Love Rocks NYC 2024 (A Recap)

March 8, 2024
Love Rocks NYC 2024 (A Recap)

Last night, March 7, God’s Love We Deliver staged its eighth annual Love Rocks NYC benefit concert, drawing some of the biggest names in music and entertainment to New York’s historic Beacon Theatre. Hosted by comedians Conan O’Brien, Jim Gaffigan, Martin Short, Bill Murray and New York royalty Tracy Morgan, this year’s benefit featured performances from legends like Dave Grohl, Marcus King, Nile Rodgers, the Black Keys and Tom Morello, who presented an array of thrilling covers alongside their iconic originals. Proceeds from the sold-out revue went to advance God’s Love We Deliver’s mission of preparing and providing meals for NYC residents with serious illnesses.

To begin the evening, Conan took the stage alongside Jimmy Vivino, the former bandleader for his late-night program, for a performance of Elvis’ “Suspicious Minds.” Following his set, the comedian introduced Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Emily King, who joined AC Lincoln to broach Stephen Stills’ “Love the One You’re With,” inviting the audience to sing along for the exuberant cover. Next, David Ludwigson, President and CEO of God’s Love We Deliver, delved deep into the organization’s mission and current programs. This intermission allowed the band to set for the legendary queen of soul Bettye LaVette, who performed her acclaimed version of Bob Dylan’s “Things Have Changed,” debuted on an album of the same name in 2018.

After the lights came back up, Bill Murray returned as an official emcee for the Love Rocks benefit. Murray shouted out bandleader Pedrito Martínez before hyping up Marcus King, who opened with his soul-stirring 2020 original “Wildflowers and Wine,” complete with one of his trademark staggeringly expressive solos. New York hero Bernie Williams then joined King for a relentless, toe-tapping treatment of “Proud Mary” in the style of the late great Tina Turner. Singer-songwriter Quinn Sullivan followed this epic performance with a shimmering rendition of The Beatles’ “Dear Prudence.”

Sullivan set the stage for Roots-rock sister act Larkin Poe, who blended their original “Bad Spell” time-tested covers of Link Wray’s “Rumble” and Elton John’s “Crocodile Rock” into a memorable medley. Then came The Eagles’ lead guitarist Don Felder, who donned his iconic double-necked axe for “Life In The Fast Lane” and “Hotel California.” After the final notes, Tracy Morgan stormed the stage with a “YO!” to muse on the moments that make him a proud New Yorker before welcoming Trombone Shorty, Ivan Neville and Joss Stone; this trio performed a hard-funking cover of Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy,” touched with Shorty’s trademark NOLA sound. Once the moment simmered to silence, Lucius emerged to perform the heart-wrenching anthem “Dusty Roads” and then Allison Russell’s “Requiem” alongside the songwriter and Hozier.

The evening continued with an appearance from Tom Morello. The musician initiated his stage time with a solo cover of the Bruce Springsteen original, “The Ghost of Tom Joad,” before welcoming assistance from Larkin Poe, Allison Russell and Luke Spiller on “This Land is Your Land.” The event continued with a collaborative take on the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young classic, “Teach Your Children,” featuring Lucius, Russell and Emily King. For Spiller’s slot, the musician landed on Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” which was followed by a short break from music and ensuing laughs provided by comedian Martin Short.

Next, Joss Stone performed her 2003 original “Super Duper Love” and the Tina Turner classic “What’s Love Got To Do With It.” Once again, filling the time between musical sets, O’Brien appeared and provided an introduction for Dave Grohl. The Foo Fighter tapped into The Colour and the Shape cut “Everlong,” followed by the Paul McCartney-scribed barnburner “Live and Let Die.”

Love Rocks NYC entered its headline stretch as Nile Rodgers assumed the spotlight to deliver Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family” and chart-topping Chic standard “Good Times.” Next, Hozier arrived to bring the burning-hot energy to a soul-stirring chill with “Take Me to Church” and “Francesca,” followed by his beloved cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Living for the City.” Murray then took the stage to introduce and praise every member of the Love Rocks band, including guitarist bandleader Will Lee, before welcoming The Black Keys, who burned down the house with “Howlin’ for You” and “Lonely Boy.”

To close its set, the blues-rock duo invited King back to the stage for a collaborative cover of “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.” Finally, after some words from the event’s producers, Love Rocks NYC wrapped with a bang, as the entire company returned to share the stage for a transcendent treatment of David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance.” As Rodgers’s final iconic chords rang out into the hall, the evening drew to a close.

For more information on Love Rocks NYC and God’s Love We Deliver’s mission, visit

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