Five Unique Places Artists Have Played a Gig

Sometimes, the lengths artists go to bring their music to the masses is outstanding. Artists have played in some pretty odd places in order to please fans or just to say they did.

On Friday, Lady Gaga played an intimate show at The Bitter End in promotion of her new album, ‘Joanne.’ While it is not unusual for an artist with that much fame to test music out at a small show, it is a bit of a spectacle when they finish their gig and play another on the roof of the venue right after. But that is exactly what she did, treating the crowd below to a free, impromptu set of new music. While playing out of a window or on a roof has been done before (i.e. The Beatles’ infamous gig on top of Apple Headquarters), it is still a wild scene when it happens.

Join Vinyl Bay 777 in looking back at some of the oddest places artists have plugged in and played a show. From tall towers and elevators to abandoned buildings and continents filled with penguins, here are five of the strangest gigs ever.

1. Spiritualized, Toronto’s CN Tower: Earning them the Guinness World Record for “highest concert performed in a man-made structure” in 1997, Spiritualized performed on the 144th story Toronto’s CN Tower, 114 stories in the air. According to an interview with MTV, lead singer Jason Pierce said they played that show “Because it was there. Nobody has done a show there before, we’ll be making our own venue.”

2. Kanye West, Airplane: On a flight to New York in 2010, Kanye West decided to commandeer the plane’s intercom and gave passengers an impromptu show. Really, it was only one song medley, a mash-up of “Gold Digger” and “Good Life.” Other artists have also performed on planes, including Jamiroquai, who did it to promote their greatest hits album, ‘High Times,’ The Black Eyed Peas and James Blunt.

3. The Sex Pistols, Chelmsford Top Security Prison / On a boat: When the Sex Pistols were together, they played some pretty interesting gigs. One such gig occurred at the Chelmsford Top Security Prison, where Johnny Rotten urged the inmates to rage when they (the inmates) were not allowed to. Another was their infamous boat gig on the Thames during the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, where they played “God Save the Queen” while passing the House of Parliament.

4. Nunatak, Antarctica: When the global music and social action event Live Earth occurred in 2007, its organizers wanted to make sure that there was music on all continents, even Antarctica. A band made up of research scientists at the Rothera Research Station, known as Nunatak, was the only performer.

5. Sigur Rós, Abandoned Herring Factory: Abandoned buildings are a great place for an impromptu gig. Just ask Sigur Rós, who in 2006 played a free gig at an abandoned herring factory in Djúpavík, Iceland. The gig was part of a DVD the band recorded of them playing a two-week tour of unusual locations in Iceland.

It might be seem a little odd when artists play gigs in unexpected places. However, it can also be a one-of-a-kind, special moment for a fan to catch a show like that. A stunt such as playing in an airplane or one of the highest free-standing structures in the world can grab an artist a lot of attention from people who may not even know who they are. When Lady Gaga performed atop The Bitter End on Friday, she made one of these moments, not only for her fans, but for the people on the streets of New York that night as well.

To read about two more odd places artists have performed, check out the original article at

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