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(Almost) One Night Only: Bands That Played Lived Extremely Rarely

August 28, 2014

In 1966, the Beatles decided to quit touring and playing live in favor of crafting intricate albums in the studio. They’d played hundreds of concerts by then—way more than these other bands that probably won’t be coming to your town anytime soon.

Polaris Music_from_The_Adventures_of_Pete_&_PetePolaris recently announced that it would be playing a mini-tour of nine dates on the East Coast this fall. Who is Polaris? Formed by Mark Mulcahy of the ‘90s alternative rock band Miracle Legion, Polaris is Miracle Legion minus one member, and the band formed expressly for the purpose of recording the music for the 1993 to 1995 Nickelodeon cult comedy The Adventures of Pete and Pete. Polaris has played live exactly once, for a charity concert in 2012.

The Traveling Wilburys are among the most popular “supergroups” of all time. Its members included Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne of ELO, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, and George Harrison. Their 1988 album went triple-platinum and produced two top-10 hits. Ironically, however, the Traveling Wilburys…never traveled. The group of seasoned performers never went on tour.

The Buggles are best known for “Video Killed the Radio Star,” the video of which was the first thing ever played on MTV in 1981. The Buggles had just two members, Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes, both of whom joined the band Yes in 1980, meaning the Buggles were over and done before they ever played live. The Buggles finally played live in 2004—they performed “Video Killed the Radio Star” and that was it. (The duo played a full live gig in August 2010 for a charity concert.)

After leaving Pink Floyd in 1968, Syd Barrett performed a concert, accompanied by his former bandmate David Gilmour on bass. It was Barrett’s first—and last—gig, before he went into semi-seclusion for more than 30 years, up until his death in 2006.

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August 30, 2014 1:16 pm

Polaris did play live at the Daffodil Festival in Meriden, CT in 2005 or 2006. It was billed as Mark Mulcahy, but Scott Boutier and Dave McCaffery played with him and they performed several Polaris and Miracle Legion songs. This hasn’t ever really been acknowledged.

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