In an unusual mash-up of 1980s culture, ZZ Top guitarist Billy F. Gibbons spoke-sang Talking Heads’ Afro-funk “Houses in Motion.” Gibbons easily beat singer Steve Earle, who performed the Byrne solo song “A Million Miles Away,” in the longest beard competition.
Other highlights included “Once” singer Glen Hansard dueting with Jherek Bischoff on “Girlfriend is Better,” with a piercing fiddle. Joseph Arthur painted a portrait in the midst of his eerie version of “This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody).” The Roots were joined by singer Donn T for “Born Under Punches.”
Perched on Cibo Matto’s keyboard was a drawing of a bicycle with a big basket — Byrne’s usual mode of transportation around the city he calls home.
Appropriately enough, the benefit was opened by a group of school-aged youngsters performing “Stay Up Late.”
Then, presumably, they went to bed.