Best Fake Live Rock Performances

2 minute read

Producers and execs get really paranoid when it comes to live music performances; everything must be perfect. The easy way out is to get the musicians to pretend that they're actually singing while a pre-recorded track plays in the background. This, of course, means that many "artists" who can't actually sing will just come on stage, lipsync, do some fancy moves and pick up their paycheck on their way out. Who needs integrity right?

Well, if you're a talented band whose gained success through your talent  you might. It's very common for bands to tour Europe, get invited to perform on foreign shows only to find out that they will need to fake the whole thing. As you'll see below, this isn't as fail proof as execs would want it to be.


Radiohead's frontman, Thom Yorke, has got character. He's also got a million faces. Half of those are shown in this mimmed performance of "Just".


Muse performed their new single Uprising "live" on this Italian show -- except the drummer and singer decided to swap places confusing the audience. Bellamy's fake drumming is priceless. The lyrics are also quite fitting: "They will not control us, we will be victorious".


Did you except anything else from Oasis? Noel and Liam swapped places during this live performance of Roll With It. Surprisingly, they did a better job of faking it than most modern pop stars do.

The Smiths

Morrissey came out on stage with flowers instead of a mic. What more is there to say?


Asking Nirvana to fake a performance and then leave Kurt's mic on during a live broadcast deserves a Darwin Award for the Top of the Pops (TOTP) show. Novoselic was just swinging his bass around, Grohl was waving his hands in the air, Kurt was strumming with his palms, modified his voice and changed the lyrics around. "Load up on drugs, Kill your friends". It could have been worse.. well not really, this is as humiliating as it gets.


Here's another classic TOTP, you'd think they would learn their lesson by now. Eel was invited to "play" Novocaine for the Soul which they did.. on tiny instruments.

All About Eve

Maybe we should have just made a TOTP biggest disasters article instead? All About Eve simply refused to do anything for the first half of the song, but the audience still cheered on. Can the audience's applause be faked as well? We wouldn't put it past them.

Iron Maiden

At least Iron Maiden pretended to be performing -- okay, not really but look at them, they're at least having fun! They even started swapping instruments amongst themselves without missing a beat.