Thursday, December 13, 2012

12.12.12 Concert!


Been a long time since I enjoyed a concert this much on television!

Once I saw the lineup of the “12.12.12 Hurricane Sandy Relief” concert I knew it was going to be something I would enjoy. When I got home from work I was disappointed to see that I never even had the channel that it was offered on, but one call and I added the programming and sat back to enjoy the show!

(It was surprising that no Canadian channels offered this concert. I sure don’t know anything about television licensing agreements and such, but you would think something for a great cause like this would have been more accessible. I know that it was streamed online but for people like me, who do not have access to unlimited bandwidth, it didn’t help!)

I can’t hit every performance here as the show is just getting over at 2:20am but I’d like to run down some of my favorite moments.

Bruce Springsteen opened the show with the E street band. The good ole Boss never disappoints! He hammered through a handful of songs and really set the tone for the rest of this long concert. He had Bon Jovi on stage and later when Jovi took stage he returned the favor with Bruce. Kind of a different match up but it worked great.

Roger Waters performed a great set. What an amazing band Waters had with him, so tight and precise. Only drawback to this set is that I wish Waters would have sung a few more of the songs. He had Eddie Vedder out to sing “Comfortably Numb” with him which was just pure awesome harmony!

There were many special guests throughout the night including Adam Sandler and my man Paul Shaffer! Adam sang to Paul’s playing a great parody of Leonard Cohen’s “hallelujah”. Adam never ceases to make me laugh with his songs! A great addition to the night!

Alicia Keys really amazed me. I have to admit I never gave an Alicia keys album a full listen. It has nothing to do with me not liking her, just that I listen to so many bands that I never made it to her yet. I will be sure to be getting some of her albums real soon. Definitely the most powerful voice of the night! She closed the concert later with “Empire State of Mind” which was the perfect finale!

One of the best performances for me was Eric Clapton! He came out and did “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out” with his acoustic guitar and continued on a rocking set with a very tight rhythm section behind him. Three piece bands can’t sound any better than this. Eric has no problem handling all of the guitar duties himself; I swear he is still getting better as he ages!

The Who was amazing as always. Pete Townsend was still throwing around plenty of his signature windmills and Roger Dalltry never shied away from a high note. They sure look like old men now but play still as if it’s the 60’s!

The Rolling Stones came out stronger than ever! It is amazing that these guys have been doing this for 50 years now! I can’t see any of the younger bands out there now ever coming close to this feat. Only bad thing about the Stones set is that it was so damn short! What was it… two songs? What happened??

The only disappointment of the entire show for me was Kanye West. I have to admit I am not a fan of the guy as of how he portrays himself in the public eye, but regardless I went in with an open mind and ear. This is the first time I ever gave one of his songs an honest listen and I must say that it was terrible. Of course in true Kanye douchebag fashion he slams the microphone down at the end and storms of the stage. Way to go Kanye, keep living the dream! The only thing I can say in his defense is that he sure did not fit the bill in the first place; he never should have been on stage with this line up.

Probably the biggest surprise of the night for me was Chris Martin of Coldplay. I have to admit I was kind of hoping his set would be quick to make way for Macca but once he started playing I immediately wished it went longer. He was great solo on an acoustic. He could play the hell out of that guitar and his voice was “on”! He even managed to bring Michael Stipe out of retirement to sing “Losing My Religion” with just Chris’ voice and acoustic guitar backing him up. Definitely one of the highlights of the night!

Of course the main man of the night was none other than Sir Paul McCartney! Paul and his amazing band failed to disappoint as always! He flew through a great set full of Beatles, Wings and solo classics! Highlights for me would have been “My Valentine” with Paul on acoustic guitar as I’ve never seen Paul play this one live on guitar before! Great to see something fresh! Another highlight for me was “Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five”, this song is just fun live and is one of those songs that you forget how great it actually is until Paul pulls it out of his hat once in a while like this. He closed his set with his usual, pyro heavy, “Live and Let Die” which was a great way to set up the finale of the show. After this he had the hero’s of hurricane Sandy up on stage and gave way to Alicia Keys to close the show.

This definitely was one of the greatest concert lineups in history and every performer really held their own. It is great to see all these big names pull together for fundraiser like this when required and I am sure the amount made for the relief fund will be substantial. I have never enjoyed a concert on television this much before. I never even had a chance to look at the clock and notice how long it went. Six hours of the best TV I’ve seen ever! Sure will be a long day at work but well worth it!

Hope you had a chance to enjoy the show!

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