"Thank you for coming out on a day like this for rock like this," said Stephen Colbert to a crowd of a few hundred who gathered at the High Line Park on cool, gray afternoon in New York City. They were there for the most anticipated one-off concert of, well, the past 24 hours.
The crowd came out to see Colbert, former White Stripes frontman Jack White, and the Black Belles -- a gothic garage group signed to White's label, Third Man Records -- perform Colbert's song "Charlene II (I'm Over You)."
The free show capped off Colbert's week-long musical extravaganza, StePhest Colbchella '011, which included performances from Bon Iver, Florence and the Machine and Talib Kweli. But highlight was undoubtedly the three-part series of interviews with White, who was helping the faux-pundit revive his short-lived music career. As the legend goes, Stephen and the Colbert's released their seminal, "chart adjacent" new wave hit "Charlene (I'm Right Behind You)" back in the 1980s. Now, in 2011, Colbert swears he's over Charlene and wrote a song to prove it.
Today's show kicked off shortly past noon awith a few laudatory words from White about his "protégé," before the comedian joined him onstage for a rousing rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner." Colbert, who is deaf in one ear, has quite a baritone and certainly held his own with White. Watch the duet below.
Then White left the stage and Colbert, backed by the Black Belles -- standing stoically, looking totally disaffected (in that cool rock star sort of way) and dressed in matching business suits -- performed "Charlene II (I'm Over You)," which, for all purposes, is not a half-bad track, and is -- go figure -- pretty funny. Watch the performance, including Jack's intro, below.
Before the show, fans lined up to purchase the "Charlene II (I'm Over You)" 7" single from the Third Man Rolling Record Store (literally a record shop on wheels), and afterwards Colbert and White stuck around to sign autographs.
In case you missed it, Colbert and the Black Belles performed the track last night on "The Colbert Report," and you can also check out more clips from this week's festivities below, including an eight-and-a-half-minute web exclusive of Colbert and White going head-to-head in an intense Catholic trivia smackdown. Watch those three clips below.
Video: Third installment of Colbert's interview series with Jack White, "2011: A Rock Odyssey"
Video: Stephen Colbert and the Black Belles perform "Charlene II (I'm Over You)"
Video: "2011: A Rock Odyssey featuring Jack White -- Catholic Throwdown"
"Charlene II (I'm Over You)" and "Charlene (I'm Right Behind You)," the latter performed by the Black Belles, are available on iTunes and the Third Man website.