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’12-12-12′ Concert For Sandy Relief

December 13, 2012 by  

’12-12-12′ Concert For Sandy Relief, Homestate heroes, a British rock pantheon, one rapper and one woman performed for 12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief, a benefit for the Robin Hood Relief Fund that was broadcast worldwide from Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night.

Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi, from New Jersey, and Billy Joel, long identified with Long Island, were on their second Sandy telethon, following an NBC studio broadcast on Nov. 2 (though this time Mr. Bon Jovi brought his band, Bon Jovi). They were joined by Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, the Who, Eric Clapton, Roger Waters from Pink Floyd and Chris Martin from Coldplay. “This has got to be the largest collection of old English musicians ever assembled in Madison Square Garden,” Mick Jagger joshed. “If it rains in London, you’ve got to come and help us.”

The youngsters on the bill were Kanye West, 35, and Alicia Keys, 31.

Performing after a disaster like Hurricane Sandy, which ravaged the coastline from the Jersey Shore through New York and Connecticut, musicians have to decide who they’re singing to and what they’ll sing about. As bands set up, the concert audience saw and heard about places Sandy had smashed through, introduced by comedians and actresses, among them Billy Crystal, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Chris Rock, Seth McFarlane, Kristen Stewart and Katie Holmes.

But were the musicians supposed to be singing about the situation? Sending a message to the people affected? Entertaining the potential donors and paying customers (who spent $30 million for the pricey tickets at Madison Square Garden)? Surveying their own careers?

The 12-12-12 performers did some of each, giving their best for television cameras with a potential audience, the Robin Hood Foundation said, of 2 billion people.

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