Jack and Rachel Antonoff’s annual Talent Show benefitting their LGBTQ organization The Ally Coalition was streamed for the first time last night, December 21. A variety of artists including St. Vincent, Hayley Williams and Sleater-Kinney among others all played stripped-back cover songs for the event.
The show started off with Jack Antonoff playing acoustic guitar renditions of his Bleachers song “45” and Taylor Swift’s “This Is Me Trying,” which he had also worked on. Lana Del Rey also did a version of one of her own songs, “Let Me Love You Like a Woman,” as well as a seasonal “Silent Night” cover. The National’s Aaron Dessner performed a solo guitar version of a new Big Red Machine song about his brother, called “Brycie.”
There were plenty of notable covers. Paramore’s Hayley Williams sang and played piano for her take on Massive Attack’s “Teardrop,” St. Vincent covered The Beatles’ “Martha My Dear” and Sleater-Kinney performed Sparks’ “Angst In My Pants” on electric guitars. Clairo covered Norah Jones’ “Sunrise,” Rufus Wainwright played The Police’s “Wrapped Around Your Finger” and Tierra Whack sang an abridged version of Mary J. Blige’s “Not Gon’ Cry.”
A few acts stood out by performing full-band versions of songs, such as Alabama Shakes’s Brittany Howard doing PKA’s “Let Me Hear You (Say Yeah).” Spoon played Tom Petty’s “A Face In the Crowd.” The Chicks also did one of their own songs, “Sleep at Night,” featuring Antonoff on drums.
Photo credit: Owen Ela