All-Star Lineup Rocks Tibet House Benefit

Michael Stipe, Patti Smith, Lou Reed and Ray Davies were among the featured performers at the 17th annual Tibet House Benefit at Carnegie Hall last night (Feb. 26) in New York. Debbie Harry, Ben Harpe

Michael Stipe, Patti Smith, Lou Reed and Ray Davies were among the featured performers at the 17th annual Tibet House Benefit at Carnegie Hall last night (Feb. 26) in New York. Debbie Harry, Ben Harper, Laurie Anderson and Icelandic band Sigur Ros were also on the bill.

Last night's benefit coincided with the Tibetan New Year and featured tributes to Tibetan culture and numerous collaborations between artists. Anderson and Sigur Ros started off the evening, with Anderson playing a stripped-down version of "Transitory Life" and Sigur Ros performing acoustic renditions of "Agaetis Byrjun" and "Heysatan."

Reed played "Who Am I?" and a bluesy "Ecstasy," both backed by a string quartet. Davies and Harry paired up for the classic Kinks song "Lola", complete with an audience singalong. Davies also broke out "Sunny Afternoon" and "Dedicated Follower of Fashion."

Harper was joined by Phillip Glass on piano and a string quartet for "Amen, Omen." Following Harper was Stipe, who sang the R.E.M. oddities "New Test Leper," and "Chorus and the Ring," which Stipe said developed after conversations he had with the late beat poet William S. Burroughs. The latter song has never been performed by R.E.M., according to Stipe.

The artist was then joined by his idol Smith for a version of "Everybody Hurts," that included a full band and string arrangements. Smith and her band rounded out the evening with George Harrison's "Within You Without You" and "1959." The evening culminated with everyone joining Smith for a traditional show-closing version of "People Have the Power."