Roughly a year after making her “Saturday Night Live” debut, Brandi Carlile got the call to return to 30 Rock for the second time on her current album cycle.
Serving as last night’s musical guest, Carlile’s appearance helped make for an especially strong show, joining hosts Steve Martin and Martin Short, who were there promoting their show “Only Murders in the Building.” (Selena Gomez, their co-star on the Hulu mystery dramedy, also made a cameo.)
In somewhat of an unexpected move, Carlile reached back into her catalog for her first song of the night. While guests typically use the “SNL” spotlight to push their current projects, Carlile opted for her 2007 breakthrough “The Story,” having already played “Right on Time” and “Broken Horses” in her first go ’round. Naturally, it didn’t disappoint.
Throughout the hard-rocking rendition of the Phil Hanseroth-penned oldie, Carlile vacillated between a raspy growl and clean-and-pristine pitch perfectionist, nailing her wind-down closing notes without accompaniment. Guitarist Tim Hanseroth fired up a Southern-charmed solo that merged with the band’s string quartet before veering off to arena-rock heights.
“For some reason it just felt right to play The Story … ending this year honoring our younger selves,” Carlile wrote on social media Sunday, after a long night of after parties, apparently. “Maybe it’s in deep gratitude … or maybe it’s because I finally do have some lines on my face. Either way thanks for giving us that gift SNL I will never forget it.”
Maximizing the high-profile TV gig, a commercial for Carlile’s charity wine label XOBC Cellars aired during the subsequent commercial break, at least here in Washington.
For their second song, Carlile went with a more contemporary tune in “You and Me on the Rock,” the second single off “In These Silent Days,” up for album of the year at the Grammys in February. The sugar sweet love number earned Carlile three of her seven nominations this year, trailing only Beyoncé (nine) and Kendrick Lamar (eight). Indie pop duo Lucius was on hand to sing their parts on the stripped-down soft rocker that saw Carlile shuffling around the stage and wielding a heart-melting falsetto.
Check out video of Carlile’s performances below.
View more on Youtube Brandi Carlile: The Story (Live) – SNL
Musical guest Brandi Carlile performs “The Story ” on Saturday Night Live.
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