Love Rocks NY at the Beacon Theater

The 6th annual Love Rocks NY took place Thursday night at the Beacon Theater in NYC lasting nearly four hours. The event featured a stellar lineup of artists including the reunion of Keith Richards and the X-Pensive Winos, Mavis Staples, baseball legend Bernie Williams, Hozier, Anders Osborne, and Larkin Poe as well as several celebrity speakers. The event was hosted by the president and CEO of God Loves We Deliver Karen Pearl along with fashion icon John Varvatos, NYC real estate broker and major concert producer Greg Williamson, and another big concert producer Nicole Rechter. The evening's musical director was David Letterman bassist Will Lee who puts the band together each year for this show. The house band consisted of guitarists Larry Campbell (Levon Helm) and Eric Crasno (Lettuce), long-time SNL band drummer Shawn Pelton (Drums), Eric Clapton percussionist Pedrito Martinez (Percussion), keyboardists Ricky Peterson (David Sanborn)  and Jeff Young (Jackson Browne). The God’s Love Horns were Evan Barker, Ron Blake, Mike Davis, Aaron Heick, Bill Holloman, and Jim Hynes. The We Deliver singers consisted of Elaine Caswell, Dennis Collins, Neal Coomer, Chrissi Poland, Nicki Richards, and Mark Rivers. Ken Dashow provided the off-stage announcements.


From the press release “This year’s concert event also celebrated an extraordinary milestone for God’s Love We Deliver with the delivery of their 30 millionth meal this spring. The organization, which was founded during the AIDS pandemic in 1985, has been an essential services provider during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the organization cooked and delivered more than 2.6 million medically tailored meals to nearly 10,000 New Yorkers living with and affected by severe illness, and its staff and volunteers continue to work tirelessly to meet the ever-growing demand for its services.” The event raised over $3 million with part of the proceeds going to Ukraine.

The evening kicked off with none other than Ben Harper performing "Inland Empire" from his only instrumental album. This was followed by Led Zeppelin’s “When the Levee Breaks” with the house band and one of today’s biggest rock photographers Danny Clinch on Harmonica. Some artists performed covers and others performed their own music and a cover. Each artist performed anywhere between one and three songs. The first speaker of NY was none other than the great Bill Murray who has a long history with NY being a Saturday Night Live Cast member (1977-1980) and of course Ghostbusters which takes place in NYC. Murray was humorous as always, He announced the second act of the night, Connor Kennedy who performed Tom Petty’s “Learning To Fly.” The next performance came from Celisse who I would consider to be one of today’s great artists with her incredible voice and guitar skills.

There were many highlights over the evening from Conan’s Basic Cable Band leader Jimmy Vivino and Yankee legend Bernie Williams together for Wilson Pickett’s “Midnight Hour,” Larkin Poe and Tyler Bryant’s explosive rendition of Rick Derringer’s “Rock And Roll, Hoochie Koo“ , The great Mavis Staples on the signature Staple Singers’ song “I’ll Take You There.” Another special moment came from New Orleans artists Ivan Neville and Anders Osborne with Clinch and Kennedy for Leon Russell’s “Down In Dixieland.”

Keith Richards & The X-Pensive Winos

At the half-way mark Matrix actor Laurencce Fishburne came out to announce the biggest act of the evening, guitar legend and Rolling Stone Keith Richards. Richards put the X-Pensive Winos together for the first time in 30 years for this show. It consisted of original members Waddy Watchel (Guitar), Steve Jordan (Drums), Ivan Neville (Keys) with Will Lee filling in for Charley Drayton who is out playing drums with Bob Dylan currently. Original Wino member vocalist Sarah Dash passed away in September 2021. Together they played three songs: “999” “You Got the Silver,” and “Before They Make Me Run.” The great Steve Schirripa who played Bobby Baccalieri did a little comedy poking fun at former NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio and announced Celisse and Hozier. They were followed by another one of the evening’s big acts Melissa Etheride.

As this historic evening was coming to an end one of the final performers is no stranger to the Beacon having played there dozens of times with the Allman Brothers for their legendary residencies was guitarist and Gov’t Mule founder Warren Haynes. Just before the finale a very big unannounced surprise guest came out which was none other than legendary singer/songwriter Jackson Browne to perform his hit “Running On Empty” with Haynes and the house band. Most performers throughout the evening came out to close the show with Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone” the perfect song by an artist that has played the Beacon many times and also happens to be the last artist I saw at the Beacon before the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Neal Coomer and Mavis Staples

  1. Inland Empire- Ben Harper
  2. When the Levee Breaks (Led Zeppelin Version)-Ben Harper and Danny Clinch

Bill Murray (Speaker)

  1. Learning To Fly (Tom Petty)- Connor Kennedy

  2. Get There- Celisse

  3. Rock and Roll (Led Zeppelin) - Celisse

Bill Murray and video on God Loves We Deliver

  1. Midnight Hour (Wilson Pickett)- Jimmy Vivino/ Bernie Williams

  2. Lonely Town, Lonely Street (Al Jarreau)- Maggie Rose

Mario Cantone (Speaker)

  1. Slippery People - Mavis Staples

  2. I’ll Take You There (Staples Singers) - Bernie Williams and Mavis

  3. Nightflyer- Allison Russell & Sista Strings

  4. Stop Draggin' My Heart Around- (Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks)-Hozier & Allison Russell

  5. She’s A Self-Made Man- Larkin Poe

  6. Rock N Roll Hoochie Coo- Tyler Bryant and Larkin Poe

  7. Down In Dixieland (Leon Russell) Ivan Nevillie, Anders Osborne, Danny Clinch, and Connor Kennedy

Laurence Fisburne

  1. 999- Keith Richards & The X-Pensive Winos

  2. Whose Got the Silver (Rolling Stones)- Keith Richards & The X-Pensive Winos

  3. Before They Make Me Run (Rolling Stones) - Keith Richards & The X-Pensive Winos

Steve Schirripa (Speaker)

  1. Work Song- Celisse and Hozier

  2. Changes (David Bowie)- Hozier

Michelle Buteau (One of the events hosts)

  1. Melissa Ethridge

  2. Come Together (The Beatles)- Melissa Ethridge

  3. I'm the Only One- Melissa Ethridge and Danny Clinch

  4. Ooh La La (Rod Stewart) David Shaw (Revivalists) and Ivan Neville sing along

  5. Baba O’ Reilly (The Who)- David Shaw

Steve Schirripa

  1. Just Another Rider (Gregg Allman)- Warren Haynes

  2. I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (Otis Redding)- Warren Haynes

  3. Runnin' On Empty- Jackson Browne and Warren Haynes

  4. Finale: Like A Rolling Stone (Bob Dylan) with various performers throughout the evening.

Keith Richards & The X-Pensive Winos

About God’s Love We Deliver

God’s Love We Deliver cooks and home-delivers nutritious, medically tailored meals for people too sick to shop or cook for themselves. Founded in 1985 as a response to the AIDS pandemic, we now serve people living with more than 200 different diagnoses. To support the health and well-being of our clients, we provide ongoing nutrition assessment, education, and counseling, and advocate for food and nutrition support. God’s Love is a non-sectarian organization serving individuals living with illness, and their children and caregivers. With a community of thousands of volunteers, we home-delivered more than 2.6 million medically tailored meals to nearly 10,000 individuals last year. All services are free to clients and full of love.

For more information, visit Follow God’s Love on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.