The Rock and Awe of Surprise Concerts

by Chris Catania

8 July 2010


The surprise show is one of the greatest things that can happen to a concert fan. And one of the reasons I love surprise concerts is because they catch fans completely off guard. Whether the surprise concert lasts for only one song or goes on for an entire set, fans always get lifted off their feet. So, let’s see how Lenny Kravitz, Robert Plant, Jimmy Buffet and Dr. Dre and Timbaland set their fans floating home on cloud nine.

Ask any concert fan and they’ll tell you nothing beats being surprised at a show when one of your favorite artists walks on stage unexpectedly. Because the moment is so intense and unbelievable, the surprise concert instantly becomes unique from any other concert that you’ve experienced before.

I don’t know if it’s just that time of year, but these last few weeks have been prime time for surprising concert fans all over the globe. So, here’s a list of artists who gave their fans a memorable moment of rock and awe.

Lenny Kravitz Crashes Church Choir Practice

As you saw in the video above, last week Lenny Kravitz surprised a church choir in New Orleans and laid down a groove on the drums and cranked out the vocals to “Fly Away”.

Jimmy Buffet at Lulu’s

After his original show was canceled because of the BP oil spill in the Gulf, Jimmy Buffet made it up to a restaurant of super-thankful fans.

Besides stuffing their faces with tons of yummy food, fans also gobbled up an impromptu set by Robert Plant with Los Lobos at the Taste of Chicago.

Robert Plant with Los Lobos at Taste of Chicago

Dr. Dre and Timbaland headed back to school to rock the gymnasium for the class of 2010 at Culver High School. Dre and Timbaland playing your high school graduation? That would be very cool.

Dr Dre and Timbaland at Culver High School

Even though the artist has good intentions, some surprise concerts unfortunately don’t get to be realized. Just ask Jay-Z who had his concert on top the Ed Sullivan Theater canceled before it even got started.

Some say it was to avoid the same riots that happened at Drake’s concert last month at Seaport.

That’s just a few of the many other surprise concerts that happened this year and more are sure to happen as the ear continues. And I bet a surprise concert is probably going on somewhere right now as you read this post.

But what about you?

When’s the last time you were rocked and awed by a surprise concert?

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work. We are a wholly independent, women-owned, small company. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing, challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. PopMatters needs your help to keep publishing. Thank you.

//Mixed media

NYFF 2017: 'Mudbound'

// Notes from the Road

"Dee Rees’ churning and melodramatic epic follows two families in 1940s Mississippi, one black and one white, and the wars they fight abroad and at home.

READ the article