For a short time in late 1998 to early 2000 on the USA network, Farmclub was all the buzz. The show’s content featured “it” musical artists of the moment and promoted unsigned bands through national exposure and website interaction. It was hosted by music industry vet Matt Pinfield and model/actress Ali Landry. During the time it was on air, the show was responsible for a bunch of artists signing to major labels. One of the most legendary of these signings was when Chimaira performed on the show. On this night, they performed the song “Dead Inside” and it was one of those magical moments of TV performances that has gone on to live in infamy. Not long after this, Chimaira and Roadrunner Records would go on to work together. Between Farmclub and Reverb on HBO, we are definitely missing shows like that!
Travel back to 1995 with me and revisit the time White Zombie was on the Late Show with David Letterman. While out promoting their album, Astro-Creep 2000, White Zombie payed a visit to the Letterman show and performed “More Human Than Human.” They were joined by Paul Schaffer as well who provided the keyboard parts. It’s a very fun performance and it looks like the band was enjoying it, especially David Letterman at the end. What’s even cooler is that, White Zombie returned to the Letterman show a few months later and performed again. This time they chose “Super Charger Heaven.” I still believe that if White Zombie were to reunite, they could put out one hell of a good album.
Back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, HBO had a music show called Reverb on their network, and it would showcase tons of rock bands playing live. It was a pretty awesome show. Bands like Rage Against The Machine, Foo Fighters, Beastie Boys, Oasis, even Failure and Bjork appeared on the show. The show was also instrumental in helping to break bands like Disturbed, Papa Roach, Staind, and Linkin Park. One of my favorite episodes from way back involved the band Onesidezero. They were part of the episode that featured Linkin Park. Check out these live performances of songs from Onesidezero’s debut album, and unsung masterpiece, Is This Room Getting Smaller.
Way back in 1999, in the pouring rain of New York, Rage Against The Machine took the stage in the street for an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman. During this evening, they performed a mini concert for a slew of fans while promoting their Unsung Masterpiece that is The Battle Of Los Angeles. Here’s Rage performing “Guerilla Radio.”
Rage Against The Machine- Guerilla Radio on Letterman:
Bon Jovi was the first band I was ever a huge fan of. Ever since I was three years old, I’ve been a fan. My first concert ever was Bon Jovi back in 1989 (I was almost 5 at the time) when they were touring for their New Jersey album. Skid Row (yes, that Skid Row) was the opening band on that tour. One day I will write a whole elaborate piece about that show. Anyways, this morning while I was getting ready, “Wanted Dead or Alive” popped in my head but it was a particular version. Back in 1989, on the MTV Video Music Awards, Jon and Richie, took the stage, just the two of them with acoustic guitars and performed “Livin’ On A Prayer” and “Wanted Dead or Alive.” That performance would go on to live in infamy. Not only for how amazing it was but, because it was the inspiration for the MTV Unplugged series. So, here we are now, over 30 years since that performance, and it’s still one of the most memorable ones I’ve ever seen.
Bon Jovi- Livin’ On A Prayer/Wanted Dead Or Alive (1989 MTV Video Music Awards):
Back in the year 2000 (how fitting for this since Conan used to have a segment on his show about “The Year 2000”), while A Perfect Circle was supporting the release of their amazing debut album, Mer De Noms, and while on tour with Nine Inch Nails, they made a stop to perform “Judith” on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. This performance is absolutely killer. Josh Freese is a beast behind the kit and was such an integral part of this band. It’s too bad he wasn’t involved in their recent return along with Paz Lenchantin on bass and Troy Van Leeuwen on guitar. Either way, enjoy this gem!
A Perfect Circle- Judith on Late Night with Conan O’Brien:
Back in 2006 for a VH1 tribute to Heart, Ann and Nancy Wilson asked Alice In Chains to be a part of the celebration. This evening was also the debut of William DuVall on vocals with the band but, the biggest surprise more so was when Phil Anselmo of Pantera, Down, etc came out to join them for “Would.” It starts out sort of very iffy but, as the performance continues, Anselmo finds his footing and truly delivers. Duff McKagan also joined Alice this evening, playing guitar for them.
Alice In Chains w/Phil Anselmo & Duff McKagan- Would:
Back in late 2006, Brand New released the masterpiece that is The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me. This album has gone on to not only be acclaimed by fans and press alike but, had also influenced and inspired countless bands. As the press tour began for the album, Brand New was booked on Late Night with Conan O’Brien in 2007. They performed “Jesus Christ” (which was released as the second single from the album). This performance was subtle and understated but, really does pack quite a gut punch when you really listen to the words and let the music take you away. I’d also like to mention that The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me is one of my all time favorite albums and if you haven’t heard it, you are surely missing out.
Back in 1998, Deftones were riding high on their second album Around The Fur (my all time favorite Deftones album). By the time their second single “Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)” dropped, Deftones were fast on their way to begin taking over. On April 20, 1998, they performed “Be Quiet and Drive” on Late Night with Conan O’Brien before heading out on the Vans Warped Tour (back when they still had great lineups). Check out this great performance!
Deftones- Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away) on Conan O’Brien 1998:
Back in 2000, while riding high on their acclaimed album Relationship Of Command, At The Drive In was the musical guest on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. This performance of their seminal classic “One Armed Scissor” was fantastic. I remember watching it that evening and thinking that this band was really something awesome. Back then, At The Drive In were one of the best live bands in the world. They had the complete package, the songs, the live show and the energy. This is still one of the coolest performances on late night TV to this day, in my opinion.
At The Drive In- One Armed Scissor (on Late Night with Conan O’Brien 2000):