Stealing the show
November 13, 2019 9:20 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for videos of people who are very good at what they do stealing the show. The best example I have is this video of some good guitarists performing a boring cover of While my Guitar Gently Weeps, until Prince swoops in and performs SO HARD and leaves everyone else in the dust.
posted by pintapicasso to Media & Arts (28 answers total) 39 users marked this as a favorite
The drumming red cat is a classic show stealer.
posted by srednivashtar at 9:27 AM on November 13, 2019 [11 favorites]

I’m not sure if a costar being completely outclassed counts but Easter Parade with Fred Astaire and Judy Garland definitely qualifies.

Very few people could go toe-to-toe (so to speak) with Fred.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:51 AM on November 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

Another funky drummer.
posted by HeroZero at 9:53 AM on November 13, 2019 [2 favorites]

The dancer in the orange shirt, about 45 seconds in.
posted by jonathanhughes at 10:46 AM on November 13, 2019 [13 favorites]

Rachele Gilmore's debut performance at the Met comes to mind, showing up on four hours notice as an understudy and blowing the doors off the place.
posted by mhoye at 11:05 AM on November 13, 2019 [10 favorites]

Aretha Franklin, VH1’s first "Divas Live" show, 1998 (singing "Natural Woman" with Mariah Carey, Carole King, Shania Twain, Gloria Estefan & Celine Dion) (Daily Beast take, 20 years on)

Patti "the microphone is superfluous" LaBelle: Sharing a stage with Gladys Knight and Dionne Warwick, on Oprah, and in "Sisters in the Name of Love"; with Gladys Knight, & Johnny Gill, serenading Barry White; with Luther Vandross & Gladys Knight, tribute to Smokey Robinson; duetting with Luther Vandross; getting handed the mic from Diana Ross at "Motown returns to the Apollo" in 1985; whenever she's onstage at her own damn tribute concert in 2006.
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:21 AM on November 13, 2019 [3 favorites]

Like the Bruce Springstein joined the Wallflowers at the 97 MTV Video Awards?
posted by General Malaise at 11:23 AM on November 13, 2019 [3 favorites]

Left Shark belongs on this list I'd say.
posted by Miko at 11:37 AM on November 13, 2019 [6 favorites]

Van Morrison in The Last Waltz. This clip starts at the beginning of his performance so you don't quite get the full show-stealing effect, but I think it becomes sufficiently clear.
posted by bricoleur at 12:09 PM on November 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

How about the Kiss Guy that Dave Grohl pulled onstage at a Foo Fighters concert in Austin, TX?
posted by JoeZydeco at 12:21 PM on November 13, 2019 [2 favorites]

Mhoye, were you the one that pointed the Met bit before? I remembered watching it from a Metafilter link once before.
posted by uberchet at 1:35 PM on November 13, 2019

Can't find a clip, but I'm pretty partial to Gilda Radner's brief takeover of It's Garry Shandling's Show
posted by Mchelly at 2:04 PM on November 13, 2019

The 2016 Super Bowl halftime show, where they had Coldplay opening for Beyonce and Bruno Mars?
posted by yeahlikethat at 5:59 PM on November 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

I recall seeing it first here as well, but I didn’t post it.

Oh, right; how about Buddy Guy showing the Rolling Stones how it’s done?
posted by mhoye at 5:59 PM on November 13, 2019

Also there's the time some guy challenged the guy playing Gaston at Disney World to a pushup contest
posted by Mchelly at 8:50 PM on November 13, 2019

I felt that way watching Meryl Streep in Big Little Lies. I was like, these are all great actors, and then Meryl came on and just owned every inch of her performance.

Btw, I am pretty sure those are just good guitarists playing the cover. Isn't one of them Harrison's son?
posted by xammerboy at 9:33 PM on November 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

I mean, sure, if Jeff Lynne, Steve Winwood, Marc Mann, and Tom Petty are “just good guitarists”. And yeah, that was also George’s son.

Worth mentioning that whoever played Clapton’s lead the first time (I believe it was Mann) played it note for note perfect compared to the recorded version, like he had done during rehearsals. Prince came in at the end of the final performance and set the stage on fire. While Prince was the best guitar player up there, that wasn’t a bunch of jokers that Prince showed up. Any of then could have turned in an awesome performance if they had chosen too.
posted by sideshow at 10:29 PM on November 13, 2019 [3 favorites]

Hah, I didn’t actually click the link earlier, I guess everything I said is right in the video. Figured it was a mislabeled and/or partial clip since “boring” and “some good guitarists” was used.
posted by sideshow at 10:33 PM on November 13, 2019

Just for additional context, since it's come up: the Prince performance is from 3/15/2004, when George Harrison was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The band playing "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" included:
  • Tom Petty and two other Heartbreakers
  • Jeff Lynne (ELO)
  • Steve Winwood
  • Dhani Harrison (George's son, and the one most obviously starstruck by Prince)
  • Marc Mann, as noted, who was in Lynne's band at the time
Plus, obviously, Prince, who was also inducted into the Hall that night.

So in the set of "one dude runs away with the show," this kind of sticks out a bit since basically everyone on stage is a top-tier, A-level musician with serious chops and a serious career of recording and performance behind them.

The NYT ran a sort of oral history of the performance back in 2016.
posted by uberchet at 7:19 AM on November 14, 2019 [3 favorites]

(Also: hilariously Mchelly, the guy who challenged "Gaston" is in an Ironman t-shirt, which implies excellence in endurance if not upper body strength. And Gaston's form is horrible.)
posted by uberchet at 7:21 AM on November 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

Gaston's form is horrible

Indeed. Here's how it's done.
posted by flabdablet at 9:20 AM on November 14, 2019

There's this wicked solo that Derek Trucks does (with John Mayer sitting beside him).

There's other performers on stage for this variety concert at Sin Sing prison in 1973, so it's not exactly that he blow them away but his playing and connection to the audience makes B.B. King the STAR in this performance.
posted by bonobothegreat at 5:09 PM on November 14, 2019

For further context, in case it's lacking in uberchet's link: supposedly Prince was cheesed off for being left off the Rolling Stone Magazine list of greatest guitarists (compiled by a single editor, David Fricke), published the year before. When the list was updated years later, after the magazine "consulted a panel of guitarists and musicians, instead of merely listing magazine editor David Fricke's favorites," Prince was on it (#33).
posted by Iris Gambol at 7:08 PM on November 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

Here's Mike Keneally giving a performance that would have stolen the show if he were guesting with anybody else but The Aristocrats.

None of these people have anything to prove, and the result is that rather than have their show stolen, they just get behind him and help him take it somewhere truly extraordinary just because they can.
posted by flabdablet at 4:15 AM on November 15, 2019

It's always fun to watch one guitar madman (love him or hate him, but Mayer is a pretty remarkable player with some fairly impressive fans) go just NUTS with admiration watching another. Tucks is otherworldly -- really an amazing and rare talent.

Fun Fact: he was playing in public for money by the time he was 13.

I'm not always in the mood for that style of music anymore, but when I am the Tedeschi Trucks Band's live album "Everybody's Talkin'" is really wonderful. (The "Tedeschi" part is his wife, former Houston fixture Susan Tedeschi; she's a pretty fantastic player and super gifted singer. I wish I'd gone to see her pay for cheap dollars more in the mid 90s.)
posted by uberchet at 6:36 AM on November 15, 2019

Oh, and re: Prince, it's funny but I think he was so HUGE and such a PRESENCE for so long that people often didn't really realize that yeah, he was an absolute top-tier guitar player, too -- in addition to being a visionary, songwriter, bandleader, producer, etc., etc., etc.

Springsteen is often mentioned as being a bit caught in the same trap, but I'm not enough of a fan to have an opinion on that. (The above-linked RS list puts him at #96, though -- ahead of Steve Jones, Alex (Rush) Lifeson, Thurston Moore, and Lindsey Buckingham.)
posted by uberchet at 6:39 AM on November 15, 2019

love him or hate him, but Mayer is a pretty remarkable player

If you're in any doubt about that, have a good listen to this absolutely theft-proof show from 2005.

Very good at what they do?

HELL yeah.
posted by flabdablet at 10:12 AM on November 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

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