Late Night Performances

The National’s Matt Berninger Covers Mercury Rev’s “Holes” on Colbert: Watch

on April 16, 2020, 10:46am

Matt Berninger was the pre-recorded musical guest on Colbert Wednesday night, delivering one of the finer isolated late night performances we’ve seen. Literally — The National frontman was using some high-quality camera and audio equipment instead of just starring at his computer camera, so it truly looked better than a lot of lockdown videos. (That fun little mustache and bandana also helped.) Berninger also sounded great as he sang his cover of Mercury Rev’s “Holes” with assistance from film composer/pianist Steph Altman.

The pair originally recorded their rendition of the Deserter’s Songs track alongside Phoebe Bridgers for the benefit series 7-Inches for Planned Parenthood Vol. 2-Pt. 2Though our inaugural Artist of the Month couldn’t Skype in for the Late Show performance, Berninger and Altman more than handled it themselves, playing a slow, sparse version of the cover. Berninger even picked up a sextet harmonica at one point, offering the audience at home a little wink as he started playing it.

Watch the “Holes” performance below.


Yesterday, Berninger teamed with The Walkmen’s Walter Martin on the coronavirus charity single “Quarantine Boogie (Loco)”. He also announced his Booker T. Jones-produced solo debut album, Serpentine Prison, back in fall, though no release date has been set.