If a musician or band, particularly in the popular music genre, performs a cover song for the first time in a live setting, is there a word or phrase to describe this performance? Does "premiere cover" work in this scenario and/or is there a more suitable alternative?

Secondly, if it is certain that the performer will never perform this cover again in a live setting (likely where they are broken up, no longer capable or deceased), is there a word or phrase to describe that scenario? I am thinking of something along the lines of "unique premiere cover".

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    You can "premiere a new version" of something that's been done before; that's fairly common in one form or another (e.g. in theatre you can have a premiere of a new version of a classic play). A band could probably "premiere their cover version" of a song. If it's only ever done once, you could have a "one-time performance" or "single performance" or "only ever performance" of something, including of a cover version; these are often billed as "for one night only". From my years of reading music journalism, I'm not aware of any more succinct or single-word term.
    – Stuart F
    Jan 8, 2020 at 15:54

1 Answer 1


One metaphor you could use is of a ship, where you could describe the band's maiden voyage of the song or even their sole voyage of the song.

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