Kevin Norris

Rock a Little / Feed a Lot Benefit @ Club Nokia 9/29/09

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With economic downturn comes poverty, and with poverty comes the inevitable case of hunger. But as we have seen in the past with other troubling issues, there usually is a group of celebrities willing to rally together for a cause.

So with the involvement of the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief charity program – Feeding America, the non profit Los Angeles Regional Foodbank, and the orchestration of David Arquette comes “Rock A Little, Feed A Lot.”

The star studded charity event featured appearances by David Arquette, Courtney Cox-Arquette, Lisa Kudrow, Isla Fisher, Alison Sweeney, Lance Bass, Alanis Morissette, Christina Applegate, Marcia Cross, Jeff Probst, along with spectacular performances by Sheryl Crow, Ben Harper, Tom Morello, Jonny Lang, Katharine McPhee, Joel and Benji Madden of Good Charlotte, and comedian Garry Shandling. The event that was part of the Hunger Action Month was held at Club Nokia in Los Angeles on Tuesday night in order to raise awareness and funds for the 35 million people who are at risk of hunger in America.

The event that was directed by Adam Shankman kicked off inside Club Nokia, where a video of President Barrack Obama talking about the hunger issue in America received an enormous amount of applause from the nearly sold out venue. Other videos were seen in between sets, many of them being hunger statistics, messages from other celebrities (Jennifer Lopez, Matt Damon, Adrien Grenier, and Morgan Freeman), and information on how to lend a helping hand, while music acts OneRepublic, Rob Thomas, and Miley Cyrus provided special pre-taped performances that they dedicated to the event.

The live performances ranged from the blues-driven Jonny Lang, acoustic versions of “I Don’t Want To Be In Love” and “The River” from Joel and Benji Madden, to the soaring vocals of Katharine McPhee’s “Had It All,” and the incredible rocking from closing act Sheryl Crow – who played the song she and Jason Mraz wrote for the event, “All We Need” along with her hits “Every Day Is A Winding Road” and “If It Makes You Happy.”

However, the highlights of the night were in the spur-of-the-moment rendition of “Smelly Cat” from Friends’ costars Lisa Kudrow and Courtney Cox-Arquette as well as Ben Harper and Tom Morello’s performance of “Gather Around The Stone.” While “Smelly Cat” might have been the night’s most spontaneous moment, it was Ben Harper’s and Tom Morello’s performance that was the most uplifting.

During his solo set, Morello, who aggressively strummed an acoustic guitar that read “whatever it takes,” took a moment to assess the theme and overall feel of the night when he screamed, “Look at all of you in your sexy outfits and this posh venue. Let’s end hunger in L.A tonight…”

The announcement made later in the night that $10 million from ConAgra Foods Foundation had been donated towards fighting child hunger-the largest donation ever made to fight child hunger- sent a convicting feeling that Morello’s plea was well on the way to being answered, and that with help and events like this, the hunger issue in America may eventually be noted as a thing of the past.

Photos by Paul Hebert.

Ben Harper
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Jonny Lang
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Katharine McPhee
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Sheryl Crow
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Tom Morello
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