The concert marked the first time the series, which was developed during the pandemic in 2020, took place in front of a live audience. The series, which features covers of songs by Jewish artists, one for each of the holiday’s eight days, was a virtual event in its first year and 2021.
According to Variety, Grohl, along with his “Hanukkah Sessions” collaborator Greg Kurstin, performed and recorded nine songs at the 250-capacity Largo. Proceeds from the concert were directed toward the Anti-Defamation League.
“We’ve gone for the unpredictable,” Grohl said at the beginning of the show, which was hosted by director Judd Apatow. Grohl kicked things off with a cover of Blood, Sweat & Tears‘ “Spinning Wheel,” with help from Apatow and Kurstin. They were followed by Pink, who told the audience, “My name’s Alecia, I’m a Jew,” before singing her 2001 hit “Get This Party Started.” She was followed by Inara George, Kurstin’s bandmate in the indie pop duo the Bird and the Bee, who performed a cover of 10cc’s “The Things We Do for Love.”
Grohl’s daughter, Violet, also made an appearance, covering Janis Ian’s “At Seventeen,” Beck performed his song “E-Pro” and Karen O sang a song from her band the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Heads Will Roll.” Grohl and Kurstin then teamed up with Tenacious D’s Jack Black and Kyle Glass for a cover of Rush‘s “The Spirit of Radio.” All the guests returned to the stage for a performance of Randy Newman‘s “I Love L.A.,” before the evening concluded with an encore by Tenacious D and Beck, who performed “Just a Gigolo.”
It has not been confirmed whether the recorded music will be used in this year’s “Hanukkah Sessions” video series. Previous editions of the series have included covers of songs by Bob Dylan, the Velvet Underground, Drake, the Beastie Boys, Billy Joel, Van Halen, the Ramones, Kiss and others.
Although Grohl is not Jewish, he’s said that participating in the project with Kurstin, who is Jewish, has had a lasting impact. “This project, which initially began as a silly idea, grew to represent something much more important to me,” he said at the end of the 2020 sessions. “It showed me that the simple gesture of spreading joy and happiness goes a long way, and as we look forward, we should all make an effort to do so, no matter how many candles are left to light on the menorah.”
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