7 Memorable Letterman Performances

CBS announced recently that David Letterman had resigned with the company through 2015. Here’s what the NYTimes.com blog had to say about the announcement.

The decision will again mute speculation about who might succeed Mr. Letterman, speculation that in the past has included Mr. Letterman’s late-night colleague at CBS, Craig Ferguson, as well as some other stars like Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central.

Staying on at least two years past the conclusion of Mr. Leno’s run will also give Mr. Letterman some separation in the competition that has defined both men’s careers.

More of the Late Show means great bits, interviews, and the always important musical performances. The music on the show is often the best part. The mix of the acts playing live, and sometimes on TV for the first time is a great combo. There’s also the possibility of seeing Paul mug for the camera while he plays accompanying piano. No one plays with more funk than Paul. Here’s 7 memorable live Letterman performances to celebrate Dave, Paul, and The Late Show running until 2015.

What else do you have to do at work on a Friday?

1. Eddie Vedder – Black

A classic Letterman walk on by Eddie Vedder, and boy is he cool. Bonus points for Letterman following Eddie out of the theater. No one does the slow walk over to musical performers better than Dave.

2. James Brown – Funk On Ah Roll

They just don’t make them like the godfather of soul anymore. Could any other performer pull off wearing a too tight sailor suit better than James?

3. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Higher Ground

Worth it to reminisce how crazy the Chili Peppers were. This video should be shown whenever people claim that nothing good has ever come from hardcore drug use.

4. Gnarls Barkley – Crazy

Cee-Lo was actually thin back then. A great modern Letterman performance, and even the school boy uniforms seem to work.

5. Green Day – Basket Case

This was the Green Day that scared parents. They look and sound unwashed.

6. Feist – 1234

This is one of those Letterman performances that elevates a song into places you didn’t know it could go. The live chorus and the great horn section are things that the album version of the song never captures. It is impossible to be unhappy after watching this song.

7. The Lemonheads – It’s a Shame About Ray

This might not be the most memorable song, but the tension between Dave and Evan Dando, lead singer of the band, is great. Obviously the band refused to play their radio hit “Mrs. Robinson” and this intro is Dave’s way of dealing with the refusal. Their whole interaction is a passive aggression masterclass.


Tags: CBS Late Show With David Letterman Live Musical Performances

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