Courtney Barnett is easing into rock stardom quite nicely. A couple weeks ago my colleague Tom Breihan and I witnessed her laying waste to Pitchfork Music Festival, a performance that moved Tom to effusive praise:
On record, Barnett often comes off mannered and thoughtful. But onstage, she plays even her most embarrassed rambles as anthems. She mashes the fuzz pedal, throws her hair around, and lifts her axe to the sky. She and her band look giddy and overjoyed, like they can’t believe all this riffage is coming out of them. And when you hear those songs loud, outside, with an amped-up crowd cheering her on, it feels a bit like you’re watching late-’60s Neil Young.
Last night she brought a similar swaggering enthusiasm to Jimmy Kimmel Live!‘s outdoor stage. This is the venue where genuine big-deal musicians play when they visit Kimmel’s show, and in performing Tell Me How You Really Feel tracks “Charity” and “Need A Little Time,” Barnett looked and sounded like a genuine big deal — this on a night when one of the world’s biggest rock stars, Dave Grohl, was on the show too. Her performance even survived a slightly out-of-tune guitar on the first song. Take it all in below.