What’s Your Favorite Televised Musical Performance?

Zero Beyonce in this thread so far. I’m ashamed.

This was notable for the fucking future Blue Ivy announce.

Formation Superbowl performance.

Honorable mention: Her standing in front of a giant screen that just said FEMINIST but I can’t find any good clips of that performance for some reason.


Gotta stay on brand!

Saw this thread and immediately thought “oooh I hope I get to be the person who posts Prince at the Super Bowl, Purple Rain in the pouring rain” and… yup



What a great thread!

One I’ve kept coming back to in recent years is this Spike Jonze - Greta Gerwig - Arcade Fire collaboration.

I also have a fondness for Kanye’s MBDTF era appearances. This performance of Power on SNL is just one “fuck SNL and the whole cast” verse away from being an all timer.


I wish I had a better quality version of this one, but I have to include it.

In 2005, Massive Attack and Portishead played a couple of nights together in their home city of Bristol.
As a European dude whose teenage years were deeply influenced by the three big Bristol Sound acts (Tricky being the third one), that transition with Risingson and Glory Box - watch from 25:40 for that part - has always felt like an absolutely transcendental moment, fusing personal memories of my own with those of a genre and a place specific to its history.

A favorite of a different kind is this appearance by Muse on an Italian talk show where the performance had to be done with playback. So they decided to switch instruments and have some fun with it, including some ridiculous drumming antics by Matt Bellamy and actual drummer Dominic Howard giving an interview as the band’s ostensible frontman.

Great thread! Always also been a fan of the live performance on late nights even if I hardly watch any of them today they were a great source to see music when I was a younger.

Some great inclusions in here already but my favorite has probably always been The White Stripes rendition of Let’s Build a Home on Conan.

The energy they bring to this song compared to the recorded and the chemistry between Meg & Jack are just on point here. And the flow in and out of Soledad Brothers rendition of Goin’ Back To Memphis and then Son House’s Grinnin’in Your Face at the end + that guitar throw.

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I had the same thought.

This one is always amazing to me. One of those perfect moments in terms of career building too.

It’s a great performance on its own, but for context Nas was meant to be performing in that slot and pulled out the day before. KT Tunstall was pretty unknown, had just released her first album which bombed because…well she was unknown. She got offered the spot, had 24 hours to prepare, nailed the performance, re-released her first album and launched a career that has been pretty successful. Her first couple of albums in particular did amazingly well.

I love this.
There was also a show where they were Matt Bellamy apparently forgot the lyrics of a verse and so just yelled “Fuck” into a megaphone instead.

Tom Waits doing “Make It Rain” on Letterman. I actually like this quite a bit better than the album version.

Goddamn, that’s outstanding. I agree, I like this version better than the album one.

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Easily Lady Gaga’s performance of Paparazzi at the VMAs. At this point in her career I think it’s easy to forget what made Gaga so revolutionary at the time, but watching this performance lets it all rush back for me.

I was totally gonna post that TV on the Radio Letterman performance, so so good.

Another one worth posting:

This is even wilder in retrospect given Kanye’s career trajectory since this exact performance, like just for those 3 and a half minutes he reached a peak of, like, abrasiveness, confrontationalness, punk-ness, scariness, straight up vitalness thats not only bizarre as a thing that a mainstream pop artist would do but as something that he specifically would do.

And, yeah, this song is in every advert ever now, its become banal to some extent just as Kanye’s become banal but in 2013 it was something.


Internet shows should nominally count as televised in 2017 so here’s another fave

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I’m not just trying to bump my own thread here but I really needed somewhere to share this excellent performance from Alvvays on Adult Swim’s Fishcenter, the world’s #1 tropical fish-centric call-in talk show.

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Context: On May 24th, 2016 it was announced that Gord Downie, lead singer of The Tragically Hip (one of the most influential bands in Canadian music history), had terminal brain cancer. Despite the diagnosis, the band claimed that their upcoming tour for their thirteenth album would still go on.

Their last show on the tour would be in their hometown of Kingston in front of a little under 7000 people. Tickets sold out instantly. There was a large swelling of support across the country for the concert to be televised on CBC, which surprisingly actually worked, with the CBC agreeing to air the entire three hour concert, live, uncensored, and commercial free, on TV, online, and on the radio.

11.7 million people watched that 30 song + 3 encore broadcast, roughly one in every three Canadians. It was one of those rare true Canadian cultural moments that will be remembered nationwide, on par with the 2010 Winter Olympics. It was beautiful, it was somber, it was celebratory, it was heartbreaking, it was a band that loved a country deeply saying their final farewells as the country said them right back.

On the 17th of last month, Gord Downie died. While their tour last year wasn’t officially said to be their last tour, the band, the fans, the country all sort of accepted that it would be. His death still hit like a punch to the gut, but that televised concert allowed for a country to prepare itself for the inevitable, to celebrate their long history together, and to say their last good-byes.

We’ve had a lot of musical celebrity deaths these past few years, many of which I mourn alongside my selfish lament that we were robbed of the could-have-been concerts, albums, and radio hits. But for Gord, I only miss the man.


Not to pull a “I miss the old Kanye” but I miss the Yeezus era Kanye so much.

This performance is probably everything I could ever want from live music. Esperanza Spalding is a musical idol of mine and Wayne Shorter is absolutely brilliant. Every performer here nails it. Got dang.

Speaking of her, I’m gonna count the entire recording session for Exposure, because that was on Facebook Live which is basically televised. It was a live event where she televised the entire creation of an album for 77 hours. Here’s a moment where my mind was utterly shredded into bits.

Also have an appreciation for this performance. I also have a soft spot for this. I have no idea if this was televised but I adore this performance. This, also.

Ahhh! But mainly those first two. :slight_smile:


The whole 30 minute set is fantastic, really.

Oh and I almost forgot this Captain Beefheart performance on German TV.


I almost posted a Beefheart performance. German TV musical appearances are buckwild.

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I would probably pay for tickets just to see Neil Young banter with the audience while fumbling with harmonicas for a while like he does here. He seems like the chillest guy.