What was the greatest musical performance in history of SNL?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Scott S., May 27, 2018.

  1. Scott S.

    Scott S. Indie Music Curator Thread Starter

    Walmartville PA
    We were having this argument on facebook. I think it was Neil Young Rockin' in the Free World. Somebody else thought Radio Radio by Elvis C. Rape Me by Nirvana was mentioned. Also Tiny Tim and Joe Cocker with John Belushi.
  2. noahjld

    noahjld Witchfinder General/ Das Boz Boz

    Costello. Quite shocking for it's time.
  3. LandHorses

    LandHorses Forum Resident

    New Joisey
    Elvis Costello "Radio Radio" is my vote.
  4. Matt Starr

    Matt Starr Musician who happens to play drums

    Paul Simon singing The Boxer just after 9/11 has to be up there. Neil Young Rockin' In The Free World gets another vote from me as well.
  5. PCM7027

    PCM7027 Forum Resident

    Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with Dave Grohl: Honey Bee

  6. Ron Stone

    Ron Stone Offending Member

    Deep Maryland
    The Replacements had an epic appearance, playing "Bastards of Young" and "Kiss Me on the Bus." And like Elvis Costello, got banned from the show for it. The video evidence sums up everything great about the band.
    Last edited: May 27, 2018
  7. Vinyl Socks

    Vinyl Socks Forum Resident

    Niles, Ohio
    Neil Young & The Restless, performing "Rockin' in the Free World" (1989 Season Premiere).
  8. Mother

    Mother Forum Resident

    Bowie 1979

    The Man Who Sold the World
  9. MothMonsterMan

    MothMonsterMan I am a moth who just wants to eat your flag

    Tampa, FL USA
    Some great ones already mentioned. For me personally Radiohead in 2000 was pretty big. I had never watched any live footage of them and would not see them live for another three years. Also I was big into Joy Division growing up and Thom Yorke's performance was very reminiscent of Ian Curtis to me.
    DeanoBee, ultron9, jeffmo789 and 2 others like this.
  10. ianuaditis

    ianuaditis Evil Twin

    Zappa - I'm the Slime - 1976
  11. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident

    One of the great moments in TV rock history
  12. Mike Dow

    Mike Dow I kind of like the music

    Bangor, Maine
    Neil and Elvis were the first two that came to mind. Saw them both as they aired live.They each have that same 'holy crap, this is dangerous live rock and roll' quality. I can still get that feeling when I see the DVDs.
  13. rikki nadir

    rikki nadir Gentleman Thug

    London, UK
    The Elvis Costello moment took me out of being a rock consumer thinking 'maybe I'll buy this guy's album this week' to thinking 'this guy isn't going to make it to the end of his allotted time on the show, and will he still have a career once that's done?'

    It was great. And did nothing but boost SNL's image for edginess and rebellion in my eyes.

    And I bought the album and import singles the next day.
  14. gary191265

    gary191265 Forum Resident

    Fishbone - Sunless Saturday

    liv3evil, Ha Ha Man, arem and 13 others like this.
  15. meimnoone

    meimnoone Forum Resident

  16. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Katy, TX
    There a two instances that were pinnacle moment in musical guest for SNL.
    The first was the Simon and Garfunkel reunion in 1975.

    But my nod goes Costello when he blew off Less Than Zero to play Radio Radio. He gets bonus points for reprising the song by interrupting the Beastie Boys' performance of Sabbotage.
    Gavinyl, DeeThomaz, SteveFff and 5 others like this.
  17. Chemguy

    Chemguy Forum Resident

    Rockin in the Free World. By a lot, for me.

    But the first time I ever saw Talking Heads was when they opened with Artists Only, and I was astounded. The Specials were special, too!
  18. a customer

    a customer Forum Resident

    I was gonna day soul man by the blues brothers till I read this post
    Frozensoda and Matt Starr like this.
  19. Grunge Master

    Grunge Master 8 Bit Enthusiast

  20. Glass Candy

    Glass Candy Forum Resident

    Patti Smith, Gloria.
  21. Jeff Kent

    Jeff Kent Forum Resident

    Mt. Kisco, NY
    This was my first choice. We watched it in college and vowed then and there to go see the band live ASAP. I've seen them ten times since.

    Radio Radio and I'm the Slime were up there too. I think Faith No More played Epic and Mike climbed up into the fan behind the stage.
  22. Jeff Kent

    Jeff Kent Forum Resident

    Mt. Kisco, NY
    Fishbone also played Everyday Sunshine.

    Beatnik_Daddyo'73 and vince like this.
  23. Jeff Kent

    Jeff Kent Forum Resident

    Mt. Kisco, NY
    Faith No More - Epic (1990)

  24. ndoheny

    ndoheny Forum Resident

    Sacramento, Ca
    It would be a shame to not mention Prince here. I believe he played PartyUp during his Dirty Mind period and it was awesome. I can't seem to find it on video but I remember it being pretty amazing.
  25. ndoheny

    ndoheny Forum Resident

    Sacramento, Ca
    Oh yeah and Radiohead playing Idioteque. I remember everyone in college gathering in the common space to watch this live that night.
    Gavinyl, DeanoBee, bamaaudio and 6 others like this.

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