Caught the last night a couple of weeks back of an industrious inaugural benefit concert series known as 500 Songs for Kids. Over 10 nights, 500 different acts played Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 greatest songs of all time (a 2004 issue).
The down side of listening to songs 46 (by the time I made it inside - long ass-line!) all the way to #1: too much smoke, standing for over 6 hours, and the long wait times for some acts to set up or clear out.
But many, many upsides. Dionne Farris (of former Arrested Development fame) sang the #6 song, Aretha Franklin's "R-E-S-P-E-C-T". Pete Yorn delivered #2, John Lennon's "Imagine".
My 3 favorite performances were 2 without lyrics, and one all about them. A string group (I failed to write down their name) rendered Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" in fine fashion. You'll have to crank the volume to do the strings justice, as they weren't plugged in and only picked up by the mikes on stage.
My second favorite performance was by a local jazz group known as Jazzspects. Fantastic delivery of The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows." Play this - it is an unsuck listen!
Best performance was Sanjay Kothari's "One" by U2. Wow. His voice, phrasing, and guitar chops were superlative. He was also one of the organizers of the benefit, working his keester off the entire night. When his hibernation is over and sleep restores his sanity, I'm looking forward to catching him around Atlanta. (I have a vid of his performance, but this broad who claims to have recently joined a band of her own can be overheard singing harmony along with Sanjay. If you want to hear it anyway, say so in comments and I can post the vid there).