Since the success of the first Tiny Desk Concert with Laura Gibson in 2008, NPR Music has released over 400 concerts. These have featured some of the most popular artists in rap, R&B, folk, indie, and pop. Check out this list of the best Tiny Desk Concerts for 2019!
Dive into this list of the five best concerts of the year below. We have videos of each intimate live performance down below.
First, let’s quickly take you through what tiny desk concerts are.
What Are Tiny Desk Concerts?
TDC is a video series of live concerts hosted by NPR Music at the desk of All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen in Washington, D.C.
Artists come to TDC to perform a medley of their hits. Unlike a regular performance, artists mostly come alone. They play all songs acoustic in front of a limited audience or no audience at all.
Tiny Desk Concerts are popular because of their intimate look at each artist. Each performance comes across as unique and authentic.
What Is NPR music?
NPR, formerly National Public Radio, is a privately and publicly funded non-profit membership media organization. They serve as a national syndicator to a network of 900 public radio stations in the United States.
They’re the company that hosts the annual tiny desk concerts where music lovers stream their favorite artist’s tiny desk concert on YouTube.
Best Tiny Desk Concerts Of 2019
Taylor Swift has made her debut on NPR’s long-running Tiny Desk Concert series. The pop star just released her seventh album, Lover.
On her TDV, she performed acoustic versions of “Lover,” “The Man,” “Death By A Thousand Cuts” and “All Too Well” for the NPR team and a crowd of fans.
Introducing her session, Swift told the audience that Tiny Desk was one of her “favorite corners of the internet.” She used her session as an opportunity to show fans the songs as she originally wrote them.
The Jonas Brothers took a break from their Happiness Begins arena tour to stop by the NPR offices. This was their first-ever Tiny Desk concert.
The guys kicked their performance off with “Sucker,” transforming the No. 1 hit into a swinging jazz number complete with Joe Jonas brandishing a tiny, multi-colored tambourine and trading falsetto-tinged vocals with Brother Nick Jonas.
The band slowed this down for “I Believe.” Then, they incorporated many toys and knickknacks scattered around the desk into their ‘80s-inspired single “Only Human.”
While Nick pounded out the song’s melodic hook on a miniature toy piano and Joe played around with a quacking buzzer, Kevin Jonas stuck to his trusty guitar.
For a lot of artists, an NPR Tiny Desk concert is an opportunity to show their talents off in an intimate, acoustic setting.
Unfortunately, Lizzo’s Tiny Desk concert could be the last for a while because there’s no way the walls are still standing after her three-song set.
The 31-year-old singer hopped behind that now-famous “tiny ass desk” and kicked things off by belting “Cuz I Love You” with flawless execution.
Next on our list is the talented Weezer. In April, Weezer stopped by the NPR’s Tiny Desk to play some hits (and deep cuts) off of their lengthy catalog. The performance was in support of their Black Album, released in March.
Songs in the performance included Longtime Shine, Living in LA, Across the Sea, and High as a Kite.
The last artist on our list is Gabriella Wilson, popularly known as H.E.R (Having Everything Revealed). The 22 years old rose to fame in 2009 after participating in Radio’s Disney’s Next Big Thing.
She’s an artist who’s built her reputation on a certain degree of anonymity. Her visuals never provide the audience with a clear shot of her face and her signature accessory for every outfit is a pair of large, dark sunglasses.
NPR Tiny Desk Fest
Tiny desk concerts are usually pre-recorded and uploaded on YouTube for music lovers to stream while putting on their headphones.
On October 1st, NPR announced the introduction of their Tiny Desk Fest for members of the public to participate in real life. The first NPR Tiny Desk Fest took place on October 28th, 2019 at the NPR’s headquarters in Washington D.C.
Performers at the Desk Fest included Megan Thee Stallion, Sheryl Crow, and Raphael Saadiq.
What is your favorite Tiny Desk Concert from NPR Music?
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