It's not often that concerts or performances for charity actually carry out the intended message, but last night at the 26th Annual Tibet House Benefit, Robert Thurman and Phillip Glass had to be grinning as Iggy Pop sang his David Bowie co-signed lyrics "Everything / Will Be alright / Tonight."
It seems obvious now, but it couldn't have been more perfect to have a David Bowie (who performed at past Tibet House Benefits) tribute by Iggy Pop on a night dedicated to the mission of peace Tibetan culture urges. 'True compassion is giving yourself away,' to paraphrase Robert Thurman's impassioned speech connecting the ethos of Tibet with that of the artist, and by the end of the night that message was delivered in full.
FKA Twigs lulled the audience with her hushed vocals, only to mesmerize them completely with her signature dance moves. Gogol Bordello ran out onto the stage and performed an energetic set that gave the impression that the precious stage at Carnegie Hall might fall apart at any moment. But of course Iggy had to add an exclamation point to the night. The second of his two poems, performed with the Scorchio Quartet, was a moving tribute to his parents. It was impossible not to get wrapped up in it entirely; Iggy could have come out and played the hits but he decided to give us something much more personal, and utterly unique. That alone would be worth the price of admission, but he decided to kick up the vibe with a performance of Bowie's "The Jean Genie," saying afterward it wasn't simply a tribute but just a fun song to play. He introduced "Tonight" by saying it has "a deceptively simple lyric. And I think it’s the right lyric for right now and for tonight.” It was indeed simple, but whether you were sitting there thinking about David Bowie or Thurman's declaration "love over hate is the miracle," or were just one of the fans who rushed the stage to get a closer look at an icon, there couldn't have been a better way to end the night.
[Photos: Getty Images]