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Highlights From “12-12-12: Concert for Sandy Relief”

It’s already being touted as one of the largest gatherings of big-name rock musicians for one concert in recent history. 12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief featured not just The Who, but a who’s-who of rock and pop icons from the past several decades.

In a show lasting over 6 hours, the Madison Square Garden event (simulcast in movie theaters, on television, satellite radio and streaming Internet outlets across the globe) featured a parade of stars, including opener Bruce Springsteen, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Eric Clapton, Roger Waters, Billy Joel, Bon Jovi, Paul McCartney, Chris Martin, and even a brief, two-song set by The Rolling Stones. Between sets, the crowd was further entertained by appearances from other celebrities, including Kristen Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Adam Sandler (who performed a comical rendition of “Hallelujah” with Paul Shaffer), Jimmy Fallon, Steve Buscemi, Jon Stewart, Leonardo DiCaprio, Chelsea Clinton and others. Appeals for donations to the Robin Hood Foundation were made throughout the show to help those most affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Even with a lineup of this magnitude, show organizers managed to pull out a few surprises (though not without a few leaks). After Coldplay’s Chris Martin quipped that One Direction could not join him onstage because it was “way past their bedtime”, he brought out Michael Stipe (who hasn’t been seen much since the breakup of R.E.M.) for a performance of “Losing My Religion.” But one of the night’s biggest moments (and least-kept secrets) was during Paul McCartney’s set near the close of the show, when he brought out the surviving members of Nirvana and joined them in their first live performance in 18 years, debuting Dave Grohl’s new song “Cut Me Some Slack” from Grohl’s upcoming film. Apparently good things come to those who wait…

Avoiding his typical show-stoppers like “Hey Jude,” McCartney’s closed the show appropriately by inviting first responders to stand with him while Alicia Keys performed “Empire State Of Mind,” providing a moving end to a historic show.

Donations for Sandy victims are still being accepted. To donate, visit the 12-12-12 Concert website, or call 855-465-4357.

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About the Author


David Tillman is an independent composer/arranger whose primary work involves writing jingles for commercials for radio and television, with several film and television placements to his credit as well. David has a fascination for all things related to the music business and the music industry in general, an obsession which his wife finds to be mildly unhealthy at times. His personal tastes in music are in electronica and industrial rock, and include The Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk and Nine Inch Nails (he loves that Trent Reznor is writing soundtracks!). When not in his office or in his man-cave, David enjoys skiing, hiking, the occasional game of golf, and sometimes just lounging by the pool. David lives with his wife and three children in Los Angeles, CA.

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