Late-Night TV Music (Bruceless Edition) | Oct. 21, 2020

The Boss did not deliver on Wednesday night, but Black Thought made up for that.

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Expectations are one thing. Reality is always another. That’s just the way it is. Even here in the Late-Night TV Music viewing pod. All of that is a long way of saying that today, I fully expected to post a clip of Bruce Springsteen performing a song from his new album Letter to You on Wednesday’s edition of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. But aside from strumming a bit of one track at the end of his lengthy interview, The Boss was all talk and no action. Granted, the interview itself was fine, but you can seek out those clips elsewhere — this page isn’t called Late-Night TV Conversations, after all.

Anyway, instead of Bruce, the performance of the night unexpectedly ended up belonging to Roots rapper Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter. The longtime vocalist of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’s house band showcased his new Streams of Thought Vol. 3 with high-production video-style performances of Nature of the Beast and Quiet Trip, assisted online by Portugal. The Man and The Last Artful, Dodgr. Aside from that, the night’s other two offerings — Tate McRae’s standard performance of You Broke Me on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and The Head and the Heart’s split-screen self-quarantine version of the homey Honeybee on The Late Late Show With James Corden — seemed pretty standard and predictable. Then again, what did you expect?