It’s a tradition as old as the Johnny Carson show: Most nights, since 1966, bands big and small play on the national stage of late night television. Sometimes good things happen, sometimes bad things happen, but the performances are always worth watching. They’re captivating mostly because they offer the raw sound of a live band and the professional video and audio recording of a late night television show.
This week, May 6 – 11, some exciting prospects with UK acts James Blake and Emeli Sandé. Blake is mostly known for his earbud-appropriate albums, but puts on an intriguing live show. And Sandé, well, she’s the biggest thing in the UK right now, all thanks to her impressive pipes and radio-friendly jams. 98 Degrees is also taking the late night stage again, in support of their first album in ten years.
Late Show With David Letterman
Monday, May 6 – James Blake
With his eponymous 2011 album, James Blake became known as the go-to guy for introspective, intelligent dubstep. With his latest, Overgrown, Blake takes step to pare down the production and build up his voice, resulting in something a little less bedroom-y and a lot more exciting. His live shows are something to witness, too, if only to see how his often meticulous beats are reconstructed in real-time.
Jimmy Kimmel Live
The Tonight Show With Jay Leno
Singer-songwriter Emeli Sandé has been busy making big, big waves in Europe, but so far has struggled to make much of a splash in the U.S. That’s set to change, though, with Glee featuring one of her songs and a strong touring effort in the upcoming months. Get hip to her now, before your grandparents are singing “Next to Me” at the breakfast table.
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
The country band is taking over Fallon for two nights in a row to promote their new album, Golden, out May 7. Let’s just hope Baby Antebellum can handle all the excitement.
Friday, May 10 – LL Cool J
Last Call with Carson Daly
Saturday Night Live
Saturday, May 11 – Vampire Weekend
Vampire Weekend’s latest album, Modern Vampires of the City, is due out May 14, and the lead single, “Diane Young” has already been all over the place, for good reason: its bizarre use of voice modification, cacophonous tempo changes, and references to the Kennedy family satisfy almost all of the required characteristics of a winning Vampire Weekend jam. The band will play in support of MVOTC on SNL’s this weekend, which will be hosted by SNL-alum Kristen Wiig, making for the rare occasion where both the host and the musical guest are people to be excited about.
-Shane Barnes, Radio.com