The Tonight Show ft Jimmy Fallon is a late night TV show in the US. One of the occasional segments on the show is Subway Busking, where Jimmy Fallon accompanies famous music acts as they busk in the New York subway. Fallon and his accomplices start out in disguise, to take commuters by surprise. After an initial song, they reveal their identities.
In the video, Jimmy Fallon is joined by singer Adam Levine and guitarist James Valentine from Maroon 5 in the NY subway. In this case, the disguises are quite good; when Fallon busked with Miley Cyrus it was easy to tell who was under the black wig. All are bearded and Fallon & Valentine look like they’ve stepped off the cover of The Band’s debut LP
Younger viewers who aren’t familiar with The Band can picture Mumford & Sons instead. The buskers kick off with an impressive and tuneful rockabilly-style acoustic cover of Queen’s Crazy Little Thing Called Love. A crowd gathers, as it should. Then the disguises come off and the buskers break into a great cover of Maroon 5’s Sugar. Seefishbee comments on YouTube: “Adam sings live really really well – same quality voice, great control. No studio sweetening needed.” That a fair comment.
The subway busk with Adam Levine and James Valentine was in November 2017. Earlier in the same month, Maroon 5 appeared on The Tonight Show as regular music quests. On this occasion, the band played What Lovers Do, which features a duet with SZA. The track is from their then-recent album Red Pill Blues (2017), which spent seven weeks at the top of the Billboard Chart. Here it is: The full lineup of Maroon 5 performing What Lovers Do with SZA live on the Tonight Show featuring Jimmy Fallon.
The musical performance is great, but YouTube commentators return to the same issue. Maja Miric puts it like this: “So, they are performing together and they didn’t even look at each other for the whole song?! You see that SZA is trying, but Adam, what’s wrong?”
The Music Man has previously covered other Tonight Show Subway Busking interludes. For those who wouldn’t mind a refresher, here’s a compilation of some of the best performances as compiled by The Tonight Show: