Event: The Music of Prince

Venue: Carnegie Hall, New York

Date: March 7

The biggest surprise of this tribute concert came toward the beginning, when guitarist Wendy Melvoin (of Wendy & Lisa) appeared with house band the Roots and was joined by longtime Prince saxophonist Eric Leeds. It was as close as Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, who helmed the evening, was going to get to playing with his dream band, the Revolution, and indeed it was a night about making dreams come true. The ninth concert in presenter Michael Dorf's annual series raised more than $100,000 for music-education programs and turned up a high percentage of once-in-a-lifetime performances. On the comic side, that included Chris Rock hollering through "If I Was Your Girlfriend" and a pregnant Maya Rudolph bumping and grinding to "Darling Nikki." Those moments were balanced by striking performances from soul singers young (Alice Smith, joined by Citizen Cope, on "Pop Life") and old (Bettye Lavette, bringing the blues to "Kiss"). But it was D'Angelo who stole the show. Stomping from across the stage, kicking over the piano stool and leading the crowd in singalongs of "It's Gonna Be a Beautiful Night" and "1999," he left no doubt that the Prince credo of dance, music, sex, romance was alive and well.