Madonna on Dave Grohl's Guitar
The Beastie Boys
Since Live Aid there has been many, many charity concerts each raising awareness and money for a whole range of worthwhile causes. It seems like there has been so many that maybe people have become desensitised to them. Live Earth appeared to be smack bang in the middle of the summer festival season and ironically I got the impression that it was perhaps the most unpublicised, unpromoted and understated rock concert of the year despite the fact that it was simultaneously broadcast from eight cities (New York, London, Johannesburg, Rio de Janeiro, Shanghai, Tokyo, Sydney, and Hamburg).
What's more, I think the difficulty in getting tickets didn’t help. You had to register your interest and then if you were lucky enough, a week before the concert, you were randomly selected to be able to go online and buy them. But the gig had a cracking line up and luckily I got two tickets!
Beastie Boys, Black Eyed Peas, Bloc Party, Corine Bailey Rae, Damien Rice, David Gray, Duran Duran, Foo Fighters, Genesis, James Blunt, John Legend, Kasabian, Keane, Madonna, Metallica, Paolo Nutini, Razorlight, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Snow Patrol, Spinal Tap, Terra Naomi and the Pussycat Dolls.
Around the world bands included Crowded House, Wolfmother, John Butler Trio, Lenny Kravitz, Macy Gray, Chris Cornell, Shakira, Snoop Dog, Linkin Park, Joss Stone, UB40, AFI, Akon, Bon Jovi, The Police, Fall Out Boy, Smashing Pumpkins, KT Tunstall and Dave Matthews Band to name just a few.
Live Earth London was held in the New Wembley Stadium. This was my first time there so I didn’t really know what to expect. It is a pretty colossal venue and seems to be organized very well, apart from the lack of cash machines. If you want to by anything its cash only, and if you need to get some cash out you’ll have to stand in a queue for at least an hour with all the other people who didn’t know it was cash only. We were sitting right up in the gods so we had a spectacular view – if only it was a little far away.
The music: The gig kicked off with a reunited Genesis who did a good job of opening in what was a tall order; trying to get things going in the middle of day when not everyone had arrived yet. A stream of small sets followed like a well oiled machine. I guess my only complaints would be that because it was a long day, there was a constant stream of people walking in and out of the stadium to get food or whatever. So from where I sat for most of the day the stadium didn’t look full. There were also some sound issues with some of the bands; for example, some band’s sound just couldn’t fill the stadium.