To paraphrase the late, great Ol’ Dirty Bastard: Rock and roll is for the children. Bleachers mastermind Jack Antonoff proved as much when he enlisted a group of pint-sized doppelgängers to help his band perform “Rollercoaster” on Conan Wednesday night.
It was the perfect little twist to put on the already rambunctious, synth-driven power-pop anthem from Bleachers’ debut LP, Strange Desire. While Antonoff’s adorable look-alike had all the arm-swoops down and drummer Jon Shiffman’s tiny clone gamely donned a fake beard, it was guitarist Mikey Freedom Hart’s mini-me who stole the show, busting out his monster rock face during the song’s blistering solo.
While Antonoff’s other band, fun., continues to work on the follow-up to their 2012 album, Some Nights, the guitarist has had a huge year on his own. On the strength of Strange Desire‘s introductory single, “I Wanna Get Better” — and its Lena Dunham-directed video — Bleachers took off over the summer, playing a number of festivals including Made in America and the Voodoo Music and Arts Experience, which took place in New Orleans over the weekend. Antonoff also helped write and produce two tracks for Taylor Swift’s new album, 1989, “Out of the Woods” and “I Wish You Would.”
Ahead of a show at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Antonoff told Rolling Stone that with Bleachers, he wanted to capture the spirit of the Nineties when “popular music was exciting music. It was a great time because you’d walk down the street and [music] would be a common conversation amongst people. They’d all be talking about Smashing Pumpkins, or Nirvana… I just wanted to write from a perspective of not being apologetic about anything sounding mainstream.”