Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Mariah Carey gave viewers across the nation a…
- Posted on Oct 5th 2009 11:30AM by Steve Baltin
Early in the night, after Friday and Courtney Love rocked their way through a steamy cover of Magazine's 'The Light Pours Out of Me,' Friday said, "Only one thing can follow that," and brought out Scarlett Johansson and Rufus Wainwright. That one-upmanship kept going until the end of the night, when after a magnificent solo turn by Bono, Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed came out to join Friday, the Edge and Bono for a raucous post-modern 'Sweet Jane.' How do you improve on that?
How about Bono, Love, Friday, Johansson, Wainwright and many more tearing up the Carnegie stage with David Bowie's 'Jean Genie'?
The night began appropriately enough with Friday, a gifted singer in his own right with the Virgin Prunes and several critically-acclaimed solo albums, crooning the beautiful 'Apologia.' Rather than saving the biggest names for last, Bono immediately came out to say a few words about his childhood pal. "When we were kids, we grew up in the same streets. We had these grandiose ideas, lived surreal lives in our imagination," he said before bringing a bit of grandiosity to the Carnegie stage. "It's time for the U2ers," he added. While seeing the band in this setting was surreal, they were perfectly reserved, delivering a beautiful rendition of Friday's 'I Want to Live.'
That was followed by a witty moment as Friday introduced Antony Hegarty to sing "the first song Man Seezer and I ever wrote," according to Friday. After Friday said, "Now this beautiful man is gonna sing it," Hegarty quipped, "I'm not a man." Friday didn't miss a beat, calling Hegarty "a beautiful person," to some laughs. That laughter turned to awe as the two voices merged on 'He Got What He Wanted.'
When Spinner spoke to Friday last week, he discounted the possibility of a Prunes reunion, saying, "I don't believe in going back." Apparently, taking the Carnegie Hall stage changed that. After a sweetly nervous intro by Love, who recalled seeing the Prunes in their heyday and how they had "so much sex, snarl, and raw power" that she had her "ass handed to [her] that night by the Prunes," Friday and his former bandmate Guggi joined guest JG Thirwell to display all of those attributes with a sultry 'Caucasian Walk' that turned Carnegie Hall into a gilded CBGB's.
Among the many other highlights were master of 'Caberet' Joel Gray performing 'Willkomen,' and Friday and Maria McKee showing off their own cabaret skills with some Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, as well as their own collaboration, 'Falling Off the Edge of the World.'
Bono introduced suprise guest Lady Gaga, who explained to the stunned crowd that she'd written a new song for the evening, inspired by (RED), about falling in love with a man with red hair. As she segued into a her piano-only version of 'Poker Face,' she paused to tell the crowd how she ended up onstage for the show. "When I spoke to Bono, he said, 'We're doing a little downtown thing,'" Gaga explained. "When I arrived, I'm thinking to myself, 'This isn't downtown for me!' But I guess when you regularly play for 90,000 screaming fans, this might seem like downtown."