The Greatest Lighter In The Air Moments
We’ve all been there. Watching one of the greatest bands on Earth, caught in the moment, the air buzzing with euphoria, and then it happens. One by one, lighters a held aloft by fans, showing their recognition and appreciation for one of the slower, more emotional numbers. There are two theories about when this ancient practice started – either during Melanie Safka’s rainy set at Woodstock ’69 or at a Doors concert a few years earlier during Light My Fire.
Regardless of its origins, for (at least) 50 years music fans have been raising lighters to their favourite bands and songs. To celebrate this piece of rock’n’roll lore, Zippo have created a special edition Woodstock lighter, celebrating 50 years of peace and love. The Zippo lighter has a long, storied history with the world of rock, gracing not just countless album covers but has also made an excellent quick-and-dirty guitar slide – Jimi Hendrix loved the primal, raw tone it generated so much that he used one on the 1968 recording of All Along The Watchtower. Half a century later, Zippo stands alongside scissor kicks and devil horns as infamous pieces of rock iconography.
Nowadays Zippo lighters are seen at gigs and festivals across the world, thrust into the air for the greatest power ballads ever written. It doesn’t happen for every song, but when it does, it’s an experience like no other.
Here are 10 of the greatest lighter moments in rock.
Guns N’ Roses – November Rain
Upon hearing the words November Rain your mind might be drawn to that classic image of Slash soloing outside a church, but Guns N’ Roses’ 1991 uberballad is a guaranteed lighter moment. From the opening refrain to the swelling choral vocals, it’s one of rock’s most ambitious tracks and deserves some fire.
Metallica – Nothing Else Matters
Metallica don’t often do slow songs, but when they do, they make it count. Whether you’re a fan of the Black Album or not, whenever the lights go down and Kirk Hammett strolls out onstage, you know it’s time to stick those lighters in the air and sway to James Hetfield’s dulcet tones.
Linkin Park – One More Light
Now, let’s not pretend that the majority of lights in the air here aren’t actually phones, but there are some old school Linkin Park fans who still put their flame-makers in the sky for this track. When Mike Shinoda recently played One More Light in London on his solo tour, the foot of space above the crowd was packed with lights and lighters, beautifully illuminating the room.
Aerosmith – I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing
Okay it’s not Aerosmith’s coolest, rockingest song, but it sure made spacey stinkfest Armageddon more palatable. Plus it’s Steven bloody Tyler – one of the greatest frontmen in all of rock’n’roll – crooning along to some of the most epic instrumentation ‘Smith have ever played. Perfect for sticking that fire in the sky.
Green Day – Wake Me Up When September Ends
Billie Joe’s ode to his late father is always one of the more sombre moments of any Green Day show. Becoming an instant fan-favourite upon its release in 2005, the American Idiot hit is the one moment guaranteed to send your Zippo flying into the air. Sing your lungs out and start swaying.
Enter Shikari – Airfield
Enter Shikari aren’t shy of emotive ballads (see Adieu, Constellations etc), but latest album The Spark contains arguably their most sincere and fragile song to date. The piano-led track provides the most teary-eyed moments of any Shikari show in the last two years. When Kerrang! saw them at Alexandra Palace in London, frontman Rou Reynolds perched himself on a separate stage halfway down the room to surround himself with fans for the emotional crescendo. Needless to say, lighters and lights were firmly aloft.
Blink-182 – I Miss You
Probably blink-182’s most emo moment, and one that deserves your lighter amongst the myriad of pop-punk ragers – it would be weird to get your Zippo out during All The Small Things. Save your fiery energy for when you belt out that “Where are youuuuuuuuu?” at the top of your lungs. We’ve all been there.
Ozzy Osbourne – Mama, I’m Coming Home
You can’t go and see The Prince Of Darkness without packing flames in your pocket. When not barking at the moon or riding the crazy train, Ozzy does have his more touching moments – including this heartfelt tribute to his wife Sharon Osbourne.
Stone Sour – Bother
Whether it’s performed by the band or at Corey Taylor’s own solo shows, this acoustic ballad is almost written with lighters in mind. Like Slipknot’s Snuff, it’s a passionate, stirring listen, and primed to send thousands of mini infernos into the air as soon as that monstrous chorus hits.
Biffy Clyro – Many Of Horror
Also known as When We Collide, Many Of Horror is one of the most joyous songs in Biffy’s arsenal. Just another diamond amongst their festival-headliner humongoid hits, this heartfelt ballad was written by Simon Neil for his wife and family. If you don’t instantly reach for your little firelighter when first hearing that guitar then you’re made of stone.
Created in association with Zippo.
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