Patti Smith, Eddie Vedder, Flaming Lips & More Perform For Tibet House Virtual Benefit 2021
An all-star cast of artists including Patti Smith, Eddie Vedder, The Flaming Lips and Phoebe Bridgers contributed to the 2021 Tibet House Benefit Concert, which was held virtually last night. The two-and-a-half-hour livestreamed presentation was curated by musical director Philip Glass and powered and produced in conjunction with Tibet House partners Mandolin.
While the 34th Annual Tibet House Benefit Concert was much different than in years past thanks to the pandemic, a number of familiar elements were included. Monks from The Drepung Gomang Monastery chanted to start the show as usual and Patti Smith led a guest-filled “People Have The Power” to end the virtual concert. Performances were filmed in a variety of settings.
The “Praise Of The Great Maitreya” chant was followed by Iggy Pop reciting Dylan Thomas’ “Rage Against The Dying Light.” Glass then spoke about Tibet House US, the beneficiary of the event, and thanked all those who contributed to the virtual concert before Laurie Anderson, Rubin Kodheli, Jesse Paris Smith and Tenzin Choegyal collaborated remotely on tracks from their Songs From The Bardo LP.
Black Pumas made their debut at the event with a stirring performance of “Colors” and then Wayne Coyne introduced video featuring The Flaming Lips’ “Flowers Of Neptune” from the band’s recent space bubble concerts in Oklahoma City. Next, Angélique Kidjo covered Talking Heads classics “Crosseyed & Painless” and “Once In A Lifetime.” The special continued with Brittany Howard leading her solo group through Jaime track “Stay High” and footage from 1996 of the late Allen Ginsberg reciting “Wichita Vortex Sutra” in Prague backed by Philip Glass.
Annie Lennox contributed a segment featuring solo piano renditions of “You Placed A Chill In My Heart,” “Cold” and “Here Comes The Rain Again.” It was then back to The Flaming Lips’ space bubble concerts for Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots standout “All We Have Now.” Next, Valerie June delivered solo takes on Radiohead’s “Fake Plastic Trees” and Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide.”
Howard returned for “Baby” before Cage The Elephant dug in on “Skin & Bones” and a blistering “Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked.” Phoebe Bridgers was joined by Glass, Jackson Browne and Scorchio Quartet for the gorgeous “Kyoto” and then teamed with Rob Moose on “Moon Song.” From there, Vedder was shown playing “Can’t Keep” from his Ukulele Songs LP ahead of Patti Smith & Jesse Paris Smith’s “A New Year” and “Wing.”
The final portion of last night’s special began with a greeting from the Dalai Lama. Glass then accompanied Saori Tsukada and Tenzin Choegyal on “Be The Sky.” The “People Have The Power” finale was credited to Pathway To Paris and featured Patti Smith, Michael Stipe and various artists from around the world.
Tibet House US was founded in 1987 to spotlight, preserve and protect Tibetan traditions and culture.