Perfume Genius Played Fallon From An Empty Venue, And It Ruled

Perfume Genius played The Tonight Show last night, which is exciting in its own right. But also, oh my God, it was something like a real live music performance! For months, as a means of combating the COVID-19 pandemic, most late-night TV appearances have been livestreamed or pre-taped performances from home. This has mostly been unpleasant. But it seems Jimmy Fallon and the Roots are now broadcasting live from 30 Rock again, just without a studio audience. And on last night’s episode, the musical guest was present too.

Well, technically it was still beamed in from elsewhere. Perfume Genius performed in an empty venue, The Lodge Room in Los Angeles, which closely resembled a late-night TV setup. For the show proper, Mike Hadreas and his band took a phenomenal run through “On The Floor,” a highlight from this year’s Set My Heart On Fire Immediately. Yes, they were playing to an empty studio, but it didn’t seem to affect them. Hadreas was a revelation, moving with slinky fluidity and striking a range of wild facial expressions, and his band sounded immaculate and locked-in. They tacked on a seated performance of “Jason” as an online extra, which was also cool.

I don’t know if this is going to be the norm going forward, but damn — how refreshing is it to see something close to a real-life concert performance? Check out both Perfume Genius songs below.