Die hard Black Keys fans the world over are wide-eyed in disbelief as the unassuming band is skyrocketing their way to rock superstardom, mainly because we’re just so used to their defiant, organic sound flying ever so slightly under the radar. But the attention is well deserved, as the Black Keys’ dedication to rock’n’roll is completely unwavering, their music consistently inspiring. Since they made meme status with the “Lonely Boy” dancer, it only makes sense that the next logical step is a second appearance on Saturday Night Live. Performing “Lonely Boy” and “Gold On The Ceiling,” the Keys shine, upping the ante for their contemporaries and giving rock authenticity a much needed renaissance. If you like what you saw on SNL, be sure to tune in tonight for MTV Hive’s‘s live stream of the Black Keys in concert from New York City, at 9 p.m ET/6 p.m. PT.
To Iron & Wine fans, “Flightless Bird, American Mouth” might be deemed a bit old for Sam Beam to be promoting (it’s two albums old), but for Twilight fans, it all makes perfect sense. The song, chosen specifically by Kristen Stewart herself (fan girl!) for the film, features in Twilight: Breaking Dawn (Part 1), as the “Wedding Version.” Beam played this version of the classic song last night on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and in true Iron & Wine style, the song was simply moving. With Beam’s mesmerising vocals, the soft lighting and live strings, the performance left our romantic hearts skipping a beat or two.
Promoting his hit single “Without You,” David Guetta appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night, joined by Usher, who brough some serious dance moves to the stage. Spinning, u-turning and collar-popping, Usher employed all the signature moves he’s known for, all the while singing over Guetta’s trancetastic beats. With a team of back-up dancers, flashing lights, psychedelic visualizations and shooting flames, the stage was transformed into a Euro-techno party with Usher and Guetta revving up the audience. No wonder this song is shooting towards the top of our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown!
She & Him performed “The Christmas Waltz” on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno last night, and it was a very warm, cozy, understated affair. On a set designed to look like all your cuddliest Christmas dreams come true—trees draped in fairy lights, comfy couches and stockings by a mock fireplace—it was just a little bit magical. With Zooey Deschanel crooning in the dreamy way she does, it was a case of being transported back in time, or even to Santa’s Christmas village in the North Pole. It’s not even December yet, but She & Him have us swooning for a white, romantic Christmas.
We’ve had Nickelback fever since we previewed the band’s video for “When We Stand Together” last month. Nickelback’s performance last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live did nothing to abate our fever, either — with Chad Kroeger‘s raw vocal and a stage literally set alight by theatrical flame throwers, Nickelback burned the house to the ground. With their awesome performance of “Burn It To The Ground,” not because they actually set fire to anything (other than our hearts, figuratively speaking). Nickelback’s roaring, metal sound was decidedly harder than their post-grunge beginnings, and even from behind a screen we couldn’t help but do a sneaky head bang.
Look, we know the Gym Class Heroes track “Stereo Hearts” features Adam Levine, and we’re defintely fans, but the band’s performance last night on Leno with Estelle singing Levine’s parts… well… it was pretty amazing! Estelle brings a summery soulfulness to the song with her gravelly vocals, and the female voice adds an extra layer to the track — a certain mystique and romance. Not to mention how beautiful Estelle looked in a red maxi-dress (we’re sure you’d look just as pretty in a dress too, Adam!). Should Adam Levine be afraid?
Swedish songstress Lykke Li performed “Silent My Song” from her newest album, Wounded Rhymes, on Letterman last night. Ignore Letterman’s cringe-worthy introduction to the performance, and you’ll find a hauntingly different Lykke Li. Experimenting with a darker side in Wounded Rhymes, Lykke Li metamorphosed from the saccharine sounds of Youth Novel with an naturalness that is soul baring in its honesty. From “Get Some” to “Sadness Is A Blessing” and now “Silent My Song,” Lykke Li is turned inside out in a marvelously macabre transformation.
If you want to make Beyoncé slightly more epic, just add The Roots. We know this because that’s exactly what happened this weekend on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Performing “Countdown,” Beyoncé foregoes her signature hyper-choreographed moves in favor of a more subdued, sexy performance. And it’s pretty damn sexy — even when the girl isn’t really moving, damn, can she move! Complete with hip-defining costume and wind machine, Bey proves why she’s the King; even with an amazing band (and they are amazing) like The Roots behind her, all you can think while watching is “Oh Bey!”
(NOTE: For those of you wondering why she looks not-at-all preggo in this video, it’s because this performance was taped over the summer and just aired for the first time on Friday night. H/T to Matt Perpetua for the scoop.)