Members of The Beach Boys, Heart, The Flaming Lips, The Killers, Jane’s Addiction, Cold War Kids, Spoon, The Cult, and more gathered last night to celebrate the work George Harrison. The Best Fest Presents which is sponsored by Jameson has put on Petty Fest, Stones Fest, and Dylan Fest. The fests normally take place in New York, however George Fest was at the Fonda Theater in Hollywood. The show got off to a late start close 8:40, regardless the music and musicians that lied ahead was worth the wait.
Before the house band which was Cabin Down Below Band took the stage, “Our Prayer” from the Beach Boys “Smile” played over the speakers as the band was getting ready. Cabin Down Below played “Awaiting On You All,” before bringing the first special guest of the night who was also unannounced Conan O’Brien. Conan was a perfect fit since the week leading up to the show, he had George Harrison week. The first Beatles hit of the night was “Taxman,” which was performed by Cold War Kids. The majority of the show was George Harrison’s songs with on a few that were Beatles.
Following Cold War Kids was Cult front man Ian Astbury performing “Be Here Now.” The next Beatles song “I Me Mine” was performed spoon singer/guitarist Britt Daniel and guitarist Alex Fischel. Halfway through the show was two of the biggest highlights Ben Harper performing “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth) and Weird Al Yankovic performing “What Is Life”
Dhani Harrison, George’s son, brought out Jonathan Bates (Big Black Delta), Stephen Perkins (Jane’s Addiction), Jimmy Vivino (Basic Cable Band on Conan), Aaron Embry, and Mark Stoermer (The Killers) to perform “Let It Down, and “Ballad Of Sir Frankie Crisp,” then Harrison again with “Savoy Truffle.” At this point there were 10 songs to go and a few major guests that had not come out yet.
The next major guest was Flaming Lips singer Wayne Coyne performing two songs “It’s All Too Much” with Gingger Shankar and the second “Here Comes The Sun” with Jane’s Addiction vocalist Perry Farrell, Steve Drodz (Flaming Lips) and Norah Jones.
It was interesting to see “Wah-Wah” was the song following “Here Comes The Sun,” since they’re total opposites. Performing Wah-Wah was Strokes guitarist Nick Valnsei, Ex-Guns N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum and that 70’s show Danny Masterson .
Norah Jones returned for “Behind The Locked Door,” Then was joined by Karen Elson Jilette Johnson for The Beatles classic “Something.” There were just a few big guests left, and the next was none other than Ann Wilson from Heart.
Wilson and Sorum performed “Beware Of Darkness,” before Killers lead vocalist Brandon Flowers and Harrison came together for “Got My Mind Set On You.” With 3 songs to go there was one major music legend yet to come out. Not only did we get to see The Beach Boys Brian Wilson, he was joined by another found member Al Jardine for one of Harrison’s most recognizable songs “My Sweet Lord.” Joining Wilson and Jardine, was members of Brian’s solo band, Perry Farrell, Norah Jones, Karen Elson, Elvis Perkins, Ryan Miller (Guster), Jimmy Vivino, Wayne Coyne, and Britt Daniel. Wilson and Jardine left before the grand finale which included almost every artist that performed through out the night.
The final songs were “Handle With Care,” and “All Things Must Pass.” 2014 has been a big year for the Beatles since Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr reunited at The Grammys and the following night an All Star celebration took place to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of their American debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. Coincedentally a week earlier Starr peformed at the John Varvatos store on Melrose for their Peace-Rocks campaign and McCartney was performing the same night as George Fest at Petco Park in San Diego.
For those that would’ve been to young to see the concert for George or missed it, this was the closest thing to it. 100% of the proceeds go to Sweet Relief