Shamir has one of the best dance records of the year, titled Ratchet, but given a national stage on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert last night he failed to capture the live audience's attention with his performance of "On The Regular."
One of the things that make his debut album so great is the wobbly Chicago house bass he applies to his cinematic songs, painting a beautifully dark portrait of Las Vegas. However, he replaced most of those great electronic bass tones with two sousaphones and two baritone saxophones on the show, which simply just don't have the same punch.
He started the show with a ballad version of the song's bridge that sounded pretty good, especially sitting against the mirrors, which projected four other Shamir's onto the stage. But once the mirrors were lifted and the whole band came in, it seemed like things fell apart.
The horns started out of tune and especially grated against Shamir's already odd voice. It was meant to be an all-out party affair but it didn't sound or look like the audience was really all that into it, which is pretty much never the case for his live performances.
Things picked up shortly after as the fabulous backup singers pumped things up a bit, the horns found their grove and the cowbell came more into focus. By that point it seemed a little too late though; the damage had been done.
Not to say this will hurt his career. When the critics come out with their best of the year lists at the end of this month and into next year, expect to see Shamir up there in the top 20. Still, this was a missed opportunity to really show of his best side to a big audience and it fell a little flat.
Watch the performance in full below to see Shamir's cute shoulder hug to Colbert at the end.