While the Red Sox were getting it done in Chicago Friday, a cadre of Boston rockers and one cool out-of-towner were keeping right field warm for them at the third annual "Hot Stove, Cool Music: The Fenway Park Sessions."
Urban smoothie John Legend hit the bleachers-facing stage alongside veteran Hot Stove artists Buffalo Tom, Kay Hanley, and the Hot Stove All-Stars, led by ESPN baseball analyst Peter Gammons. Other newcomers included local "American Idol" finalist Ayla Brown and rock band French Lick, featuring Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck on drums. Several local groups, including tween popsters Girl Authority and spiky rockers The Sterns and Downbeat 5, played on a side stage on the concourse between main stage sets.
Unlike last year's dismal, rain-soaked affair, the weather was idyllic during the 5 1/2-hour show, which benefited eight local charities via Red Sox GM Theo Epstein's Foundation to Be Named Later organization.
French Lick kicked off the festivities with a set of classic rock, followed by the spunky Brown, who debuted kicky dance pop from an upcoming album.
Left coast transplant Hanley drew from her solo releases, the Hot Stove soundtrack, and her former band, Letters to Cleo, for an upbeat set.
As in years past, Buffalo Tom was temporarily renamed Buffalo Theo as Epstein strapped on a guitar to help the group play both college radio classics like "Taillights Fade" and tunes from their recent release "Three Easy Pieces."
Former Globe writer Gammons was especially well received, having missed last year's event due to a life-threatening brain aneurysm. Not only was he looking well, he was playing even better, leading the Hot Stove All-Stars -- including Janovitz, members of the Gentlemen, and Eli "Paperboy" Reed -- through a funky bar band set of tunes from his debut album "Never Slow Down, Never Grow Old."
Legend may have been an odd fit musically, but he was clearly the night's biggest draw, as the crowd of roughly 3,500 sang along wholeheartedly during an uplifting headlining set that mixed classic and contemporary R&B sounds.