Back in 1993, the first year that Conan O’Brien was the host of Late Night, the Breeders appeared on his show. Back then, O’Brien’s Late Night was the only late-night show that consistently booked left-of-center rock bands — even left-of-center rock bands who had radio hits, as the Breeders did. On Conan, the Breeders played “Divine Hammer,” one of the hits from their now-classic album Last Splash. They also got to sit down with O’Brien for an interview, something that never happens anymore. They talked about getting drunk and giving each other hickies the night before, and bassist Josephine Wiggs gave O’Brien one. It was all about as early-’90s as you can possibly imagine.
The Breeders, of course, are back together. A little while ago, the band reconvened the lineup that made Last Splash. They made a new album called All Nerve, and it rules. And last night, after 25 years, the Breeders were once again on Conan. (The Breeders were also on Conan’s Late Night in 2002, playing “Huffer,” which complicates the “returns after 25 years” thing. But it’s wasn’t the Last Splash lineup, so let’s just go with it.)
Nobody, sadly, gave O’Brien a hickey on last night’s show. But the Breeders did bash their way through a euphoric version of their reunion single “Wait In The Car,” looking absolutely elated to be there. O’Brien looked happy to have them, too. Below, watch last night’s performance as well as the one from all those years ago.
All Nerve is out now on 4AD.