Few words were said to the audience, though Rock thanked the crowd “for coming” toward the end of the show.
He impersonated Prince, too, when reciting the lyrics to “If I Was Your Girlfriend” with sass. Comedian-actor Fred Armisen took on many roles: He recited lyrics from “Let’s Go Crazy,” played the drums while the Blind Boys of Alabama sang “The Cross” and offered light vocals during “It’s Going to Be a Beautiful Night” alongside D’Angelo.
Most of the musicians wore black onstage, though LaVette rocked a purple blazer while singing “Kiss.” Other performers included Eric Leeds, Nina Persson and Talib Kweli. Wendy Melvoin of the Revolution played guitar throughout the night, while St. Paul Peterson and Susannah Melvoin — dancing wildly in a white suit — performed “High Fashion/Mutiny.”
Husband-and-wife Citizen Cope and Alice Smith sang a duet version of “Pop Life” and Booker T. Jones was joined by singer Diane Birch and members of the Young Audiences New York Youth Choir for “Raspberry Beret.”