Brandi Carlile Rocks Out and Stays Genuine on SNL

The musician brought out Lucius and revisited her songwriting roots in one of the last SNL episodes of the year

Music News Brandi Carlile
Brandi Carlile Rocks Out and Stays Genuine on SNL

Brandi Carlile delivered a stunning performance on SNL over the weekend, one of the last to close out the year. In an episode hosted by Steve Martin and Martin Short, the country/folk/rock musician showed up on a set decorated for the holidays, beginning with her 2007 hit “The Story.”

On Instagram, she reflected, “For some reason it just felt right to play The Story…ending this year honoring our younger selves. 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.” Carlile opened her performance with just her and her acoustic guitar, highlighting her pure, flexible vocals. Mid-performance, she exchanged that guitar for an electric one, rocking out with the rest of her band as they threw their full weight behind the song. Some musicians have trouble making a video performance engaging—Carlile is clearly not one of them.

She continued with “You and Me On The Rock,” bringing out Lucius, the duo featured on the song currently nominated for three Grammys. The lighter, feel-good acoustic tune brought a weightlessness to the stage, as all members of the band whirled around each other, with Carlile exchanging hugs with Lucius at the end.

In These Silent Days, the album off which this song originates, is up for album of the year, taking place among six other Grammy nominations for Carlile at the 2023 awards. The artist appeared on the show last year, and seemed particularly excited to be working with Martin and Short as hosts for this episode. She also facilitated Joni Mitchell’s return to performing live at the Newport Folk Festival this year, and will split a three-night bill with the legend at the Gorge Amphitheatre in Washington in June. Her SNL performance seems to be a jubilant celebration of a year where so much went very, very right for Carlile.

You can watch Carlile perform in an era closer to “The Story” than “You and Me On The Rock” at Paste Studios below.

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