Before last night, Robbie Robertson, longtime frontman of the Band and general all-around rock legend, hadn’t played on a late-night show in about eight years. But last night, Robertson fixed that. These days, the man has a lot going on. He scored the much-anticipated new movie The Irishman, the latest from Robertson’s Last Waltz-era buddy Martin Scorsese. And he’s also got a brand new solo album called Sinematic. Last night, Robertson was on The Tonight Show to let everybody know.
Robertson spent many, many years leading one of the best bands in the world. Last night, he got a chance to try out another of the best. Robertson performed with the Roots, the Tonight Show house band who, in moments like this, make a strong argument for the continued existence of the Jimmy Fallon Tonight Show.
Together with the Roots, Robertson performed “Let Love Reign,” one of the Sinematic singles. On record, it’s a warm and bluesy workout. But the Roots turned it into a more uptempo soul song, with gospel-style backing vocals and big bursts of horn. All of this suited Robertson’s impressively leathery singing voice just fine. Watch the performance below.
Sinematic is out now on UMe.