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Stephen Colbert and the Black Belles — a band on Jack White‘s Third Man record label — performed the new single, “Charlene II (I’m Over You)” Friday at the Lot underneath the Highline in New York City. White was on hand to introduce the act to the crowd.
Colbert announced the performance on Thursday night’s episode of The Colbert Report, after a week in which musicians — including Florence and the Machine and Talib Kweli — appeared on the show as part of the comedian’s “StePhest Colbchella ‘011: Rock You Like a Thirst-Icane”.
Colbert interviewed White from White’s Third Man studios in Nashville, with the taped segments airing each episode this week. On last night’s show, Colbert and White performed together live, debuting the single.
This morning, the block was lined with people in anticipation of the free show, despite light rain. Gates opened at 11 a.m., with about 750 attending.
At 12:15 p.m., White and the Black Belles came onstage, thanking Colbert with a brief, humorous speech.
“Colbert forced me to read this,” White said, eliciting laughs. “‘Never have I met someone so funny and talented.’ Really?”
Soon, Colbert appeared.
“I am grateful to Jack White and the Black Belles for the opportunity to blow the lid off of rock,” the comedian said to cheers from the audience.
The two then sang the Star-Spangled Banner together a cappella, before launching into their new song.
After they finished, Colbert cupped his ear in pain.
“I’d like to announce this is my last performance, as I can no longer hear,” he said.
Seven inch vinyls of the song were available for purchase from Third Man Records’ “rolling record store”, which Colbert and White signed immediately afterward. Colbert vowed neither he nor White would leave until every last person had their album autographed.
“I want this to be number one on the vinyl charts,” Colbert said. “Which I think means selling 25 copies.”
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