Today marks the 10 year anniversary of the Concert For New York. It was designed as a benefit concert for The Robin Hood Relief Fund and featured dozens of performers.
In many ways this concert was most notable for allowing the city's first responders a chance to put aside the events of 9-11 and its aftermath, if only for a few hours.After days and weeks of wondering what would happen next to the City, this concert allowed people to enjoy themselves.
The main floor of Madison Square Garden was made up of first responders and their families, including those whose loved ones were lost a missing. Many held photos which could been seen by the performers as well as by the cameras that broadcast the event on VH1
The opening act was David Bowie, who surprised by opening with a haunting cover of Simon And Garfunkle's "America":
Before going into the more expected "Heroes":
The music acts were introduced by film and television personalities, joined by police and firefighters. One of the strongest reactions of the night came in resonse to Firefighter Mike Moran and his New York offer to Osama Bin Laden:
One of the early highlights of the 5 hour concert was the Goo Goo Dolls cover of Tom Petty's "American Girl" (5 min into this clip):
One of the most emotional moments of the night was James Taylor singing "Fire and Rain", and that line "I always thought that I'd see you again." Taylor said in an interview shortly after the concert that the song doesn't impact him much anymore after having sung it for so many years, but on that night it really did:
As a celebration of New York City and the people that live there it had to include Billy Joel doing emotional versions of "Miami 2017 (Seen the lights go out on Broadway)" and "New York State of Mind":
This is probably a good point to mention the most notable name that did not appear at the concert, New Jersey's favorite son Bruce Springsteen.
The headliner of the show was Paul McCartney who help organize it. However the act that really blew the roof off the dump as they say was The Who, with a set that was one of their greatest ever and totally stole the show. It was also notable for being the last time that Who bassist John Entwhistle performed in the US before he died. They began with "Who Are you":
Followed by Baba O'Reilly":
Then "Behind Blue Eyes":
Before closing with "Won't Get Fooled Again" a fitting message for those that attacked us:
McCartney's set was highlighted by the Beatles songs "I'm Down" and "Yesterday"
And closed the show with "Freedom" and "Let It Be":
In 2004 Rolling Stone named this concert as one of the 50 moments that changed Rock and Roll. It was also voted the #4 greatest moment in the history of Madison Square Garden.
The concert raised $35 million for charity.
And gave people a reason to smile, if only for a few hours.