Sure, the duet of Bruce circa ’75 and Jimmy Fallon (doing an impeccable Neil Young imitiation) performing “Whip Your Hair” is garnering much of the internet buzz from the Boss’ Tuesday night appearance on NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
But it was the incendiary performance of “Because the Night” that was the real star. It will go down (in my little book of lists) as one of the great late night music performances ever.
Backed by The Roots and anchored by E Streeters Little Steven on guitar and Roy Bittan on piano, from the opening vocal moments to a see-to-be-believe guitar-driven ending, they, to paraphrase the words of the original time slot/show host Dave Letterman, “they blew the roof off the fucking place”.
Watch the video and then read a great Rolling Stone blog post with Roots drummer ?uestlove, who said “I mean, I’ve done some intense playing on our show, but that was the most intense playing I’ve ever done.
“If you look at the last 20 seconds [of “Because the Night”], all of us are literally in a circle,” he says. “We’re totally disregarding the minute mark and the deadline – Lord knows we went 32 bars over. We were supposed to end after the end of the bridge, but we just kept going. None of that stuff was expected — the guitar solo.” – READ STORY
They reportedly rehearsed for 90 minutes on the two songs they were to play – no surprise given Bruce’s once-legendary two-hour soundchecks.
I can’t stop watching the performance. The last minute is everything rock and roll should be. And bands who want to see how to deliver when the light comes on should study the video. Not tomorrow. Not later. Now.