(Yahoo!) - On Feb. 9, 1964, a little band called the Beatles performed for the first time on "Ed Sullivan." It was a rilly big shew, as Ed used to say, and it's not even slightly hyperbolic to say that it changed pop culture forever. Half a decade later, the effects of that one monumental night are still being felt.
And roughly half a decade later, on Jan. 27, the Recording Academy hosted "The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute To The Beatles" at the Los Angeles Convention Center, making full use of the allstars in town from the previous night's Grammy Awards, including surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr themselves. The concert will air on Feb. 9.
"We're not really trying to recreate that night; all we can do is celebrate it," explained Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich at the start of the historical concert, before a rotating cast of very different A-list artists, all united by their love for the Beatles, took the stage with very different results.
Among the best tributes of the night were the reunited Eurythmics doing "Fool on the Hill," with Annie Lennox, resplendent in a floor-sweeping bronze ball gown, delivering a theatrical and borderline-unhinged performance; piano soul stylists Alicia Keys and John Legend teaming up for a positively stunning "Let It Be"; Stevie Wonder, perfectionist that he is, running through two attempts at a funky remake of "We Can Work It Out"; George Harrison's onetime Traveling Wilburys crony Jeff Lynne and Eagles' Joe Walsh joining George's son Dhani for a lovely cover of "Something," while George's widow Olivia beamed in the audience; and another George tribute, an absolutely incendiary "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," by Joe Walsh and Gary Clark Jr., with the Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl on drums.
Dave Grohl also got in the best Beatles-fanboy speech of the night, when he told the audience: "I can really say if it weren't for the Beatles, I would not be a musician…[they're] my mom's favorite band, my favorite band, and now my daughter's favorite band." It was the perfect introduction for his unexpected performance of "Hey Bulldog," which he called the Beatles' "quintessential rocker," with Jeff Lynne. Also onstage: possibly the best "house band" ever, with a lineup that included Peter Frampton, Don Was, Steve Lukather, the Wallflowers' Rami Jaffee, and "The Voice"/"20 Feet From Stardom" powerhouse backup singer Judith Hill.
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