Friday on My Mind: Jimmy Fallon’s First Tonight Show Musical Guests

photo by Gregory A. Perez

It’s time again for Friday on My Mind. Our weekly blog post where we look at videos centered around one common theme. This is a collaborative effort between KEXP and King 5 News.

Jimmy Fallon has come a long way from his stand up days and his six years on Saturday Night Live. He took over the helm of the institution that is The Tonight Show a few weeks ago from Jay Leno. During his stint as The Late Night host, he won an Emmy and a Grammy Award. In less than one month of being The Tonight Show host, the roster of musical guests has already been impressive. For this week, we thought we’d take a look at a few of the artists who have stopped by the show. And now here are a few of our favorites from these past few weeks...

Arcade Fire - Afterlife

On Thursday February 20th, Jimmy Fallon welcomed Arcade Fire as his musical guests. In recent Academy Award related news, Arcade Fire’s Win Butler received an Oscar nomination along with Owen Pallett for composing the score to the Spike Jones film and Best Picture nominee, Her. Back in November, Spike Jonze directed a music video for “Afterlife” in real-time for the 2013 YouTube Music Awards. Later in November, the band released an official music video for the song and here it is right now….


U2 - Invisible (Live on The Tonight Show)

You know you must be doing well when you have U2 on your show as a musical guest. U2’s most recent single, “Invisible” was produced by Danger Mouse and will be included on their 13th studio album. On February 2nd, the single was officially released and was made available as a free download for those first 24 hours. After February 2nd, all proceeds from downloads of the song will go directly to (RED). The (RED) organization was co-founded by Bono and serves to raise money for combating AIDS. Here is the footage from their performance on February 17th from the top of Rockefeller Center:


The Roots- The Next Movement

When you have The Roots as your house band and Questlove as your musical director, you know you must be doing something right in the area of music. The Roots have been holding their own outside of the show for some time now. They started in Philadelphia way back in 1987 and have been going strong ever since. They’ve been nominated 12 times for Grammys, and have won four. Here is one from their vast recording catalog, “The Next Movement” from their 1999 effort, Things Fall Apart:


Honorable Mentions:

Broken Bells - Holding on for Life

Well, Broken Bells hasn’t played The Tonight Show yet, but we’re excited to see them perform on the show tonight. The first single off of their self- titled second album, “Holding on For Life”, has a trippy space themed video to accompany the song. The video premise was written by Danger Mouse, and was produced as a part of the Creators Project. The video stars Kate Mara, who you may recognize from House of Cards. And now here is “Holding On for Life”:


The Avett Brothers - Another Is Waiting

The musical guests on March 5th were The Avett Brothers. “Another Is Waiting” is from their most recent release, Magpie and the Dandelion, which was produced by the legendary Rick Rubin. The official video for this song marks the directorial debut of Scott Avett.

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