Yesterday, at Central Park’s Rumsey Playfield, a whole mob of prominent musicians got together to pay tribute to the Memphis power pop originators Big Star, covering their album Third in full and covering a bunch of their other classics and associated songs. The musicians included Kurt Vile, Sharon Van Etten, R.E.M.’s Mike Mills, the Mekons’ Sally Timms, Marshall Crenshaw, and sole surviving Big Star member Jody Stephens. Below, watch a fan-made video of Mercury Rev frontman Jonathan Donahue, along with a band that includes a full string section, covering Big Star’s Third song “Holocaust,” as well as Television’s Richard Lloyd leading the whole crew through the show’s big finale, a version of Alex Chilton’s Box Tops oldies-radio staple “The Letter.”
The Big Star documentary Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me is showing now at New York’s IFC Center. Check Consequence Of Sound for more info on the tribute show, including a setlist.