Music News

Public Enemy plays with The Roots on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

There's a bunch going on this week, and by a bunch I mean SXSW. It is hard to compete with that wonderful festival right now, so I will let our coverage -- handled dutifully by our own ambassador of the funk Martin Cizmar -- of the events take precedence over Up on the Sun for the next few days. That doesn't mean I can't slide in a few things worth mentioning that happened this week, though. What am I talking about? Namely Public Enemy gracing the stage on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to play their classic "Bring the Noise" accompanied by The Roots (Fallon's house band) and the Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra horn section. If it sounds like a lot, it was. More insight and video after the jump.

This performance has to be the coolest Late Night performance I have
seen since Death From Above 1979 played "Romantic Rights" in March of 2005. I got goosebumps when Chuck D started rapping, mainly because his lyrics were the last and final component to the overwhelming display of music that I was witnessing. It was like a ridiculously expensive meal at a world-renowned restaurant: it had fantastic presentation, all the parts worked together perfectly and there was plenty of Flavor...Flav. Please, see for yourself:

I can only hope that more performances like this are to come on Late Night. Just this Tuesday night he had the Ting Tings perform "That's Not My Name." The music roster has been quite impressive during the show's initial run, and having The Roots as the house band is quite an impressive feat (you hear me Carson Daly? No one likes Joe Firstman. No one).

There is a lot of music to take in this week, as is usually the case during SXSW, but who knew it would be provided by late night television? I appreciate the direction that Late Night with Jimmy Fallon is heading in -- partly because of the comedy (provided by writers A.D. Miles and Michael Bleiden), somewhat because of the guests and also because of the music. Conan had all three down once his shows started to hit their stride, and the future looks quite promising for Jimmy Fallon if he can continue to book acts such as Public Enemy.