Thursday, December 13th 2012
News: Eddie Vedder, Roger Waters
Tonight’s 12-12-12 Hurricane Sandy Relief Concert clocked in at an overwhelming six hours, but oddly enough, not a moment of it felt wasted. The show was filled to the brim with invigorating performances by artists both new and old, but it was certainly the classic rockers who shined most tonight.
The first highlight of the night was Roger Waters’ exhilarating set that featured songs from The Wall and Dark Side of the Moon. The band performed In The Flesh, Another Brick in the Wall, Money, and Us and Them, but the highlight came when Eddie Vedder joined Waters and his live band for a stirring performance of Comfortably Numb, which you can watch below.
Roger Waters and Eddie Vedder performing Comfortably Numb:
The quite refined Eric Clapton took the stage later on in the show, and played a wonderful and unassuming set, opening with Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out and closing with a cool and soulful rendition of the Cream classic, Crossroads.
Eric Clapton performing Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out:
Eric Clapton performing Crossroads:
The Rolling Stones, whose pay-per-view show One More Shot is to be filmed live in Newark, New Jersey in just a few days, showed up for a short set as well, performing You Got Me Rocking and Jumping Jack Flash. Their chemistry on stage was undeniable, even after fifty years of performing together and fifty years of tension, quarrels, and, yes, age.
The Rolling Stones performing You Got Me Rocking:
The Rolling Stones performing Jumping Jack Flash:
Among the night’s surprise performances was a lengthy and stellar set by the surviving members of The Who (Harry Shearer drolly tweeted during their set that “This band should be called Who’s Left.”). Watch their performances of Pinball Wizard and Baba O’Riley below.
The Who performing Pinball Wizard:
The Who performing Baba O’Riley:
Chris Martin, too, showed up and charmed his way through his set to our astonishment. A welcome surprise was when he invited Michael Stipe to perform a great rendition of Losing My Religion, which is certainly worth watching.
Chris Martin and Michael Stipe performing Losing My Religion:
Paul McCartney took the stage last, and with his inexplicable robustness kicked things off with an electric performance of Helter Skelter, sounding as youthful and as vigorous on the track as he did in 1968. His set was followed by intense renditions of Wings favorites, Let Me Roll It and Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five, putting everybody’s worries at ease. McCartney still knows how to put on an excellent show, and his freakish stamina on stage is a magnificent thing to marvel at.
Paul McCartney performing Helter Skelter:
Paul McCartney performing Let Me Roll It:
Paul McCartney performing Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five:
And then arrived Krist Novoselic, Pat Smear, and Dave Grohl, as McCartney took center stage. It was a stirring moment, and one could not help but suspend disbelief and writhe with excitement. There was, of course, the constant worry for what may come out of this almost-Nirvana reunion, but the four artists were respectful enough to keep Nirvana’s legacy in tact – free of any cheap mimicry or emphasis on the band’s heyday.
Instead, they stood alongside another as simply four great musicians – three of which having been members of one of the most groundbreaking of all time, and the other, standing strong and youthful alongside them, being, well, Sir Paul McCartney.
Macca then remarked about a mere “jam” he did with the band – one that turned out to be not so mere at all. The track, titled Cut Me Some Slack, was so heavy and heart-stopping that McCartney’s performance of I’ve Got A Feeling and the bombastic Live and Let Die that followed seemed almost superfluous. Watch it below and marvel.
McCartney, Grohl, Novoselic, and Smear performing Cut Me Some Slack:
The night came to end when Alicia Keys returned to the stage to perform a beautiful solo rendition of Empire State of Mind, bringing the astonishing and entertaining long night to a passionate close.
Alicia Keys performing Empire State of Mind: