Let’s get it out of the way right off the bat. There were no Beatles in sight when Bruce Springsteenand the E Street Band took to the stage last night to thrill forty thousand fans as the headline act for London’s Hard Rock Calling music festival. Nor where there any other special musical guests, for that matter. It was just a high octane burn through three hours of his greatest rock ‘n’ roll. And that was more than enough for us. Judging from from the cheering, we’d say the crowd agreed.
Alright guys, you survived your New Year’s Eve party this year. To think, just 2 days ago it was 2013. Well, out with the old and in with the new. Welcome to 2014!!!
Sorry. I shouldn’t have shouted. I’m guessing your head is still ringing from your NYE hangover… My bad. Those thingd can be brutal. In light of this rather headache-y feeling, I’ve chosen two excellent soothing songs to sweep you into this new year gracefully. Do you think Bruce Springsteen‘s “I’m On Fire” or Bob Dylan‘s “Tangled Up In Blue” eases the hangover blues best? Vote now and decide for yourself!
You may or may not have been so into Paul McCartney‘s divisive jam sesh with the surviving member of Nirvana, you might have found the line-up a bit too old and a tad to British, or felt that Kanye‘s showstopping kilt was, well, something; but alas, there is now quantifiable proof that the night was for good: The 12-12-12 Concert For Sandy Relief raised roughly $50 million for victims of November’s devastating storm, and the show’s producers expect that number to grow in the coming weeks as additional donations and funds from album sales continue to trickle in.
Ticket sales and corporate sponsors made up the bulk of that $50 million, though merch sales and the phone bank brought in a hefty $20 million. And even the popular ticket resale site StubHub chipped in, donating the $1 million worth of fees they collected off of 12-12-12 tickets (they keep 25 percent of every sale, and tickets were being up-sold for as much as $60,000). Not so shabby, eh?
The New York Times figures that the benefit’s final tally falls a smidge short of the $61 million MTV’s Hope for Haiti concert made in 2010, and that the number pales in comparison to the $55 million (or, about $118 million in 2012 dollars) 1985′s Live Aid raised, but we are certain that those 50 million dollars will be put to good use by the 140 groups the Robin Hood Foundation has lined up and much appreciated by those left devastated by Sandy all the same. A hardy congratulations and a heartfelt thank you to all involved!
Lady Gaga made a grand and unforgettable appearance halfway through “Gimme Shelter.” Unlike the onstage-chemistry he shared with Florence Welcha few weeks back, Jagger seemed a little unsure what to do with the unusual pop star, who spent most of her turn skittering about in her trademark towering heels and wailing with great bursts of energy about how “it’s just a shout away!” It’s really hard to look away, and that she could throw a rock star so seasoned as Jagger off his game is probably a testament to just how good her weirdo pop-star game is. This is really fun to watch.
So the unlikely story that got the internet spinning yesterday, the one about how Paul McCartney as Dave Grohl to jam and inadvertently ended up getting Nirvana back together? It turns out there was some — well, a lot of — truth to it. Last night McCartney was charged with closing out the 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief, a challenging task that meant following up nearly six-hours of performances by everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Kanye West and Billy Joel to the Rolling Stones, and a task that he handily dealt with by calling up his “mates” Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear for a “jam.”
Together they played “Cute Me Some Slack,” the new song teased in yesterday’s blodders. There can be no Nirvana without Kurt Cobain, but McVana ground it out their own way. They played a new song called “Cut Me Some Slack,” which was stomping and static with feedback like a Nirvana song wont be, and which got Macca wailing like his blood was running hot: “Mama, watch me run / Mama let me have some fun.”
That was only one of many wonderful moments from last night’s benefit, which . Here are five more you won’t want to miss:
Performing together on 12.12.12 to raise awareness for the victims of Hurricane Sandy, these world-renowned, A-list artists will all help The Robin Hood Foundtation raise funds to rebuild communities and lives of those affected by the disastrous storm. Here at @VH1, we’ll be live-streaming the 5-hour long concert at 121212concert.vh1.com, so bookmark the page and feel free to donate what you can as you catch the historical night right here alongside us. If you can’t find an internet connection, tune-in to VH1 Classic or Palladia to watch the show over good old-fashion television airwaves!
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.
As promised, Jay-Z and Bruce Springsteen are out rallying with President Barack Obama on this eve of the election. Obama says that he’s got both artists on his iPod — and, “Yes, the president has an iPod!”– and that he chose these two in particular because “they tell the story of what our country is, but also what it should be.”
Jay and Obama go way back, and so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise to learn that the rapper was willing to duck the President’s secret service, putting his life, liberty and Red Phone line to the White House at risk, to really drive his point home with a. “I have to do it, I’m sorry,” he said, before hitting ‘em up with this “99 Problems” election special remix: “I feel bad for you, son, but I’ve got 99 problems but Mitt ain’t one!” Needless to say, the re-work has already been taken up as a hopeful rallying cry on Twitter.
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.
There’s four days left to Election Day 2012, folks. Don’t forget to vote! It’s been a long election road for presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Obama, now its ending with a bang for at least Obama. The president will wrap his campaign with performances by Bruce Springsteen and Jay-Z in Columbus, Ohio, on Monday. Hov plus Bruce plus Obama sounds pretty epic. President Obama chose to end his campaign in Des Moines, Iowa, which is symbolic because of his win there in the 2008 caucus. Read more…