They say “the show must go on”, and last night that show was Love Rocks NYC, which still took place at The Beacon Theatre despite New York Governor Andrew Cuomo‘s recent ban on gatherings of over 500 people to stop the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). The audience in attendance was limited only to performers, essential personnel, credentialed members of the press, and immediate family.
The all-star evening is an annual benefit for God’s Love We Deliver, a volunteer organization that provides meals specifically tailored to medically-required diets for people with severe illnesses. This year’s lineup boasted performances from Dave Matthews, Warren Haynes, Marcus King, Chris and Rich Robinson, Jackson Browne, Cyndi Lauper, Leon Bridges, Ivan Neville, Derek Trucks, Macy Gray, Jimmie Vaughan, Joss Stone, The War & Treaty, Jimmy Vivino, Emily King. and more throughout the evening. Love Rocks also featured a house band comprised of Larry Campbell, Eric Krasno, Shawn Pelton, Steve Gadd, Jeff Young, and Ricky Peterson.
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The evening featured stand-out performances from an array of musicians in addition to once-in-a-lifetime combinations, including Tedeschi, Trucks, and Browne joining together for “The Dark End of the Street” by James Carr. Lauper opened the show, without the aid of the backing band, as she was joined only by the string section for a memorable performance of her own “True Colors”.
A non-musical highlight of the evening was the surprise appearance of former Late Show host David Letterman, who was invited to the event by his former sidekick, Paul Schaffer, who served as one of the concert’s many co-hosts. Letterman took the stage to deliver a personal anecdote about the healing and communal nature of music in trying times, acknowledging the 500-person elephant in the room.
Related: 12 Things We Wish Would Get Canceled Due To Coronavirus Instead Of Concerts
While audience attendance was strictly limited, Relix provided a free live stream of the entire concert, and there are some videos available on YouTube for those who weren’t able to tune in.
Cyndi Lauper – “True Colors” [Pro-Shot] – 3/12/20
Jimmie Vaughn – “That’s Why You Got Me Crying” [Pro-Shot] – 3/12/20
David Letterman Reunites With Paul Shaffer At Love Rocks NYC
[Video: Q1043 New York]
Dave Matthews – “Sledgehammer” (Peter Gabriel) – 3/12/20
Chris & Rich Robinson – “Jealous Again”, “She Talks To Angels”, “Hard To Handle”, “All You Need Is Love (Encore) – 3/12/20
[Video: Tom Violagis]
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Last night’s #LoveRocksNYC was a reminder that music and food unite us and that we’re all in this together. Through the concert’s livestream, more people than ever saw the love, effort, and joy that #LoveRocksNYC brings, as well as the care it helps provide to our clients in need. #LoveRocksNYC is, without a doubt, one of the most anticipated events of the year for music lovers, our community, and all of us at God’s Love We Deliver, and we are beyond grateful to all of the artists, sponsors and teams who put this incredible show together! Thank you to our Executive Producers @johnvarvatos, @gwilliamson79 and @nicole.rechter for your vision and care for our mission!