Stephen Colbert has barely broken in the “Late Show” seat, but he’s already managed to become a late night icon-in-the-making thanks to his stellar taste in musical guests. He kicked things off last week with a superjam of sorts starring Mavis Staples, Ben Folds and Alabama Shakes frontwoman Brittany Howard. And then there was Kendrick Lamar’s mind-numbingly incredible medley of To Pimp A Butterfly songs.
“Tonight’s musical guest is so hip, their backup band is TV On The Radio,” Colbert said, by way of introducing Killer Mike and El-P to the show.
Together, Run The Radio (new collaborative band name we just coined), brought the hype to late night with an electric, genre-bending rendition of “Angel Duster” from last year’s Run the Jewels 2. The crowded stage — complete with the duo’s DJ Trackstar as well as a pair of violinists — inspired a more vivacious take on the original and peaked at the final, rousing chorus.
The duo dedicated their performance to Isaiah “Ikey” Owens and Desiree Zondag. Owens was Jack White’s touring keyboardist who contributed to both Run The Jewels 2 and 2013’s Run The Jewels. He died of a heart attack last year. Zondag was a fashion designer who passed away last week in a surfing accident.
Next week, Colbert’s roster of musical guests includes current MTV Artist to Watch, Raury, and Pearl freakin’ Jam, so clearly his penchant for treating us to musical magic isn’t stopping anytime soon.