Stephen Colbert Joins Jack White for High Line Performance
By Kiratiana Freelon on June 24, 2011 5:46pm
By Olivia Scheck
CHELSEA — Satirical talk show host and budding vocalist Stephen Colbert sent a shout-out to his Chelsea fans Friday at the record release party for his new single, produced by rocker Jack White.
"What's up Manhattan? How's it going High Line? Give it up Chelsea! If you're between 29th and 35th Street represent!" the comedian shouted to the crowd, which was gathered in The Lot below the High Line – a newly opened public space on the corner of West 30th Street and Tenth Avenue.
The celebration, which was filmed for Colbert's Comedy Central fake news program "The Colbert Report," featured a performance of the song – "Charlene II (I'm Over You)" — and a bonus rendition of the National Anthem, for which Colbert was joined by White.
The former White Stripes frontman has served as an advisor to Colbert over the past week, during the show's first ever summer concert series "StePhest Colbchella '011," which also included guest performances by Bon Iver, Florence and the Machine and Talib Kweli.
"We went to [Colbert's] rally in D.C. and I've been to concerts with The White Stripes and The Raconteurs so this was like a dream event for me," said Troy Chyssos, 18, who heard about the event after it was announced on the "Colbert Report" Thursday night and was on line outside The Lot at 6 a.m. Friday morning.
"[Colbert and I] have very similar views on America," Chyssos' friend Josh Buckwald, 19, added, explaining his reasons for turning out.
Friends of the High Line co-founder Robert Hammond said that slightly more than 350 people — the capacity for The Lot — showed up for the Chelsea event, where attendees could purchase records and then have them signed by Colbert and White.
While the comedian's vocal chops garnered mixed reviews, audience member and Chelsea resident Evan Honor, 20, declared the performance a hit.
"[Colbert's singing voice] was terrible," Honor, who hopes to work in the music industry, said. "But somehow he makes everything he touches gold."