Wow. We had a considerably more difficult time tracking down a clip of Flobots performing on Leno last night than we did when they played on Last Call with Carson Daly. In fact, after trolling You Tube and refreshing our Google search every ten minutes or so, we came up completely short. Finally, just a bit ago, the fine folks at NBC uploaded the episode to their website. Watch the clip here and read our rundown after the jump.
After Leno introduces the band by holding up a vinyl version of Fight with Tools (now we're talking), the camera focuses on the lovely and talented MacKenzie Roberts as she plucks out the opening bars of "Handlebars." She's flanked by Joe Ferrone on her right and Jonny 5 and Brer Rabbit who are both standing behind her and off to the left in front of the drum riser with their heads bowed. When Jonny 5 steps up to the mike and starts rapping, he immediately looks remarkably more at ease this time around, as does the rest of the band. The overall energy level on the set, however, also appears to be a bit dialed back -- most likely because the audience is seated politely more than twenty feet from the band rather than being pressed up against an elevated stage as on Daly. As a result, Flobots, a band known for feeding off the crowd's energy, seem a little less urgent than before.
It could also just be the Tonight Show stage, which is brighter, which kind of makes it seem a little more clinical. Just the same, the players are given more individual camera time, including drummer Kenny O, who looks particularly dapper clad in a purple oxford with a black tie and a black fedora. The song concludes with a crescendo, with a sight that has become a show staple at this point: On cue, right after Joe Ferrone's trumpet solo, the band kicks into overdrive, with bassist Jesse Walker, guitarist Andy Guerrero and Brer Rabbit head banging in unison. Ultimately, this performance didn't hit quite as hard as the previous one, but the act looked and sounded as good as ever.
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-- Dave Herrera
Post Script: BTW, while we were monitoring YouTube this morning, we stumbled across this "Handlebars" parody. (Warning: The audio is probably NSFW, so be sure to turn your volume down.) Titled ""C-Section Scars," this ridiculous World of Warcraft-inspired clip was produced by Sherman and Tingle, the afternoon drive time duo at Chicago's Q101. You know you've made it, I guess, when you start getting clowned like this.