U2, Courtney Love, and Scarlett Johansson to Play Gavin Friday’s Birthday

Sure, in ways, it’s an unlikely if disparate meshing of talent. But this concert, the latest in a series of events produced to fight the spread in AIDS in Africa as a part of (RED)NIGHTS, finds an anchor in celebrated singer-composer-painter Gavin Friday, a childhood friend of Bono. His band is among those performing. Other performers besides Johansson and Love include Antony Hegarty, Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright (last seen celebrating Édith Piaf), Andrea Corr (yes, of those Corrs), Laurie Anderson, and perennial post-punk princess Lydia Lunch.

This event is also Bono’s way of saying, “Happy Birthday!” to Friday, who turns 50 this year. Friday’s last birthday present to the U2 frontman included “a crucifix, three nails and a hammer and…a letter saying ‘DIY.'” It turns out that even humanitarians can admire gallows humor.

Friday says of this eclectic cast of performers, “I have bumped into most of them over the years.… All of them in their own unique way are touched by greatness.” Of the show, he explains, “The show is tight but in a free-form way. Rehearsals will start to reveal the nature of the beast.” The revelry is produced and will be curated by none other than Hall Willner. It takes place at Carnegie Hall this Sunday and tickets can be procured here.

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