Duran Duran, Moby and Lykke Li were among the musicians and bands who celebrated the music of director David Lynch at the Theatre at Ace Hotel in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
The event at the 1,600-seat Gothic-style theater celebrated the 10th anniversary of the David Lynch Foundation and featured songs from Lynch films including “Eraserhead,” “Wild at Heart,” “Blue Velvet” and “Mulholland Drive” as well as television series “Twin Peaks.”
What is it about the music of Lynch that warrants such an event? Flaming Lips frontman and self-proclaimed weirdo Wayne Coyne said, “When I was 5 years old, my family used to drive back from Oklahoma, that’s where I lived, back to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in a big station wagon — all six of the kids, the two parents and a dog. And back then — this was the late ’60s — we stopped at rest stops, spent three or four hours there, and then we’d drive on. And these f–king rest stops back then were dark — nowadays, everything’s lit up. This guy one night crept up by the side of the car while we were sleeping in there. And our dog started barking. And my mother saw him sitting down there. I don’t know why, he just came out of nowhere. And when I listen to some of these David Lynch things, that’s it. The mystery makes it so much more devastating.”
Duran Duran won over the audience with a set including their “Hungry Like the Wolf.” Lynch directed a 2011 concert film on the band. Frontman Simon Le Bon observed, “He’s completely unpredictable. Whatever you think you’re going to get, that’s not it — it’s something else entirely. It’s beautiful chaos.” The band’s bassist John Taylor chimed in, “He was extremely well prepared. He was well prepared enough that he could have a lot of accidents.”
The mystery of Lynch’s music spun its web throughout the evening by way of guests including Rebekah Del Rio, who was met with a standing ovation after her a cappella performance of “Llorando,” a re-creation of her original scene in “Mulholland Drive.” Sky Ferreira offered up a haunting performance of “Blue Velvet,” and Lykke Li sang “Wicked Game,” which she called her “favorite song.”
“He channels a lot of dark things and makes them light, and I think that’s what I try to do with my music as well,” Li said. “(Things like) anger, sadness, hurt turn into a beautiful song — something that shimmers.”
Other performers included Angelo Badalamenti, Karen O, Twin Peaks, Tennis, Donovan, Chrysta Bell, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Zola Jesus and Moby, who attempted a sing-along during his anthem “The Perfect Life.”
Lynch stepped onstage to offer some closing remarks. He read a verse of “unknown origin” accompanied by ’60s star and close friend Donovan, who strummed a chord on an acoustic guitar in between lines.
“May everyone be happy/
May everyone be free of disease/
May auspiciousness be seen everywhere/
May suffering belong to no one/
The show, which will be broadcast later this year on AXS TV, benefits the David Lynch Foundation (which provides scholarships to teach Transcendental Meditation to youths, veterans, victims of domestic abuse and others in need).
(Pictured: Filmmaker David Lynch and musician Donovan at the David Lynch Foundation’s “The Music of David Lynch” at the Theatre at Ace Hotel)