The event took place last night at Carnegie Hall, New York

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The first of two sold out David Bowie memorial concerts kicked off last night at Carnegie Hall, New York.

The concert, which sold out in two hours, was organised by New York entrepreneur Michael Dorf. It was originally intended as a tribute concert to the singer, but was changed to a memorial following his death from liver cancer in January.

The artists who performed included Laurie Anderson, Cat Power, J. Mascis & Sean Lennon, Flaming Lips and Pixies.

Over half the songs of the evening featured HoLY HoLY, led by Tony Visconti and featuring drummer Woody Woodmansey.

Michael Stipe, performing his first major solo gig for the first time since the dissolve of R.E.M in 2011, sang a version of “Ashes To Ashes” with accompaniment from Karen Nelson on vocals.

He was met with huge applause as he took to the stage, before stating: “David Bowie was a hippy before he was a space man. I was a hippy when I was 12 years old.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dI8SpGy-P44

Debbie Harry encouraged the crowd to sing along with her throughout, before bringing it to its feet with her performance of “Starman”.

Pixies performed their original song, “Cactus”, which Bowie covered on his 2002 Heathen album.

Wayne Coyne sat on Chewbacca’s shoulders as he led Flaming Lips in their performance of “Life On Mars?”

Toronto-based Choir! Choir! Choir! closed the show with their performance of “Space Oddity”, which turned into a sing-along after the whole crowd joined in.

The second concert at Radio City Hall tonight will be available to stream live via Skype in exchange for a minimum £15 donation to charity. Find out how by clicking here.

See below for the full setlist of Thursday’s concert.

Setlist:

With backing band:
Cyndi Lauper – “Suffragette City”
HoLY HoLY – “Width Of A Circle”
Robyn Hitchcock – “Soul Love”
Laurie Anderson – “Always Crashing In The Same Car”
Members of Gogol Bordello – “Breaking Glass”
Debbie Harry & Matt Katz-Bohen – “Starman”

Without backing band:
Joseph Arthur – “The Man Who Sold the World”
The Mountain Goats – “Word on a Wing”
Michael Stipe w/ Karen Elson & Paul Cantelon – “Ashes to Ashes”
J. Mascis & Sean Lennon – “Quicksand”

With backing band:
Bettye LaVette – “It Ain’t Easy”
Perry Farrell – “Rebel Rebel”
Cat Power – “Five Years”
Ann Wilson – “Let’s Dance”

Without backing band:
Pixies – “Cactus”
Rickie Lee Jones – “All the Young Dudes”
Jakob Dylan – “Heroes”
The Flaming Lips – “Life on Mars?”
Choir! Choir! Choir! with the New York City Children’s Chorus – “Space Oddity”

The May 2016 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – featuring our cover story on PJ Harvey’s new album, Brian Wilson, The National’s all-star Grateful Dead tribute, Jack White and T Bone Burnett’s American Epic, Cate Le Bon, Donovan, Jean-Michel Jarre, Cheap Trick, Graham Nash, Heartworn Highways, Sturgill Simpson and more plus 40 pages of reviews and our free 15-track CD

Uncut: the spiritual home of great rock music.