What a time to be Big Thief. Today, the New York band releases Two Hands, their second frankly amazing album of 2019. (The first was U.F.O.F.) At this point, they’re basically the best indie rock band currently working, and it would be contrarian to try to argue for anyone else. To underline that point, Big Thief were the musical guests on last night’s episode of the Late Show With Stephen Colbert, and they blew that motherfucker out.
Big Thief were supposed to be on the musical guests on Colbert on Wednesday, but they must’ve gotten bumped. (At least a few indie rockers who stayed up late were pissed off.) But we finally got to see the performance on last night’s show, and it was a real thing to witness. Playing the single “Not,” the four members of the band crouched in a tight semicircle, and they all seemed to feed off of each other — making eye contact, feeding into each other, hitting big harmony vocals. They seemed to be willing each other on to do great things. It was beautiful. (Also, I don’t think I fully appreciated the variety of weird haircuts within Big Thief until this moment.)
A lot of credit goes to the Colbert producers. Usually, late-night shows shoot the frontperson and really only pan over the other members of the band. Here, the cameras were in the midst of Big Thief’s ranks, panning between faces, getting a better sense of the chemical reactions that were happening up there. Colbert himself seemed awfully happy with the results. Watch it below.
Another Colbert thing: Last month, Paul McCartney was a guest on the show, and Colbert devoted an entire episode, pretty much, to him. But apparently, they had some good material that they couldn’t use. So today, they posted a bit more of that conversation, with McCartney talking about what it was like to play stadium shows to thousands of shrieking girls and telling the story of being knighted. Watch that below.