Headlining the night were Crosby, Stills and Nash (CSN), John Mayer, Don Felder, Brandi Carlile and Chris Stills. The night also featured performances by artists on the autism spectrum like rapper Rio “Soulschocka” Wyles who teamed up with guest artist Watsky, cellist Adam Mandela Walden and indie-rock artist Xolie Morra. Neal Katz, a non-verbal young man with autism delivered a talk via speech-to-text technology that called for more listening to individuals with special needs.
The crowd of more than 1,600 – nearly all wearing the blue Autism Speaks puzzle-piece pin – were treated to an electrifying show, with John Mayer and Stephen Stills hammering out blazing guitar solos while Brandi Carlile belted the lyrics to the blues classic “I’ve Got To Use My Imagination.”
Mayer later joined CSN to share lead guitar duty on “Almost Cut My Hair” followed by “Wooden Ships” which also featured Don Felder. The number was greeted with a standing ovation, one of many received by the night’s performers.
Also in attendance, Autism Speaks President Liz Feld and Executive Vice President of FX Networks Chuck Safler. The Autism Speaks national board member was instrumental in getting the stars out the help raise awareness for autism.
The concert spotlights Light It Up Blue, Autism Speaks’ annual global awareness and fundraising campaign celebrated by the international Autism community during World Autism Awareness Day and throughout Autism Awareness Month in April. Proceeds from the concert will go towards Autism Speaks’ research and advocacy efforts for families and individuals impacted by the disorder.
The 2013 “Light Up The Blues” concert documentary, emceed by actor and musician Jack Black, is now on sale through iTunes and features performances by CSN, Don Felder, Rickie Lee Jones, Lucinda Williams and Stephen Stills’ son Chris, among others.
Source: Autism Speaks