Last night in New York City, the 7th Annual Love Rocks NYC Benefit Concert took place at the Upper West Side’s famed venue, the Beacon Theatre. The charity event, which raised proceeds for God’s Love We Deliver, brought an impressive lineup to the stage for a memorable night of entertainment. After the star-studded roster of players went over their chosen numbers, the event culminated in a final song as the roster of musicians paid tribute to Jeff Beck, who passed away in January 2023.
The four-hour set featured memorable onstage moments, kicking off with a couple of tunes courtesy of My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James, who opened the night with “State of The Art (AEIOU).” Then, after a cover of Elton John’s “Rocket Man,” James left the front of the room, creating space for event staff to share words and a video presentation to remind the audience of the night’s mission and the reason behind the annual Love Rock event.
Then the music picked up with “Hey Pocky Way”, featuring Ivan Neville. Earlier, the New Orleans institution traded seats with War and Treaty, who played two election numbers. Next came Warren Haynes and paid tribute to the late David Crosby with a cover of “Almost Cut My Hair,” a tune that first appeared on Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s seminal 1970 LP, Already seen.
The good times cascaded with Allison Russell, who performed “You’re Not Alone” and “Don’t Stop” before the arrival of the next act. Eventually, Rufus Wainwright took the stage for his performance, which included a cover of The Beatles’ “Across the Universe.” Then, after an introduction, it was Mavis Staples’ turn to sing. The queen of rhythm and blues began with “Respect Yourself” before Wainwright’s arrival and assistance on “Friendship.”
The entertainment-packed night continued with Gary Clark Jr. performing his originals “Our Love” and “The Healing.” Sheryl Crow then turned up and delivered the fan favorite, “If It Makes You Happy,” followed by “Live With Me” and “Real Gone,” which saw a collaborative moment with the arrival of St. Vincent, who helped on the 2006 cut. After Crow left, St. Vincent played two numbers before the advent of the next act.
Ledisi played before James Taylor, whose time on stage saw a run-through of “Up On The Roof,” followed by the iconic “Country Road.” A sweet moment followed with the celebrated musician’s version of “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You).” Crow and Taylor teamed up on the latter’s “You’ve Got A Friend”. Love Rocks NYC featured Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo for a cover of “Love Is A Battlefield.”
The John Mayer Trio appeared next and were the only group to take the stage without the House Band led by Will Lee, consisting of Eric Krasno, Larry Campbell, Paul Shaffer, Michael Bearden, Shawn Pelton, Steve Gadd and Pedrito Martinez. The aforementioned collective tribute to Beck came when the players performed “People Get Ready,” written by Curtis Mayfield, a tune The Impressions recorded and later released by Beck on his 1985 LP, Flash.
Check out the latest collaborative moment from last night’s benefit concert below. For those interested in learning more about charitable efforts, consider visiting the event recipient’s website here.