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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Hollywood royalty raise funds during Concert for Sandy Relief

    Hollywood royalty raise funds during Concert for Sandy Relief

    3:11 PM, December 13, 2012

    Musicians Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi and Max Weinberg perform at "12-12-12" a concert benefiting The Robin Hood Relief Fund to aid the victims of Hurricane Sandy presented by Clear Channel Media & Entertainment, The Madison Square Garden Company and The Weinstein Company at Madison Square Garden on December 12, 2012 in New York City.

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    Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi team up at the 12-12-12 Hurricane Sandy benefit concert. / Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Clear Channel

    NEW YORK -- An epic storm spawned a historic benefit concert Wednesday as rock, sports and Hollywood royalty gathered in Madison Square Garden for 121212 The Concert for Sandy Relief. It was beamed to a potential worldwide audience of 2 billion, and the event had raised $35 million from tickets before the first note was struck.

    Role models. Organizers drew inspiration from several other benefit concerts held at the Garden. In 1971, two Concerts for Bangladesh were staged, which raised $250,000 for famine relief (and $12 million via spinoff projects). They were organized by Ravi Shankar, who died Tuesday, and also featured Eric Clapton, who played Wednesday. The post-9/11 Concert for New York City in 2001 was organized by Paul McCartney, raised an estimated $65 million, and featured a number of the artists who appeared Wednesday.

    Storming the stage. Following a montage of news footage of the storm projected on the stage, hometown heroes Bruce Springsteen and the full E Street Band (complete with blazing horns) opened the show with the uplifting Land of Hopes and Dreams, which ends with a snippet of the gospel nugget People Get Ready. That led into the title track from his latest album (and recently Grammy-nominated) Wrecking Ball, which carries a theme of resilience amid destruction; and the rebuilding anthem My City of Ruins, written a decade ago for his adopted -- and hard-hit by Sandy -- hometown of Asbury Park, N.J. Springsteen, who has sung the song at several earlier Sandy benefits, hit the "rise up!" chorus with extra gospel fervor and faded out with lines from Jersey Girl. New Jersey native Jon Bon Jovi then joined the band for Born to Run.

    Augmented audience. The stage wasn't the only star-studded area in the Garden. According to a list provided to media before the show, some 80-plus celebs were in the audience or serving as hosts or phone bank workers, including past and present members of the New York Knicks, Sopranos cast members, Ben Stiller, Chelsea Clinton, governors Mario Cuomo (N.Y.) and Chris Christie (N.J.), Martha Stewart, Blake Lively, Jeremy Piven, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Katie Holmes, Whoopi Goldberg, Scarlett Johansson and Naomi Campbell. Between acts, Billy Crystal, Kristen Stewart, Brian Williams, Susan Sarandon, Jon Stewart and others told their New York tales and solicited donations to the Robin Hood Foundation Relief Fund.

    On 'The Wall.' Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters brought out a team of young dancers to punctuate excerpts from his rock epic The Wall, which he is currently touring behind. A languorous version of Us and Them from Dark Side of the Moon, featuring a gorgeous sax solo, was a later highlight, as was a spacy Comfortably Numb, when Waters turned over vocals to Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder.

    Little Steven stands tall. E Streeter Steve Van Zandt said backstage that he's "quite proud of the fact that the music business and entertainers in general are always the first ones to help. In this case, it's a little more personal because it's the Jersey Shore, where we grew up. ... The E Street Band, when there's trouble, we run toward it rather than run away."

    Hometown heroes. Bon Jovi led his band through It's My Life and Dead or Alive, with he and Richie Sambora holding their guitars aloft at the end. Between songs, Bon Jovi told the audience, "This recovery is going to take time. We need your sweat, your heart, your prayers." Then he returned a favor by bringing Springsteen out to trade verses on his Who Says You Can't Go Home before heading into Livin' on a Prayer.

    Post-'Wall.' Surrey, England, native Waters noted backstage that he's been living in New York for about 11 years, "and I've grown to really love living here. ... The atmosphere backstage is absolutely extraordinary. There's a real feeling of camaraderie." And having Vedder join him on Comfortably Numb "was like a dream come true. ... I think I went to kiss him at one point."

    Great pluck.(AT) Guitar guru Eric Clapton sat down with an acoustic model for a lovely and lusty version of the blues classic Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out, which he performed with Derek & The Dominoes in the early 1970s. Then he switched to electric for another Dominoes-era tune, the fierce Got to Get Better in a Little While. A version of his signature song, Robert Johnson's Crossroads, took the night deeper into the Delta blues.

    Stone-cold fine. The Rolling Stones, who played their first U.S. show since 2006 in Brooklyn on Saturday, chose the semi-obscure but nicely rendered You Got Me Rocking from 1994's Voodoo Lounge album to open their set. After Mick Jagger noted that this was "the largest collection of old English musicians ever assembled in Madison Square Garden," the band leaped into a furious and extended Jumpin' Jack Flash.

    Keys to the house. P. Diddy and Olivia Wilde honored hospital personnel for their heroics during the storm -- many were in attendance -- then introduced Alicia Keys, who sat at the piano for a heartfelt Brand New Me, her newest single. The New York City native urged the crowd to hold their cellphones in the air before launching into a slightly hoarse but mesmerizing No One.

    Who was next. A husky-voiced Roger Daltry joined Who cohort Pete Townshend on guitar for Who Are You to open a longer set than most. In a wonderfully sentimental segment, late beloved drummer Keith Moon sang and pounded away on a video screen as his mates launched into Bell Boy from Quadrophenia.
    Mixing it up. Kanye West, in a hooded sweatshirt, a black leather skirt over black leather pants, and white sneakers, added diversity to the lineup with a lengthy medley of raps that included Mercy, Power, Jesus Walks, All of the Lights, Gold Digger, Good Life and Runaway, as he stalked the stage like a panther. Cs

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