The months in the planning 12-12-12: The Concert For Sandy Relief benefit concert is finally here. We’ll update this post with a setlist, photos, videos and our thoughts as the night goes along. The expected order of performances is Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band > Roger Waters > Bon Jovi > Eric Clapton > Rolling Stones > Alicia Keys > The Who > Kanye West > Billy Joel > Chris Martin > Paul McCartnirvana.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band – Land of Hope and Dreams, Wrecking Ball, My City of Ruins, Born To Run (w/ Jon Bon Jovi), Living On A Prayer
Roger Waters: In The Flesh, The Happiest Days of Our Lives, Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 2, The Ballad Of Jean Charles de Menezes, Money, Us and Them, Comfortably Numb (w/ Eddie Vedder)
Adam Sandler: Hallelujah (w/ Paul Shaffer)
Bon Jovi: It’s My Life, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Who Says You Can’t Go Home (w/ Bruce Springsteen), Living On A Prayer
Eric Clapton: Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out, Got To Get Better In A Little While, Crossroads
Rolling Stones: You Get Me Rocking, Jumping Jack Flash
Alicia Keys: Brand New Me, No One
The Who: Who Are You, Bell Boy, Pinball Wizard, See Me Feel Me/Listening To You, Baba O’Riley, Love Reign O’er Me, Tea and Theatre
Kanye West: Clique > Mercy > Power > Jesus Walks > All Of The Lights > Run This Town > Diamonds From Sierra Leone > Diamonds > Touch The Sky, Gold Digger, Good Life, Runaway, Stronger
Billy Joel: Miami 2017 (Seen The Lights Go Out On Broadway), Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song), Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas > New York State Of Mind, River Of Dreams, You May Be Right, Only The Good Die Young
Chris Martin: Viva La Vida, Losing My Religion (w/ Michael Stipe), Us Against The World
Paul McCartney: Helter Skelter, Let Me Roll It, 1985, My Valentine (w/ Diana Krall), Blackbird, Cut Me Some Slack (w/ Dave Grohl, Pat Smear and Krist Novoselic), I’ve Got A Feeling, Live and Let Die
Alicia Keys: Empire State of Mind Pt. 2
All proceeds from tonight’s concert benefit the Robin Hood Relief Fund and will be used to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Please head to the organization’s website to donate to the cause.
7:35PM: Bruce and his band opens with the fitting Land of Hope and Dreams from his most recent album, Wrecking Ball.
7:39PM: Springsteen sticks with the “new stuff” and launches into Wrecking Ball as the crowd goes nuts at all the local references.
7:46PM: The Boss performs a song he wrote about his adopted hometown of Asbury Park – My City of Ruins. Springsteen uses the tune to tell stories and introduce the band during the Wrecking Ball Tour. Here he tells the story of Asbury Park’s recent rebirth.
Here’s former Crazy Horse guitarist Nils Lofgren in action:
7:56PM: Bruce brings out his “great friend and neighbor” Jon Bon Jovi for a duet on Born To Run. Two of Jersey’s biggest names share the stage together. The Jersey Boys share smiles as they both shout out the familiar “1-2-3-4” that brings us to the end of the song.
8:01PM: The E Street Band walks off the stage as Springsteen fits four songs into his allotted time slot. Now we’ve likely got a few minutes of videos and speeches before the next act.
8:05PM: Host Billy Crystal riffs on the differences between now and when he hosted The Concert For New York in 2001. He gives props to Gov. Christie and Gov. Cuomo who are both in the audience.
8:10PM: Producer James Dolan gets a huge cheer, doesn’t hurt that it’s such a happy event and that the Knicks are playing well.
8:13PM: Now Roger Waters is up and he leads his band into the In The Flesh from The Wall. Impressive how quickly they got him set up after the humongous E Street Band finished.
8:16 – So far Waters has stuck to material from The Wall as The Happiest Days of Our Lives and Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 2 follow In The Flesh. You’ll notice former SNL guitarist G.E. Smith in Rog’s band.
8:23: “Now it’s time for some Dark Side,” Waters exclaims before starting up Money. The former Pink Floyd mastermind hasn’t performed Money with his band since ending the Dark Side of the Moon Live Tour in 2008. Doesn’t sound like it though as the group throughly crush it.
8:35: Vedder comes out for the expected duet on Comfortably Numb. Vedder sings the part David Gilmour sang in the original and knocks it out of the park…naturally.
8:47: Comedian Adam Sandler offers at times a terrible and at times hilarious version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Paul Shaffer provides musical accompaniment.
8:55: Twilight star Kristen Stewart introduces Bon Jovi who kick things off with It’s My Life. The band came out of Sayreville, New Jersey – a town that was devastated by Sandy.
9:02: Hey, it’s that song from Deadliest Catch! We’re 90 minutes in and Springsteen’s the only one to play anything written this century. We’ll see if The Boss returns the favor and sits in with Bon Jovi.
9:05: Well there ya go. Springsteen comes out to help Bon Jovi on Who Says You Can’t Come Home. Jon Bon Jovi has a goofy grin throughout.
9:11: Every shot of the crowd drives home who really got the tickets for this event – rich dudes. Something not right about that. The Concert For New York’s crowd helped make that show so special.
9:28: Clapton sits down for an acoustic rendition of Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out. Way to be a bummer, Eric.
9:31: Thankfully Eric straps on the electric and treats us to Derek and the Dominos’ Got To Get Better In A Little While.
9:36: Clapton, who will return to the Garden in April for his Crossroads festival tears into a stirring version of the blues classic.
9:48: The Rolling Stones may not get to MSG for their 50 and Counting run, but they still made their way to the Garden. You Got Me Rocking off 1994’s Voodoo Lounge was the odd choice for an opener. The group hasn’t played You Got Me Rocking during the first three shows of the 50 and Counting run.
9:53: Jumping Jack Flash, complete with its line about “Crossfire Hurricane” is usually an encore for the Stones. Tonight it was song #2 which wound up being the group’s finale. Lots of chatter about the Stones only getting two songs, but remember they were a late addition.
10:11: Alicia Keys proves you don’t have to be English, a man and/or white to make the cut for the benefit. It was just Keys and her piano for Brand New Me and No One.
10:16: In a sign of the times Alicia Keys asks the crowd to put their cellphones in the air instead of the old school lighters. The crowd obliged…
10:28: The Who open with Who Are You and the censor misses again when Roger Daltrey screams “who the fuck are you?”
10:36: The late Keith Moon appears via video for Bell Boy:
10:41: Pete Townshend turns the volume way up for Pinball Wizard:
10:43: The Who run through a bit of Tommy and then deliver a powerful Baba O’Riley. Townshend adlibs “It’s Only Sandy Wasteland” about as awkwardly as possible.
10:53: Apparently Rog’s shirt was chafing him as open it went for Love Reign O’er Me:
11:01: Bizarre choice by The Who to end their set with Tea and Theatre off 2008’s Endless Wire though that’s how they’ve been ending their shows lately. Townshend screams “go have a fucking beer” and once again the censors miss beeping it out by a second.
11:15: The crowd of old white dudes didn’t show Kanye much love. He barreled through a medley of hits including Clique, Mercy, Power and Jesus Walks.
11:27: Ten minute time limit for Kanye? Good try producers. The rapper’s medley went well beyond his allotted time.
11:46: Billy Joel has been off the road since early in 2010. He opens his set with the apocalyptic tale Miami 2017 (Seen The Lights Go Out On Broadway)
11:52: Following Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song), another tune (with parenthesis in the title), Billy throws Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas to the start of New York State of Mind.
12:03: Ever since Billy “refreshed” his band a few years back with young guns, they’ve been much more engaging. That’s been true tonight which is good considering the crowd has been watching the show for nearly five hours at this point.
12:17: Chris Martin came out to one of the side stages and opened his mini-set with Viva La Vida, solo acoustic style.
12:37: Helter Skelter gives the two billion people watching the chance to see the awesomeness that is Paul McCartney drummer Abe Laboriel Jr. behind the kit. Hey, nice mom jeans, Paul.
12:42: Next up is one of the gems of the Paul McCartney solo repertoire – Let Me Roll It. The tune turns the spotlight on two other killer musicians in Paul’s band: keyboardist Wix Wickens and multi-instrumentalist Brian Ray on bass.
12:47: Macca heads to the piano for Wings deep cut 1985, there are some who would fault him for picking Wings songs over Beatles but not me.
12:51: McCartney teamed up with Diana Krall to create his latest album, Kisses On The Bottom, and he brought Mrs. Costello out for the single from that LP – My Valentine.
12:56: After Blackbird, the most anticipated moment of the evening finally takes place. McCartney brings out Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear of Nirvana to perform a new original called Cut Me Some Slack.
1:03: Okay, that was absolutely ridiculous. Those four guys created a sound unlike anything any of them have played in the past. Get them on the road, STAT! Kudos to Macca for taking such a chance and getting out of his proverbial box.
1:11: Macca’s set comes to a close with a pyro-laden Live and Let Die.
1:15: The producers should’ve let Live and Let Die close out the evening, but instead Macca welcomes Alicia Keys for Empire State of Mind, Pt. 2 as first responders flood the stage.
1:20: A stirring moment as the crowd chants “U.S.A” at the end of the show. Thanks for reading! We’ll add videos as they come in.