These expert axemen and women show us that rocking out not only takes superhuman skill but also requires next-level concentration that causes face twisting beyond recognition! Hey, we can’t blame them. It’s the reason why folks like Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendricks became the greatest guitarists in the world.
Gary Clark Jr.
Gary Clark Jr. may have been ripping it up on stage, but aside from the killer riffs, it looks like he may have ripped something else. When you're stuck mid guitar solo and you realize you may have had an accident, there is not much you more you can do.
The crowd would have never forgiven a walk-off in the middle "When My Train Pulls In." At least that open shirt is enough of a distraction.
Somebody get Chris Martin out of there. It looks like he is seconds away from fainting from pure heat exhaustion. With Cold Play's low energy sound, we can't quite fathom what all the excitement is about anyway.
And if you're going to be hopping about on stage, ditch those long sleeves.
Billie Joe Armstrong
This Green Day performance took place at the rehearsal for the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards. That year Green Day made their super successful "American Idiot" comeback album. By the looks of it, the very confident Billie Joe Armstrong and his eyeliner are gearing up to receive the seven awards they would win later that evening.
You don't need to do much in that black and red get up and studded belt à la mid-2000s emo.
We apologize. Billie Joe is not the only Green Day member. He is also certainly not the only member to be so underwhelmed with the performance. With this extreme "yawn" face we're starting to feel like none of them want to be there in the first place.
At least these American Idiots went home with the gold. If you grew up in the 2000s, you're going to be happy about that.
It must have been a full moon during this show for the great indie trio, Haim. Or at least that's what basis Este Haim thought as she turned into a full-blooded werewolf during this performance at The Greek Theater.
Hopefully, the rest of the band remains unaffected.
While no one can resist a little "Purple Rain" by Prince (or whatever you want to call him), not many people can stomach an early morning guitar face like that. This was Prince on Good Morning America, waking up to the sound of his own strings.
Between the pained look on his face and the "millennial pink" suit, there is a lot going on in this image. We think only a big cup of Joe can save this.
To be honest, Slash just looks like he's in the middle of a fatal coughing fit while desperately trying to not to drop the cigarette from his mouth. We applaud him for the effort. It's not easy shredding up "Child O' Mine" while keeping your lungs intact.
That is the way of the rockstar, we suppose. On the other hand, we very much doubt that Slash's internal organs are still intact.
While Jimi Hendrix did sing, he sure was a lot more focused on the actual guitar than on the vocals. And honestly, with skill like that, the finger work simply spoke for him. That might explain that shut-mouth groan he's got going on there.
While that may look slightly comical, there is nothing funny about what's coming out of those speakers.
Here we have Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Don't worry, Bruce, you're already there. You can take it down a notch. Everybody at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame already thinks you're great.
Try to keep some decorum in that swanky black suit. But if you must let it rip, then so be it. We know the ladies won't complain.
It's likely that the Red Hot Chili Peppers got their name from munching on too many red hot chill peppers. Seems reasonable, right? That's at least according to Flea's desperate looking pout. Should someone pass him a glass of milk to soothe the pain?
Or maybe he's trying to mimic this signature bassy booms via his vocal cords. Either way, he's bringing it with that face.
This blues guitar legend didn't even need to glimpse at his beloved Lucille to get it right. We'll take that "I just sucked on a lemon" face as a good thing.
We can hear the howls through the picture.
No, that's not Andy Samberg doing a Sgt. Peppers parody. This is Richie Sambora trying to travel back in time to perform with John, Paul, George, and Ringo.
While that mightily impressive face-pulling might not take him anywhere, we are sure the crowd is being transported to another plane.
When you've been around as long as the great Carlos Santana, the gigs become less about appearance. I mean, with that wacky shirt and fedora, "coolness" is sort of out the window at this point. Not to worry, he still has the crowd engaged enough. At least that's what his mouth says.
Alternatively, it could be Santana throwing a toddler-like tantrum because everybody stopped paying attention after Rob Thomas left the stage.
Lzzy Hale sure knows how to rile up a crowd, in fact, she may have gotten folks so excited that they started flinging their clothes and underwear at her. This explains the look of horror followed by the swift duck she seems to be doing.
We blame those Cleopatra eyes and her electrifying flying V.
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Stevie Ray Vaughn was always known for letting everything go on stage. So much so that he decided to dress up as Zorro and have a pretend sword fight with the air.
Still, we envy the lucky few who got to attend that 1989 concert in New York City.
Poison's C.C. DeVille looks like he just got electrocuted right on stage and his screaming for help. Of course, everybody in the audience likely confused it for some energetic groaning. Deville had no choice but to go with it, ultimately resulting in one of the wildest rock shows ever.
We are glad that that 2012 show in Michigan went down positively, but we sincerely hope Poison's prized axeman is doing okay.
Steve Vai is known for having beyond human technique. Like the guitar genius he is, it's clearly all in that weirdly awkward two-handed string tapping.
While it must sound brilliant, it looks like he is having some slight technical difficulties.
Easy there, Clapton. If we were you, we would be careful with the moves up there. This look could also be known as "oh no I left the gas on."
And someone, please, for heaven's sake unbutton that shirt. This is a rock show, not church!
Keith Urban looks like he's trying his very best in weathered jeans at the 2004 New rock City Show. Somehow, with all that rocking out, his perfectly streaked "Rachel do" is still safely intact.
Below the neck, he's all rock 'n roll. That head, however, tells a different story.
Musician Gary Moore looks like he's trying out for a spot in a gurning competition rather than playing guitar. Either that or the poor guy stubbed his toe on a guitar pedal.
And seriously! What is it with aging guitarists and button-down shirts? You still got it. At least most of you do.
In a look that could only be described as "can, you smell the funk?" Buddy Guy brings everything he's got and then some. That electric satin shirt is the perfect amount of swagger.
If that were to be Buddy Guy's last show, we would sure he would want to be frozen at that very moment.
Angus Young may have gotten some direct current right there straight to the brain. That hair looks like it came from the result of a shock wave straight through the fingers. Which, to be fair is really what their music sounds like.
Clearly didn't really stop him and the "schoolboy" rockers from thrashing it out
Rob Trujillo looks like a guitar-wielding bigfoot about to attack us all with a killer riff. This Madison Square Garden Metallica really bought the beast out of him.
Though, Metallica is a pretty beastly band.
Is Lenny Kravitz being swallowed by his own dreadlocks or his he literally drowning in his own guitar solo? Nothing is really clear.
That is one low v-neck tee. Next time, just go without the tee.
Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes
Taylor Goldsmith from the band Dawes actually succeeds in making folk-rock look kind of wild. With that pained look and the messy hair, one would not think this is a Dawes song.
At least he has that indie-boy plaid shirt to keep the balance. Nice touch.
Jordan Cook of Reignwolf bares his 'fangs' at the crowd just to remind us all that he is, in fact, in a rock band and it has the word "wolf" in it. Looking fierce, Jordan.
And just in case it wasn't clear, his leather jacket confirms, that he is a rockstar indeed.
Megadeath’s Chris Broderick summons the gods of metal in this performance at St. Paul, Minn.’s Myth Nightclub. Seems like he is really spiritually connected.
We can be certain that the crowd left that concert feeling like that they had witnessed the Lord himself.
It's hard to pick out the weirdest thing in this picture. Is it that face or is it that chain that strangely resembles something between a tribal Masai necklace and your grandmother's pearls?
It's the face. It really is a wonderland, John Mayer.
This is a stick up according to Tenacious D's Jack Black. When the hilarious rocker wants everyone to mosh, they do it. Gunning to the crowd with that mighty finger, Black is in the zone.
The Master Exploder cannot be stopped.
Bruno Mars can't quite believe his luck as he performs on stage like he's a real rockstar. He looks like a kid at his school talent show.
As long as he doesn't sound like one then we can forgive him
Someone please, for heaven's sake get Ed Sheeran out of his own show. He looks like he's been left at the mall and he needs his mommy. Is it the scruffy ginger hair or is it the desperate wailing?
Perhaps he is singing forlornly about another long lost love.
After listening to Tik Tok we were not aware that Kesha actually played guitar. Perhaps neither did she which could explain the look on her face that says "how did this get here?"
Jokes aside she looks as if she's over the pop music and rocking it out like a pro.
Speaking of pop, Taylor Swift, the sun queen herself lights up the stage with those golden locks and glittery guitar. It's sparkle overload and she's about to burst.
Take that, boys. Taylor is on fire and her spark will not be snuffed!
Riot Girl royal Carrie Brownstein graces us with her presence at what looks like the 100th gig of that week. You can't fool us with a little leg raise. Your face silently screams "I do not want to be here."
Unfortunately, we all very much do want you to be here.
John Mayer, Again
John Mayer is back with an even more ridiculous face. It's odd how his soft lover boy songs come out of a mug like that. Smooth you are not, sir.
Perhaps it's just in your lyrics. Let's stick to radio John Mayer instead.
Yikes. Is Principal Freddie King about to send a kid out of the classroom for a spanking? Maybe someone disrupted the show and King has to do some serious disciplining. There's no funny business when it comes to the business of rock.
Better be on your best behavior when you're at a Freddie King concert.
Shoot for the stars! That's what little Jimmy's parents must have said to him. And that's exactly what he did. It's no surprise that he grew up to be one of the greatest guitarists who ever lived.
He's not even doing it with a regular guitar!
Paul McCartney and Neil Young
These two old pros look they're having a little sing-off. Step aside Paul, Neil wants that mic so bad he might bite it right off, along with your head! This is what happens when you dust off old rockstars and let 'em back on stage. They get a little hungry.
At least Paul seems to know his place.
Leather face Richards, erm, we mean Keith is back with a vengeance and he has his eyes on the prize. Or he is trying to remember the chords? It may have been a while since his last show.
We are sure that he did just fine in the end though.
Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth tests out his sonic sound waves by doing his very best whale impression. The indie/grunge/noise/post-punk king of the 90s is known for making strange sounds.
We just love those sonic youths. Though these days they're not so youthful. How time flies.
That human skeleton with thinning hair is not the prettiest sight. That evil look on his face is not particularly helping the situation either. Is he plotting the world's demise mid-solo?
Krieger is definitely suited more to the audio experience than the visual one.
Frusciante might need a little helping hand there. Too bad he'll never get it. Between Keidis, Flea and Smith, those guys have a lot going on and if we remember correctly, Flea has his own set of problems.
That's the Peppers for ya.
It's hard to take T-Bone Walker seriously when he looks like he's drifting into a catatonic state. With his mesmerizing guitar skills, its no surprise that he ended up in a self-induced state of hypnosis.
These guitar legends need to watch out for themselves.
T-Bone may have hypnotized himself but Terry Kath here appears to have played himself to sleep. Chicago's soft jazzy rock sounds can do that to you. We just didn't know it could do that to the actual band members.
Chicago should not be played when behind the wheel. This looks potentially hazardous.
Is Robert Fripp trying to sell us insurance? This strictly-business stance makes for an interesting rock show. Fluff up that hair a little, Fripp, and lose that blazer. This isn't the bank!
This man takes his guitar extremely seriously. While he may be brilliant, showmanship just isn't his thing.
Speaking of formal rockstars, George Harrison stands here politely strumming along like he's in a high-school prom band. The Beatles were always a little stiff in their earlier days.
We are pleased that they loosened up a little over the years and gave us some of the best music in history.
Creepy Joe Walsh looks as if he's a medieval gatekeeper in a Disney film about a wicked witch. All that's missing is a raggedy brown cloak and an oil lamp. That face is not exactly a crowd-pleaser.
At least his music is! As the guitarist for The Eagles, he's definitely done something right.
Eddie Van Halen
That time Eddie Van Halen was granted access into heaven over his masterful rocking out. As we can see, he is about to ascend right into that beam of light.
Either that or the aliens are taking him back home. That's what happens when you're just too good.
Hey Chuck. Is this a rock show or are you trying to carefully vacate the premises? Looks like you're moments away from placing that guitar down and politely walking away.
We don't blame him. Chuck Berry's music has been known to cause severe neck and leg injuries.