‘To Nashville, With Love’ Raises $500,000 for Tornado Relief Efforts: The 5 Coolest Moments
Some of Nashville's most talented artists joined forces on Monday night (March 9) to raise money for their beloved city. The To Nashville, With Love benefit concert sold out in less than two hours and raised over $500,000 for victims of the March 3 tornadoes that killed two dozen people and destroyed hundreds of buildings across Middle Tennessee.
Held at Nashville's Marathon Music Works, the all-star lineup featured Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile, Brothers Osborne, Margo Price, Sheryl Crow, Ashley McBryde, Old Crow Medicine Show, Kendell Marvel and more. The show included an array of emotional, incredible performances, but the following are five of the most memorable moments.
Yola Sings With Dan Auerbach, More Big-Name Friends
During her time onstage, Yola proved why she's become one of the biggest breakout stars of the Americana genre of the past year. She joined the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, Natalie Hemby and Aaron Lee Tasjan for a rocking take on Auerbach's 2017 single "Stand By My Girl" before soaring through her own track "It Ain't Easier." The performance allowed her to show off her incredible vocal range while bringing in the crowd for a call and response during the song's chorus.
With stunning backing vocals from Hemby, Yola also put her own playful spin on "You're All I Need to Get By," a Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell track from 1968 that's also been covered by Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight.
Old Crow Medicine Show Re-Write a Song for the Occasion
To kick the night off, Old Crow Medicine Show brought boundless energy to the stage with "Flicker & Shine." With Charlie Worsham on guitar, the group performed a reimagined version of "Minglewood Blues" with lyrics focused around Nashville and the devastating storm: "Don't ever let tornadoes rule your mind," the band proclaimed, switching up the lyrics of the Grateful Dead tune and causing a mass sing-a-long.
OCMS wrapped their set up with the Tennessee anthem "Wagon Wheel," sparking a display of joy and pride from the audience that lasted throughout the four-hour event.
Margo Price Brings a String Quartet to the Stage
In a surprise move, Price recruited a string quartet comprised of local players, along with the stunning harmonies of singer-songwriter Erin Rae, for a moving version of the folk song "The Grey Funnel Line." She also gave fans a taste of her next record by performing the show-stopping "I'd Die For You," a heartfelt love song inspired by her husband, Jeremy Ivey.
During her set, Price explained to the audience how she had been living in East Nashville during the 2010 flood and saw how the community immediately pulled together to support each other. "That's the coolest thing about this community," she said. "Everybody loves each other, everybody cares about each other."
Brandi Carlile Shows Up for Music City
During a night full of incredible collaborations, Carlile kicked things off with a moving set of her solo material while sharing some of her trademark wisdom. "I’ve never seen a community come together the way that this community has come together in the wake of this tragedy. It’s been beyond inspiring," Carlile said. "Not only will you recover from this, but you are recovering from this in a way that is shocking the world."
Joined by her collaborators Tim and Phil Hanseroth, Carlile began with her 2014 track "The Eye" before rolling into the eloquent and especially meaningful "The Joke." She returned later in the night to act as one-fourth of her supergroup the Highwomen, alongside fellow Highwoman Natalie Hemby and friends Sheryl Crow and Yola. As they sang the chorus of the quartet's self-titled story song, Carlile called out, "Nashville, will come back again," reiterating the theme shared by show co-host and local business owner Mike Grimes: "We will rise."
A Meaningful "All Call"
After four hours of incredible performances, the artists on the To Nashville, With Love bill gathered onstage together to close things out. Charlie Pierce, Yola's manager and an organizer of the event, and Doug Hall, her press representative, whose home was damaged in the tornado, shared their thanks to those who donated before joining the artists for one last song.
Jason Isbell, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Yola, John Osborne, Sadler Vaden and Kendell Marvel were among the artists who came together to sing Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World," the last song that was performed onstage at the Basement East in East Nashville's 5 Points neighborhood before it was hit by the tornado just hours later. An image of what remained of the venue was the stage's backdrop as the crowd sang along, resulting in one of the most powerful moments of the entire evening.
To Nashville, With Love benefited the To Nashville, With Love Fund, which was created by music industry professionals in the wake of the tornado that ripped through North Nashville, Germantown, East Nashville and other areas of Middle Tennessee. All funds will go to disaster relief efforts and mental health organizations.
The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, Hands on Nashville and other organizations are also organizing donations and volunteers. Click here for more information on how you can help.
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