Late-Night TV Music (First Things First Edition) | Aug. 11, 2020

Anastasio returns (& vanishes), Humberstone compels & Alexander gets animated.


Jimmy Fallon has never struck me as a leader. And I’m probably not alone in that assessment. But I have to give late-night’s eternal puppy dog credit: He was the first host to return to his studio. And on Tuesday, his Tonight Show was the first program to host an in-studio performance when Trey Anastasio joined The Roots to rock out on I Never Needed You Like This Before. Too bad the video was mysteriously pulled from YouTube by the time I finished writing this sentence.

Thankfully, it wasn’t the only debut of the night. It was also the first time I had the pleasure of watching Holly Humberstone — the compelling British singer-songwriter played Overkill and Falling Asleep At The Wheel on Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Well, to be accurate, the second song was online-only, but whatever.) And to make matters more impressive, she played them solo, back to back, in a single take, in the dead of the night, while seated on the hood of her dad’s truck and then at a piano in the middle of a field on what could easily have been the set for an episode of The Walking Dead (though I am led to believe the locale was actually somewhere near her home). I suspect you’ll be hearing a lot of her in the coming weeks. And deservedly so. The last first: Popster Alexander 23 made his TV debut on The Late Late Show With James Corden, enlisting the aid of his cartoon selves for his fittingly titled tune IDK You Yet.