7. JAY-Z, Summer Jam, 2001
Had JAY-Z only brought out Michael Jackson after performing "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)" -- which of course samples the Jackson 5 -- his appearance at Summer Jam 2001 might rank as the most memorable in the fest’s history. But getting the reclusive King of Pop to step onstage and wave wasn’t all Jay did on that June night. In debuting the diss track “Takeover,” Jigga escalated beefs with not one, but two Queens MCs: Prodigy of Mobb Deep and Nas. "When I was pushing weight back in ’88 / you was a ballerina / I got the pictures,” Jay rapped at Prodigy, right before using the giant video screen to display a shot of a young Prodigy at his grandmother’s dance studio. Later, Jay rapped, “Ask Nas -- he don't want it with Hov." In fact, Nas was game to tangle, and his response track “Ether” arguably won him the rap battle. Nevertheless, Jay’s bold moves at Summer Jam got everyone talking and gave hip-hop one of its key storylines for the next few years.
6. Radiohead, Bonnaroo, 2006
In 2006, Radiohead gave what many consider the finest performance in Bonnaroo history and the greatest concert of their career. Why so much love for this 28-song set? The group swapped out a bunch of its hits for unreleased material, treating the audience of 70,000 to “15 Step,” “House of Cards,” “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi,” and “Bodysnatchers,” all of which would appear on the forthcoming In Rainbows. There were also songs from OK Computer, Hail to the Thief, The Bends, Amnesiac, and Kid A -- every album but the group’s 1993 debut, Pablo Honey. Radiohead aren't exactly a good-time dance band, so for these moody art-rockers to turn in a performance that nearly everyone agreed was an instant classic says a lot about the passion and intensity they projected.
5. Prince, Coachella, 2008
In addition to being one of the most innovative pop composers of all time, Prince was a gifted interpreter of other people’s songs. Here’s a partial list of the tunes he covered during his jaw-dropping performance at Coachella 2008: the Beatles’ “Come Together,” the B-52’s’ “Rock Lobster,” Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” and Radiohead’s “Creep,” a left-field pick he stretched into an eight-minute epic. Although he changed (or botched) Thom Yorke’s lyrics, Prince must’ve connected with the outsider vibe. Not that he was alone that night in Indio. The Purple One rocked with longtime pals the Time and Sheila E. on the opening three numbers and spent the rest of the set in the company of his own classics, which included “Controversy,” “Housequake” “Cream,” and “Let’s Go Crazy.” In the wake of Prince’s death in 2016, many fans revisited video of this performance to remind themselves just how very special this guy was.
4. Otis Redding, Monterey Pop, 1967