My friend Nick Sylvester was once, I’d argue, the greatest rock critic of his generation. When he left behind music criticism, he became a writer on The Colbert Report. And more recently, he started his Godmode label, discovered a ridiculously promising young Las Vegas singer named Shamir Bailey, and produced Shamir’s excellent debut album Ratchet. Last night, when Shamir made his American TV debut on Colbert’s newly relaunched Late Show, Sylvester was part of his band, playing the cowbell on the cowbell-driven monster jam “On The Regular.” But Nick was only a small part of a live presentation that included a full complement of backup singers, a horn section, a whole lot of costumes, and a very cool theatrical opening with a whole bunch of mirrors. Basically, Shamir used the whole late-night TV format, which can get so boring, to do something theatrical and silly and ridiculously fun. The performance is just an absolute joy, and you can watch it below.
Ratchet is out now on XL.