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Bleachers: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.


Both as producer extraordinaire and artist in his own right, Jack Antonoff has had an outsized impact on the past decade in pop. And yet, even with such maximalist aims, Antonoff clearly understands the effectiveness of scale: that the most enduring tracks are often intimate portraits.

Recorded in a sun-drenched spot outside Electric Lady Studios, where the forthcoming Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night was made, Bleachers' Tiny Desk (home) concert puts a premium on proximity, both emotionally and spatially. Surrounded by greenery, the footage is interspersed with close-up angles filtered through an old-school finish (scan the wide shot and you'll spy a video camera perched on the piano, plus one very tiny desk, too). The set opens with "91," the album's ambitious opening cut, followed by a bombastic revision of "Stop Making This Hurt," which gets a slick saxophone rewrite courtesy of Zem Audu and Evan Smith.

Just before the concert concludes with a sweeping rendition of "Chinatown" – no Bruce Springsteen cameo, but the emotional ache remains – Antonoff explains the urgency of the recording process: "We did a bunch of live takes that sound to me like a group of people who didn't know if they were ever gonna play again, and that became the backbone of this album." The stakes feel high when the tracks feel personal: It's a balancing act at which Antonoff excels.

SET LIST

  • "91"
  • "Stop Making This Hurt"
  • "Chinatown"
  • MUSICIANS

  • Jack Antonoff: vocals, piano
  • Mikey Freedom Hart: keys
  • Zem Audu: saxophone
  • Evan Smith: saxophone
  • CREDITS

  • Video and Audio: Adrian Nieto
  • TINY DESK TEAM

  • Producer: Bobby Carter
  • Video Producer: Maia Stern
  • Audio Mastering: Josh Rogosin
  • Tiny Production Team: Bob Boilen, Kara Frame, Gabrielle Pierre
  • Executive Producer: Keith Jenkins
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann
  • Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.