The fifth annual Light Up the Blues event benefitting Autism Speaks took place on Saturday night at The Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, hosted by Steven Stills and his wife Kristen, who have a college-age son with autism. The night featured a number of special collaborations featuring Stills, his longtime musical collaborator Neil Young, members of the late Tom Petty’s backing band The Heartbreakers, Sheryl Crow and more.
As Rolling Stone reports, the night, which was hosted by Jack Black, kicked off with Stills being joined by his current collaborator Judy Collins for a cover of the Traveling Wilburys’ “Handle With Care,” followed by guitarist Mike Campbell, keyboardist Benmont Tench and drummer Steve Ferrone, the Heartbreakers members who haven’t played together since Tom Petty’s passing last year joining Stills for a cover of Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.” Watch a video of that performance below.
Next up was a surprise appearance from Patti Smith, followed by a song from Stills’ son Christopher and then a Jack Black-led rendition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Burt Bacharach then joined Sheryl Crow for “Dancing With Your Shadow,” followed by a couple of solo Crow tunes and an intermission that featured Black auctioning off guitars signed by the night’s participants.
Another surprise performance, from Beck this time, followed the break, when the singer played “Guess I’m Doing Fine” and “Where It’s At.” Young then took the stage for his headlining performance, which soon featured an appearance from Stills. The duo has collaborated on several projects in the past including Crosby Stills Nash & Young and Buffalo Springfield, and Young welcomed out Stills by calling him his “brother.” The two then joined together for renditions of “Long May You Run” and Buffalo Springfield tunes “For What It’s Worth” and “Mr. Soul.”
Patti Smith then returned to the stage to help out on “People Have the Power,” which led into the grand finale of Burt Bacharach’s “What the World Needs Now is Love” with the songwriter himself along with all of the night’s musicians together on stage. Watch a video of that finale and other fan-shot footage below.