Coldplay, Adele, Foo Fighters, Wilco, Peter Gabriel and the New Blood Orchestra, Beady Eye, TV on the Radio – All of these acts have a few things in common, clearly, they all released albums in 2011, they are all headlining acts of their own, but these musicians along with many more played some of their best gigs in front of a small room of people at one of the most legendary venues in New York City. Each of these bands and many others including Snoop Dogg, Ryan Adams, Tinie Tempah, Foster the People, Incubus and Cake all performed at Ed Sullivan Theater in front of a handful of lucky eyes for the Live on Letterman web series.
The series, which began in 2010 and featured artists like Gorillaz, Ben Harper, Mary J. Blige, takes these artists while they are in town or appearing earlier on The Late Show with David Letterman and has them stick around.
The stage that Elvis, The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Doors made famous on Ed Sullivan Show has been home to David Letterman since 1993 and thanks to modern technology and clever programming, Live on Letterman was born. After tapings of certain Late Show episodes, the stage at Ed Sullivan Theater is reconfigured for the private concerts. It is an extremely fascinating place and atmosphere to see these artists do a gig; maybe it is because the artists playing it currently were influenced by each of these artists that appeared on that stage decades earlier. Foo Fighters dressed as the Fab Four when they played, Mark Foster of Foster the People referenced his love of sharing the same stage as Jim Morrison and of course, it was no surprise or accident to hear Liam Gallagher belt out his song “Beatles and Stones” on that stage during Beady Eye’s performance, which coincidentally was the New York debut of the former Oasis frontman’s new band. “Imagine seeing KISS in a place like this? That would be awesome,” mused Ryan Adams during his set. Proving that the musicians are just as elated to be at the venue as the audience is.
The Live on Letterman series gives spectators at home a chance to see lightening in a bottle, these concerts are truly special for everyone involved; from the artist right to the fans inside and those at home. To see a band that can easily headline Madison Square Garden or Radio City in a small and special setting such as this is something for any music fan to treasure. These events feel less like a taping and more like an intimate gathering that happens to be recorded. For those lucky enough to be in, it is the hottest and best ticket in town. Yet, tickets are unavailable at any box office or scalper or broker, they can only be won through CBS Radio or the artist’s websites, all of this ups the ante as to how special and unique these gigs really are. For an experience such as this, you cannot put a price on it, it would be near impossible and in an age when everything seems to be so expensive and out of reach, it is brilliant to think that even in New York City you CAN get something for free.
For tickets, info and past performances and see who is coming up, click HERE.