Matt’s Favourite SNL Musical Performances

My top 3 SNL performances

Saturday Night Live alternates between overly long, unfunny skits with no end and brilliant moments of hilarity that change pop culture forever. This has a lot to do with a rotating cast and hosts that can be great or abysmal depending on which week you catch the show. This weekend boasts a pretty great line-up featuring HBO’s Lena Dunham and The National. Here are some of my favourite musical moments* from SNL.

*it should be noted that SNL is awful at allowing video sites to use their musical content so my list is only a top 3. Sigh.

The Beastie Boys and Elvis Costello
Elvis Costello was banned from the show in the 70s after playing his song “Radio” against Lorne Michaels’ wishes. He interrupted the Beastie Boys performance and did it all over again in 1999.


This Swedish dance-pop powerhouse (who toured Europe with Toronto’s own Diamond Rings) destroys the stage with amazing moves and somersaults without missing a beat. Most rock bands could learn a lot from her devotion to her stage show.


Fred Armisen and Friends
I was pretty bummed to see Fred Armisen leave SNL but this amazing tribute to his fake persona “Ian Rubbish” was a perfect send-off. The performance features members of Dinosaur Jr, Sleater Kinney, Sonic Youth and the Sex Pistols. You’ll never see this line-up on stage again! Glad to see he’s now the band leader on Seth Meyers’ show.

Click here to watch the performance.