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Five Favorite NPR Tiny Desk Concert Performances

Updated: May 5, 2020

by Mike Scarfo:

More live music coming straight to your home. Here are our five favorite NPR Tiny Desk Performances ever

Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals

Any of our hardcore fans know this is our guy. Anderson .Paak is basically the reason our podcast started, and most of the songs he performs in this concert are from Malibu(his best album in our opinion). This is easily my favorite Tiny Desk I've seen, without question a classic. And not to mention he still has the best teeth in the game (sorry, Fantano).

Hobo Johnson & The Lovemakers

I'm not sure if there's many performers more unique than Hobo Johnson. Not only does his humor and pure authenticity bleed through in this performance, but he and The Lovemakers are so in sync it's unreal. Similar to Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, you can tell these guys have such a fun time doing sets like this one. I already love his songs in general, but I truly believe his music is meant to be watched through performance. Enjoy!

Julien Baker

If this performance doesn't bring a tear to your eye or move you in some way, you may not be human. Admittedly, I was not as familiar with Julien Baker's work until I saw this Tiny Desk concert. That quickly changed as she is clearly SO talented; whether it's her gorgeously fragile singing, or smooth guitar and piano playing, she gives such a heartfelt performance. Judging by how young she still is, hopefully she only improves from here. The sky is the limit.

Mac Miller

RIP to one of the all-time great musicians of our generation. Mac inspired and touch so many lives, not only in the music industry but across the entire world. I wish I had gotten the chance to see Mac live before he passed, but I seriously believe he should've always performed with a live band behind him. This concert came together perfectly, and Mac's passion and pain can be felt so intimately here. He may be gone, but his legacy lives on.


Masego is another multi-talented musician. His music has so much groove and life to it, it's some of the most engaging modern jazz that you can find out there today. Or maybe I'm just a sucker for some dope saxophone playing. Either way, this one's a fun watch.

For more Tiny Desk Concerts from NPR, check out their YouTube page or website!

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