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15 Most Surprising Covers From 2014’s Summer Tours

Watch the best, weirdest and straight-up most entertaining homages from the season’s biggest stages

Chance the Rapper performs at Made In America festival.

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 31: Chance the Rapper performs during day 2 of the Made in America Festival at Los Angeles Grand Park on August 31, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/WireImage)

Chelsea Lauren/WireImage

It's always fun when a band skips their own compositions to play an unlikely, perhaps tongue-in-cheek cover, and summer 2014 saw plenty of these moments. As it turns out, the large-scale music festivals that now dominate the season are perfectly suited for them: If you're Kaiser Chiefs, you can cover Dolly Parton; and if you're Dolly Parton you can cover "Yakety Sax," playing the title instrument yourself. As the seasons change, here are 15 of the best, weirdest and straight-up most entertaining examples from the past few months.


Jack White – Jay Z’s “99 Problems” at Forecastle

During White Stripes fav "Icky Thump," Jack nodded to Jay Z before segueing into a little bit of Dick Dale's surf-rock classic "Misirlou."


Pearl Jam – “Let it Go” in Italy

The self-proclaimed "ultimate dad band" lived up to the title by playing Frozen mega-hit "Let It Go" before launching into the aptly titled "Daughter" at a show in Trieste. Apparently, even they aren't immune to the catchy ballad's appeal.


The Killers – Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” at V Festival

Far better than their San Francisco "Dock of the Bay," the Killers' ace "Fancy" cover was a V Festival highlight. Brandon Flowers handled keys and vocals while drummer Ronnie Vannucci offered an interpretive dance.


Kings of Leon – Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own” at Lollapalooza

Kings' cathartic take on Robyn's hit feels less like a party-starter than an attempt at post-breakup solidarity. Lighters up!


Dolly Parton – “Yakety Sax” at Glastonbury

"I was feeling rather sax-y today," Parton told the Glastonbury crowd, trading her fiddle for a miniature horn and blowing the "Yakety Sax" melody herself. Somewhere, the ghost of Benny Hill is running in circles.


Kaiser Chiefs – Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” at Glastonbury

Whether it was pre-planned or inspired by that "Yakety Sax" cover, the Kaiser Chiefs gave it up for Dolly Parton, covering her "9 to 5" at the same festival.


James Blake – Bill Withers’ “Hope She’ll Be Happier” at Bonnaroo

Blake has always incorporated R&B into his music, but at Bonnaroo he reached way back to Bill Withers, setting "Hope She'll Be Happier" to his signature near-ambient post-dubstep electronica.


Manchester Orchestra and Young the Giant – Weezer’s “El Scorcho” at Lollapalooza

Two years ago, Young the Giant made a few headlines with a dull take on R. Kelly's "Ignition (Remix)," but this year they stepped up their game, bringing out the Manchester Orchestra to help them remake Weezer's classic "El Scorcho."


Grouplove – Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” at Lollapalooza

Playing Lollapalooza, this pop-leaning quintet attempted a little head-banging, nailing the Beastie Boys' punk hit riff-for-riff. The only thing missing was the detective outfits that the Beasties wore for the song's music video.