If first impressions are everything, Willow made a big one on her debut solo performance as Saturday Night Live‘s musical guest last night, Oct. 8, with host Brendan Gleeson.
Willow started with her softer side, offering up the R&B-rock fused song “curious/furious,” that showed off her pitch-perfect vocals with a bit of edge as well as her impressive guitar skills. But it was the 21-year-old artist’s second song on the broadcast that turned heads as she ripped into the rager track, “ur a stranger,” screaming into the microphone and ending the performance by smashing the guitar she was playing into a TV screen prop on the stage. See videos of both performances below.
The two songs come from Willow’s new album Coping Mechanism that came out Friday, Oct. 7 and has been hailed as “boundary pushing” by NME and “powerfully dynamic” by The Guardian while Rolling Stone says she “thrillingly mashes up rock history.”
Coping Mechanism is the followup to 2021’s Lately I Feel Everything, that featured guest spots from Travis Barker and Avril Lavigne. This time around, Willow let her music speak for itself with her only guest spot being from indie act Yves Tumor on her latest album.
Willow posted about the SNL appearance just hours before she went live on the show, sharing a photo of her and her fully leather-clad band on Instagram with the caption, “It’s called historybeingmade.com.” She also appeared on the late-night weekend show last season as part of Camilla Cabello’s set to perform their collaboration song, “Psychofreak.”
Willow recently made news for calling out “older, white men” gatekeepers of metal, noting she’s a fan of bands like Deftones, Lamb of God and Crowbar in an interview with Metal Hammer.
“I think the only reason why it’s older, white men mostly listening to this music is because metal has been gatekept for a long time by these people. [Now,] new people of color are coming to say that that’s really not the way that it should be. Rock is for everyone [and] I’m gonna bring my people to the space and we are gonna vibe it out like we always do… hopefully the old white dudes vibe it out too.”
See Willow perform “curious/furious” on SNL
See Willow perform “ur a stranger” on SNL
Artists Name the Best Song to Introduce People to Their Bands
These are the tracks where fandom begins.