Watch Car Seat Headrest’s Energetic, Self-Aware Tonight Show Performance

Near the beginning of Car Seat Headrest’s Tonight Show performance last night, frontman Will Toledo leaned over to his keyboardist and said, into the mic, “Is it the chorus yet? Yes! It’s the chorus! Cuz we’re on live TV. And we have four minutes to play this song. So we’re going to go to the second verse.” (The Tonight Show is taped, not live, but you get the idea.)

A few minutes later, toward the end of the song, the band stopped playing for a moment, and Toledo told the crowd, “Normally, we do a bit of a breakdown here, but we only have 50 seconds left, so we’re just going to go right to the final chorus.”

Car Seat Headrest were on the show to perform “Bodys,” a song from the band’s new album Twin Fantasy. (It’s a re-recorded full-band version of an album that Toledo released back in 2011, when he was a lo-fi Bandcamp artist.) On record, the song is nearly seven minutes long, so everything that Toledo said during the song was entirely correct.

And it’s probably also worth pointing out that the performance, even laying aside the meta-hijinks, was great, fiery and driving and committed and full of life. It was the first time I’ve seen Toledo sticking to the singer’s role, not playing any instruments. He had a six-piece band behind him, including a percussionist, which really added something. Watch the performance below.

Twin Fantasy is out now on Matador.