It’s a tradition as old as the Johnny Carson show: Most nights, since 1966, bands big and small play on the national stage of late night television. Sometimes good things happen, sometimes bad things happen, but the performances are always worth watching. They’re captivating mostly because they offer the raw sound of a live band and the professional video and audio recording of a late night television show.

This week, July 22 – 26,  Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros make their third, likely joyous appearance on Letterman, while Kenny Chesney brings his nostalgic new single to late night and Franz Ferdinand makes a case for their tried-and-true early aughts dance rock.

Late Show With David Letterman
Monday, July 22 – Franz Ferdinand

These Scot rockers haven’t been much for the spotlight since their 2004 zeitgeist hit “Take Me Out,” but with the recent release of their typeface-heavy video for single “Right Action,” they’re back in full Mod action. Check ‘em out for danceable tunes—and to see just how capable frontman Alex Kapranos is of rocking guyliner. Fans not only get to see them perform on the show, but get a full set thanks to their Live on Letterman performance, which will give fans a chance to hear not only the hits but new songs off their upcoming album, Right Thoughts, Right Action, due in late August.

Tuesday, July 23 – Jason Isbell 
Wednesday, July 24 – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros have made Letterman their de facto late night home, what with two tremendously joyous performances. Their new self-titled album is set for a July 23 release. Watch them perform “Better Days”, most likely entirely clad in white.

Friday, July 26 –  Joseph Arthur 

Jimmy Kimmel Live
Monday, July 22 – The Bacon Brothers (repeat)
Tuesday, July 23 – Pharrell (repeat)
Wednesday, July 24 – Karmin (repeat)
Friday, July 26 –  Empire of the Sun (repeat)

The Tonight Show With Jay Leno
Monday, July 22 – Kenny Chesney

When it comes to country music, it doesn’t get much bigger than Kenny Chesney. After moving forward in the industry for nearly two decades, his newly released music video hints at a more pensive Chesney than we’ve seen in the past. Grab a brewski and tune in to see Kenny reminisce.

Tuesday, July 23 – Selena Gomez
Wednesday, July 24 – Hiatus Kaiyote 
Thursday, July 25 –  Court Yard Hounds
Friday, July 26 –  Kacey Musgraves

Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
Monday, July 22 – Kings of Leon
Tuesday, July 23 – Emeli Sande
Thursday, July 25 – New Order 
Friday, July 26 – Imagine Dragons

Last Call with Carson Daly
Monday, July 22 – Regina Spektor 

Freak folkster Regina Spektor made a name for herself with her impressive vocal range and ability to create pop hit on a piano. She’s since written the theme song for Jenji Kohan’s new television show on Netflix, Orange Is The New Black. The latter is oddly aggressive for the usually upbeat songwriter, so maybe if we’re lucky she’ll incorporate some Kanye screams in her Daly performance.

Tuesday, July 23 – Tift Merritt
Wednesday, July 24 – A Silent Film 
Thursday, July 25 –  River Monsters

Monday, July 22 – Jimmy Eat World
Tuesday, July 23 – The 1975 
Wednesday, July 24 – Bastille

– Shane Barnes,


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