The National’s performance of “Fake Empire” with Doveman on David Letterman a few years ago was one of those rare instances where Late Night television actually made me feel something. Now, a couple of days after Matt showed off his dance skills for the “Bloodbuzz Ohio” video, the band brought Sufjan Stevens along with them for a rousing take on High Violet’s “Afraid Of Everyone.” Sure, when I interviewed Stevens a few months ago we both made fun of Late Night (“I don’t understand why bands do that. It seems really tacky to me … Those shows are just promoting insipid comedies. Who watches those shows?”), but there are always exceptions, and if you’re going to take the plunge, standing up there with the National and adding to a moment like this makes good sense. Dave’s really into it, too — ends up running out of adjectives besides “beautiful,” quizzes Padma, etc.
Since you’ve already memorized High Violet, have a listen to an iTunes bonus track called “Walk Off” over at We All Want Someone To Shout For.
High Violet is out via 4AD.