Always one to lend a hand to a good cause, Bruce Springsteen did his part to help Hurricane Sandy victims earlier this month when he performed during NBC’s Hurricane Sandy telethon; and because need remains, he and some of the biggest names in music are saddling up once again. When Springsteen reaches the Pearly Gates, the elevator’s going straight up.
The holidays are upon us, the weather is getting colder and there are still plenty of people in need — perhaps you would like to lend a hand and hear some good tunes (fingers crossed, Kanye re-up’s “Clique” re-up with Bruce and Billy Joel) while you’re at it? Visit 121212concert.org for more details and information.
A cavalcade of stars, including Sting, Aerosmith, and Jersey’s prodigal sons Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi, appeared on a live television special on NBC last night to benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy. The show was, as you might guess, a mostly somber affair, but Long Island native Billy Joel delivered the evening’s most memorable and emotionally resonant performance by going against the grain and rocking out.
Joel belted out “Miami 2017 (Seen The Lights Go Out On Broadway),” which originally appeared on his 1976 album Turnstiles, an allegorical song in which an imagined natural disaster stood in for the very real (at the time) financial crisis that was affecting the city. In a strange twist of fate, the song now carries more emotional heft than ever, as New York City indeed saw the lights go down on Broadway over the course of the last week. Joel even amended the lyrics to the introductory verses of the song to fit the events of the last few days. “The storm went on beyond the Palisades, out in the Rockaways, the oceans overflowed,” Joel sang. “They shut our power down, Staten Island drowned, but we went right on with the show.”
The song, which Billy Joel described during a 9/11 benefit concert just over 10 years ago as a “science fiction song,” has always been about the unwavering resiliency of New Yorkers during crises, but most would agree that its words ring truer than ever today. Our hearty congratulations go out to Joel, a man who is not often seen performing in public these days, for giving the citizens of NYC an anthem around which everyone in the city can rally behind during a time of true need.
The weather in California’s Napa Valley has been spectacular during the first two days of Live In The Vineyard, but the terrifying conditions that Hurricane Sandy ravaged upon New York City have been at the forefront of every performer’s mind, perhaps none more so than Gavin DeGraw‘s. “Don’t know if you’ve heard, but this bitch Sandy came through and f***ed up my city,” the New York City native announced to the lively crowd in attendance at the Uptown Theater last night, where he was headlining the evening’s stellar lineup that also included Martin Harley, Casey Abrams, A Rocket To The Moon, and Hedley. NYC was never far from DeGraw’s mind during his eight-song, 50 minute performance, during which he also dropped General George Patton’s famous quote “If you’re going through hell, keep going” before performing his new single “Soldier,” in an attempt to deliver some psychic inspiration to the city’s incredibly determined and resilient populus.
DeGraw is one of the more affable and charming performers on the circuit these days, so despite the heavy thoughts on his mind, his concert was far from a funereal affair. Leading the set off with “Sweeter,” his ditty about a Lothario who can’t help but cave-in to his darkest romantic desires, the crowd —all of whom were a few glasses deep in vino— immediately rose to their feet. Staying consistent with all of the performances at Live In The Vineyard, DeGraw stayed perched behind his piano for the entire set, accompanied only by a gentleman wielding an acoustic guitar. This arrangement meant we didn’t get to see any of the fancy footwork he perfected during his “fake dance career” on Dancing With The Stars earlier this year, but this stripped down set gave DeGraw an opportunity to flex his considerable storytelling muscle. He delighted the audience by giving some clues as to the origins of songs like “Chariot” and “I Don’t Wanna Be” (the song that “payed [his] college debts”), before closing his outstanding set with his smash hit, “Not Over You.”
Thankfully we survived Hurricane Sandy. Aside from a few power outages, flooded subways and cabin fever we weathered the storm with our Hurricane Sandy playlist. Surviving is one thing, but damage to the states of New Jersey and New York City is another. It’s going to be a long road to rebuilding and restoration. In an effort to help victims affected by the storm NBC Universal announced it will hold an one hour telethon with funds donated to the Red Cross. Read more…
If you’re East Coast-based like us, it’s likely that you’re fully focused on the approaching weather. Hurricane Sandy is like the Sandy at the end of Grease–the one with the crazy leather pants and cigarette? Do you understand our stress now? To help get through the storm, we’ve put together a playlist full of Sandy-inspired songs for all you Spotify users out there: (Rock You Like A) Hurricane Sandy: Get Through The Storm With Some Jams.