Gnarls Do “Run” On SNL, Played Highline Last Thursday (With Santogold)

Saturday night’s Live featured Ashton Kutcher as host, Ashton Kutcher in one too many Cool Pix commercials, and Gnarls Barkley as musical guest. We never got around to posting Gnarls’s show at Highline Ballroom with Santogold last Thursday, maybe because we were a little underwhelmed. “This is an overpaid dress rehearsal,” Cee-Lo joked sometime after dropping his mic (think he had a few drinks more than the two we saw him take onstage). And it was true: They were dressed (in their ’50s finest, Cee-Lo wig and all), and it was a rehearsal. A damn fine rehearsal, sure — dude can sing, Danger’s a subtly smooth character — but compared to the last few times we’d seen the duo get Gnarls-y, it was just sloppy. The crowd ate it up, at least. And, more consolation: this performance of “Run” from SNL shows that Gnarls ticket holders have absolutely nothing to worry about. Highline was the first time they’d played the Odd Couple stuff. By Saturday night, “Run” was already killing it. Observe:

We’ve said The Odd Couple is uneven, but that song kills. The band also played “Who’s Gonna Save My Soul,” but NBC, in their infinite wisdom to restrict the amount of free advertising they can get for their shows, has pulled every clip of that from YouTube and RedLasso. They’ve also removed every instance of The Mellow Show sketch — which they didn’t deem strong enough to put up on their special page of peacock-approved embeds — so just take our word for it: there was a sketch where Samberg played festival fixture Jack Johnson, Hader played Dave Matthews (replete with signature foot shuffle), and Ashton Kutcher continued being the worst with a terrible John Mayer impression. Actually, it’s for the best there was no video.

Instead, here are some cameraphone pics of Gnarls from Highline, and one of Santogold (X marks the spot), who continues to grow onstage. (Also, new material’s sounding killer. Thursday night we got Anne,” and we hear the album version of “Shove It” is a totally rearranged, new wave-d mindfuck … yes, please.)