- The Dirty Projectors
- "Useful Chamber"
- "Stillness Is the Move"
- "Ambulance Man" with David Byrne
- "Knotty Pine" with David Byrne
- My Brightest Diamond
- "Feeling Good"
- The National
- "Vanderlylle Cry Baby"
- Dave Sitek
- "With a Girl Like You"
- David Byrne
- "Don't Fence Me In"
- "Dreamworld: Marco de Canavezes" with Justin Vernon
- Bon Iver
- "Brackett, WI"
- "Blood Bank"
- Bon Iver and Aaron Dessner
- "Big Red Machine" with Matt Berninger
- "Train Song" with Justin Vernon
- "Someday Baby"
- Sharon Jones
- "Not Gonna Cry"
- "When I Come Home"
- "Inspiration Information"
- "100 Days, 100 Nights"
- Ensemble Encore
- "This Land Is Your Land"
In a year of great music, the Dark Was the Night compilation ranks near the top, with 31 songs by artists writing and performing original works, including Sufjan Stevens, Arcade Fire, Yeasayer, Cat Power, Andrew Bird and many more.
More recently, on May 3, the collection spawned a one-of-a-kind concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
It was a truly mammoth undertaking. Though not all 31 songs from the record were performed, you could still hear David Byrne, The Dirty Projectors, Bon Iver, The National, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, My Brightest Diamond and Feist, often in unique configurations.
The lively dynamics of the night made for some wonderful pairings and odd duets: Feist and Bon Iver, David Byrne and The Dirty Projectors, David Byrne with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, The National with My Brightest Diamond and Sharon Jones with everyone.
Dark Was the Night is a 20th-anniversary benefit collection put together by the Red Hot Organization, which has been using the power of pop culture to fight AIDS since 1989. This particular compilation was brilliantly curated by twin brothers Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National, who also curated the concert.
There are a few bits missing here that were part of the live event. Sometimes, a live performance is best left at the venue, but what we have here are all the performances that the artists are most proud to present.
Special thanks to Madison Square Garden Entertainment and Radio City Music Hall.