No late-night show is complete without a special musical guest to close out the program. Typically filmed in small theaters, it’s an intimate gig to those in the audience, yet the artists must deliver a performance powerful enough to transcend to viewers at home.
With millions of people watching, it’s one of the best ways to promote new material and gain a broader audience. Here are five acoustic performances from late-night television that stand out as special moments. Check 'em out!
Old Crow Medicine Show on Conan
Old Crow Medicine Show sparked an Americana folk revival in recent mainstream music inspiring mega bands like Mumford & Sons with their homestyle sound. Watch them take their strings to late night with “Mississippi Saturday Night” from their latest album, Carry Me Back.
Ed Sheeran on Conan
British singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran and his notable Little Martin LX1E guitar perform “Lego House,” the third single from his chart topping debut album, +.
Chris Cornell and the Avett Brothers
Chris Cornell, along with Seth and Scott Avett, covered long time friends Pearl Jam to help promote their new album Lightning Bolt. Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament, and Matt Cameron composed the music which was also used for the Temple of the Dog track “Times of Trouble”, featuring different lyrics penned by Cornell.
Rodrigo Y Gabriela perform on The Late Show with David Letterman
The duo's first appearance on American television was this performance of “Diablo Rojo” in 2006. Their agile playing is mesmerizing as they effortlessly glide through this instrumental.
LP on The Late Show With David Letterman
“A ukulele and some whistling, that’s all you need” exclaims Letterman after this performance from L.P. of her breakthrough track “Into The Wild.” Watch her erupt into a thundering chorus giving strength to the tiny instrument and playful tune.
Bruce Springsteen And Jimmy Fallon Sing "Whip My Hair"
Fallon’s impersonation of Neil Young is impressive in itself, though he takes it up a notch blending two drastically different styles of music into one with this parody of “Whip My Hair.” Springsteen appears impersonating a younger version of himself adding his own vocals to the mix.