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Off Center...

12-12-12 benefit a sight to behold

December 24, 2012
By Chris Bieri Tribune Editor , Pierce County Tribune

There have only been a very few concerts that could match the star power of the 12-12-12 concert put on to benefit those who were affected by Hurricane Sandy and all of its associated storms.

The show has to rank among the top as far as talented musicians brought together for a cause, right up there with Live Aid, which was a multi-country production featuring U2, Elton John, the Who, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to watch any of the 12-12-12 benefit but I've already done some reading on the event and I'm sure I'll be doing some YouTube viewing of the various performances.

New Jersey was especially hard hit by Sandy and two of the state's favorite sons - Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi - teamed up to perform a handful of songs.

Some of the same artists who performed at Live Aid were back nearly 30 years later to help Sandy victims.

Clapton was back, wailing on his guitar in typical fashion, and The Who performed a package of songs that included a video presentation with drummer Keith Moon, who died in 1978, singing lead vocals.

The Rolling Stones also had a short performance, and both Keith Richards and Jagger have been involved in past benefits like Live Aid.

Kanye West isn't one of my favorites, in fact, on most nights if he were performing in my back yard, I'd close the shades and yell at him to turn down the racket.

But he is undeniably a major star and made an appearance wearing a leather kilt. It was for a good cause, so I can't hate on Kanye for this appearance (but don't schedule any shows in my backyard any time soon).

I have really had a greater appreciation for these type of fundraising shows after the Souris Valley Flood hit my hometown of Minot.

Minot native Josh Duhamel really did a lot of work to get one of the world's biggest bands, The Black Eyed Peas, to perform in a fundraiser that made over a million dollars.

Duhamel, of course, had a good contact person within the band - he's married to lead singer Fergie.

Regardless of his connections, the concert provided much-needed funds and a great escape for people who attended. It was certainly a generous show of support by both Duhamel and the members of the band.

The 12-12-12 show raised over $30 million in ticket sales and sponsors before the concert even started, according to news reports.

It was shown on 37 stations in the United States and another 200 worldwide.

From what I heard, one of the big highlights of the night was one rock icon, Paul McCartney, filling in with a band that hadn't played in more than 18 years.

That band was Nirvana, whose lead singer, Kurt Cobain, died in 1994.

McCartney joined Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl, bassist Krist Novoselic and guitarist Pat Smear before singing some of his classics like "Helter Skelter" and "Live and Let Die."

It was certainly a performance that will be remembered for quite some time, especially by the storm's victims who sorely need the support.

 
 

 

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