By Tim Saunders on
They came, they rocked, they conquered. 07/07/07 saw the Live Earth concerts take place on 7 continents, and the event will go down in history and in people’s hearts as one of the greatest spectacles ever staged.
The nine concerts held around the globe attracted hundreds of thousands of music lovers, and another 9 million internet streams – a world record internet audience. Many more are expected to watch replays over the next few weeks.
Concert-goers partied for a total of 22 hours at the events organized by Al Gore to raise awareness of climate change and environmental issues.
“You are Live Earth,” Gore told the crowd in New Jersey, on a stage made from recycled tires. “Today 2 billion of us have come together in over 130 countries… Times like these demand action.”
Despite the rain and low temperatures, 30,000 fans in Hamburg enjoyed stunning and energetic performances by Yusuf – formerly known as Cat Stevens – Shakira, Snoop Dogg, Enrique Iglesias, and former Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell. German comedian Elton joked about the inclement conditions with the comment “We’re here to fight against global warming in such c—p weather.”
It was also a cold affair in Antarctica, where a previously unknown band Nunatak – made up of polar researchers – played for 17 fellow scientists, allowing Gore to keep his promise to hold concerts in all seven continents.
45,000 people turned out in warmer circumstances in Sydney, where they were treated to performances by Jack Johnson, Toni Collette's band The Finish, and a newly reformed Crowded House. Sydney was the first of the concerts to open, and was followed by Japan, where thousands rocked to performances by Linkin Park, Rihanna, and a host of local acts.
Johannesburg, experiencing its first snow in ten years, swayed to the rhythms of some of their best known local acts, as well as an intense performance by Joss Stone.
It was a smaller and quieter affair in Washington, where a subdued crowd was entertained by a few lesser known blues and hip hop acts.
The most popular concerts were held in London and New York. The newly refurbished Wembley Stadium was rocking under the weight of 70,000 concert-goers, all enthralled by stellar performances from the Beastie Boys, Kasabian, Metallica, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. 1980’s comedy rock act Spinal Tap reformed for the event to perform their new single, “Warmer Than Hell”, and there was also a touching performance by singer/songwriter Terra Naomi. Naomi wrote the track “Say It’s Possible” after seeing An Inconvenient Truth, and was asked personally by Al Gore to perform it at Live Earth.
The finale of the Wembley show was a set by Madonna, which included “Hey You”, the song she wrote especially for Live Earth. She also thanked Gore “for giving the world the wake-up call it so badly needs, and for starting the avalanche of awareness that we are running out of time.”
Over 50,000 people crammed Giants Stadium in New Jersey to join Al Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, and Kevin Bacon for a night to remember. Cool rhythms from Alicia Keys and the Dave Matthews Band gave way to rockier beats later in the evening from Kelly Clarkson, Melissa Etheridge, and Jon Bon Jovi. The show ended with Sting and The Police performing a duet of their hit, “Message In A Bottle”, with rapper Kanye West
The free show in Rio De Janeiro, almost cancelled over security concerns, drew a crowd of 600,000 to listen to sun-drenched performances by Lenny Kravitz and Macy Gray, and the show in Shanghai was also a success.
The Chinese crowd were made aware of the International Energy Agency warning that China could become the top emitter of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, by later this year.
The Live Earth concerts were a great day’s entertainment for those who witnessed them, and only time will tell if they achieved their goals.
“Thank you for coming to Live Earth,” said Al Gore as the concerts ended. “Harness the energy in your hearts and help us solve the climate crisis.”
Copyright © 2007 Look to the Stars