New York’s Beacon Theatre played host to an all-star gathering to benefit God’s Love We Deliver. The night in total raised $1.5 million for the organization that aims to provide nutritious meals to those who are too sick to shop or cook for themselves.
With Bill Murray serving as guest MC, the night featured musicians and celebrities alike coming together for a variety of covers and performances led by a house band that included Will Lee and Paul Shaffer as well as Steve Gadd, Shawn Pelton, Eric Krasno, Larry Campbell and Jeff Young.
The night kicked off with Bruce Willis joining the band for his song “Tenth Avenue Tango” before Amy Helm and Jackie Greene collaborated on “Yes We Can” and Mavis Staples dueted with Helm on the following “Will the Circle be Unbroken.”
Staples would remain for “I’ll Take You There” and Keb Mo delivered a standout rendition of the the Beatles’ “In My Life” before welcoming out Tash Neal and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons for “Thrill is Gone.”
Additional highlights on the evening included Gary Clark Jr. and William Bell collaborating on “Born Under a Bad Sign,” much like they did at the Grammys. Warren Haynes led the house band on “Soulshine” and jammed with Marcus King on “Bring It On Home” (along with Willis) while Patty Smyth appeared with John McEnroe in tow for “Whole Lotta Love.”
Other guest appearances included Michael McDonald, fresh off of his Okeechobee Festival collaboration, delivering “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” with Catherine Russell before departing. Sam Moore then held down vocals for “Ain’t That Good News” and “Soul Man,” the latter of which also included Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh and Bruce Willis before Lisa Fischer led the house band on “Gimme Shelter.”
Gary Clark Jr. would emerge again for his own “When My Train Pulls In” followed by Jackson Browne’s first appearance on the night, playing his own “Runnin’ on Empty” and The Band’s “I Shall Be Released” with the help of McDonald and the Blind Boys of Alabama. The Blind Boys would remain for “People Get Ready” with Aaron Neville who would also take the lead on the following “Change is Gonna Come.”
As the night wound to a close, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi emerged for “Loving You is Sweeter” before welcome Haynes for Joe Cocker’s “Space Captain,” followed by Tedeschi, Trucks, Moore and Jackie Greene on “Lovelight” prior to their departure.
The closing run of the show kicked off with Will Lee taking the lead on “Get Out of My Life Woman” along with Billy Gibbons, who then launched into ZZ Top’s hit “La Grange.” Walsh reemerged for “Life’s Been Good” and Dr. John made his lone appearance of the night for “Such a Night” with help from the Eagles guitarist. The finale appropriately welcomed all musicians out to the stage for a singalong rendition of “With a Little Help From My Friends.”
Here’s a look at the setlist:
Love Rocks Benefit
Beacon Theatre, New York, NY
Tenth Avenue Tango, Yes We Can, Will the Circle Be Unbroken, I’ll Take You There, In My Life, Thrill is Gone, Night Time is the Right Time, Hey Devil, Born Under a Bad Sign, Soulshine, Bring it On Home, Crazy Love, Whole Lotta Love, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Soul Man, Gimme Shelter, The Healing, When My Train Pulls In, Runnin’ On Empty, I Shall Be Released, People Get Ready, Change is Gonna Come, Loving You is Sweeter, Lovelight, Get Out of My Life Woman, La Grange, Life’s Been Good, Such a Night, With a Little Help From My Friends