completely down to the bone. The side of my face. Hair’s gone. Part of my back. I watched the skin just rising, all these things going wrong.”

3. Jimi Hendrix delivers the anti-national anthem

Typically, the national anthem is used to spur feelings of pride in an audience. By changing a few notes, Jimi Hendrix was able to turn that sentiment on its head at Woodstock ’69. Around that time, anti-war efforts were in full swing. Hendrix was among that crowd. Instead of using his time on stage for a lengthy diatribe about the evils of the Vietnam War, he decided to use his instrument to convey his feelings and play an unconventional version of “The Star Spangled Banner.” Never has a guitar solo been so controversial.

4. Stevie Nicks casts a spell during The Dance

Stevie Nicks has long been considered a witch. Never has that convention rang more true than her performance of “Silver Springs” for the live album, The Dance. During the high point of the song, Nicks turns to her former partner (and the song’s subject), Lindsey Buckingham, and begins singing the words while staring into his soul. From the outside looking in, Nicks seems to be laying a curse on the guitarist. When listening to her pain in the song, it’s hard to blame her…

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5. David Bowie gets “Comfortably Numb” with Pink Floyd

Getting to see Pink Floyd in concert would be enough excitement for rock fans, but imagine there was an extra legend on the bill. That exact scenario happened in 2006 when David Bowie joined the band for a rendition of “Comfortably Numb” at the Royal Albert Hall. Bowie’s appearance was a complete surprise to those in the crowd, making for an unforgettable night for those in attendance.

Photo by Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for P+ and MTV

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