Note: This post can originally be found on MySocialList.com
Saturday Night Live is the big time for musicians. I would argue, other than Stephen Colbert’s The Colbert Report, SNL is the most culturally important television a musical group can perform on. Sure they sometimes strikeout. Remember when Karmin performed?
Most of the time SNL gets it right. To kick off their 39th season, SNL got indie rock stalwarts the Arcade Fire to their thing. And by their thing, I mean playing the excellent “Reflektor” and premiering the also excellent “Afterlife.” Not to mention the crazy/irreverent short film that premiered after the show.
Let’s look back at some more memorable SNL performances over the past ten years. If we looked at all 39 seasons, this list could go into the 100s.
1. Kanye West- Black Skinhead
Kanye West concluded the last season of SNL with premiering a personal summer anthem “Black Skinhead.”
2. Radiohead- Lotus Flower
Radiohead’s performance of “Lotus Flower,” features everything you want, genius musicianship and Thom Yorke dancing.
3. Elton John and Leon Russell- Hey Ahab
For full disclosure, I’ve been on a huge Leon Russell kick lately. I think he might be one of the most underrated artists of the 70s. His voice, his musicianship, he’s such a badass.
4. Frank Ocean- Thinkin’ Bout You
I think SNL has come to realize that in order to stay relevant with their viewers, they needed to start taking chances on booking artists who may not have mainstream appeal yet. SNL certainly had this philosophy when booking Frank Ocean to kick off their 2012 season.
5. Jack White- Sixteen Saltines
I continue to be mesmerized by anything Jack White does.