8th Annual Love Rocks NYC benefit for God’s Love We Deliver- Beacon Theatre-NYC


Review and Photos by Joe Russo

The recent 8th Annual Love Rocks NYC benefit for God’s Love We Deliver at the Beacon Theatre in NYC is one of my favorite live music events to shoot every year. I love the mission statement. Raise money from within the community and world wide to feed the less fortunate or afficted. Top level meals deleivered to anyone in the NYC area that needs it. The random yet carefully curated pairings of musicians spanning countless genres of music; coming together to jam, collaborate, spread love, laugh, and support a great cause, I keep close to the heart each year.

Each year, we’re treated to a 4 hour musical journey at one of the most beautiful, historic, reverent venues in New York City. My most favorite place to see, or hear, (and photograph) a show. One of the things I love and enjoy most about this event each year is not only the top notch musicians but the incorporation of top notch comedic interludes by some of the industry’s best. This years comedians included long time Love Rocks NYC Alumnus, Bill Murray; in addition to Martin Short, Traacccy Morgan, Jim Gaffigan and Conan O’Brien; who actually opened the show playing guitar with Jimmy Vivino. 

Photography and music are my passions in life. I enjoy music immensely, home or live and I especially love shooting it. This is by far the most challenging event I shoot each year. Shooting every song for 4 hours, you rack up the pics. On your feet for 4 hours, tigger finger hurts. Then you gotta evaluate and edit your nights captures. I think I’ve shot 5 of the 8 over the years. 

Another beautymark is that each year I’m exposed to a few musicians I’ve never heard of before and I’m just blown away. Then the first of many random collaborations unfolds. Case in point, Joss Stone and Trombone Shorty covering Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” or Marcus King and former NY Yankee Bernie Williams covering “Proud Mary”.

All the while, there is a massive backing band including, two drum kits, Pedrito on percussion, two keyboardists, backing singers, guitarists Larry Campbell and Eric Krasno, led by bassist Will Lee.

Notibles on the line up include Don Felder, Hozier, Lucius, Joss Stone, Bettye Layette, Nile Rodgers. Tom Morello with an epic rendition “The Ghost of Tom Joad” was a stand out as well as very last minute addition Dave Grohl performing a stripped down “Everlong” and a rousing “Live and Let Die”.

Surpring notables that I was not familiar with and highly impressed by include Luke Spiller performing a stupendous cover og Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” as well as Quinn Sullivans cover of “Dear Prudence”.

The Black Keys closed out the show with a raucus “Howlin For You” followed by “Lonely Boy”. Wonderboy Markus King steps out to cover “Heard It Through The Grapevine” with the Black Keys.

In traditional fashion each year, every musiccian and comedian come out to the stage and link up to do a cover song. This tear it was David Bowies “Let’s Dance” (with Dave Grohl on drums).

Please look up God’s Lover We Deliver and donate what you can to feed those that can’t do for themselves. Hope you enjoyed the photos and I hope to see you there next year.