5 Years Ago: Rolling Stones, The Who & More Raised $50M
Five years ago today, a star-studded benefit concert was held for the victims of Hurricane Sandy — a superstorm that claimed more than 100 lives and devastated parts of the tri-state area.
Before the concert even began, $30 million was raised for the Robin Hood Relief Fund, New York’s largest poverty-fighting organization that provided money and essential materials to families and individuals in the regions hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy. (The organization also coordinated a benefit concert after 9/11, “The Concert for New York City,” which included performances by David Bowie, The Who, Elton John, and Paul McCartney.)
The Concert for Sandy Relief was held on 12/12/12 at Madison Square Garden and raised over $50 million. The all-star lineup included The Who, Bruce Springsteen, Alicia Keys, Bon Jovi, Eric Clapton, Billy Joel, The Rolling Stones, Roger Waters, Chris Martin, Michael Stipe, Kanye West, Eddie Vedder and the surviving members of Nirvana.
Let's revisit 12 unforgettable moments from 12/12/12.
12 Awesome Moments From The Concert for Sandy Relief
1. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band started the show off with an explosive burst of energy. Bruce’s commanding stage presence was accompanied by soulful gospel singers and a fierce, fiery horn section. The Jersey native was sure to include many references to the Garden State throughout his performance. During “My City in Ruins,” Springsteen sang, “Now my home was here on the Jersey Shore…” instead of “the Meadowlands.”
2. The Boss himself paid a nod to the Asbury Park community for helping to revive the livelihood of his “adopted hometown” and bringing a renaissance to the Jersey Shore town when it was falling on hard times. He also acknowledged the culture of inclusivity of the Jersey shore — he said acceptance and inclusivity is a principle characteristic of the Jersey shore and what makes it special.
(Kevin Mazur / WireImage)
3. The Rolling Stones were another highlight of the evening, playing a high energy, short and sweet set with “You Got Me Rocking” and “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.” Mick Jagger said: “This has got to be the largest collection of old English musicians ever assembled in Madison Square Garden”. He facetiously added, “If it rains in London, you’ve got to come and help us.”
4. Who could forget “#Sirvana”, where former members of Nirvana including Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, and Pat Smear joined forces with Sir Paul McCartney for a historic reunion and played their own new original song, “Cut Me Some Slack,” which came to be from a spontaneous jam session.
5. A myriad of Hollywood stars also made appearances including Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Olivia Wilde, Blake Lively, Quentin Tarantino, Jamie Foxx, and Kristen Stewart.
6. Even StubHub decided to get in on the action and donate all of their profits from ticket resales toward providing food, blankets, replacement income and rebuilding of the infrastructure for Robin Hood’s community partners and people affected by the storm. Though they couldn’t force ticket sellers to donate their profits, they provided sellers the option to donate their proceeds from tickets sold to one of several nonprofits including Robin Hood Relief Fund, American Red Cross and The Humane Society.
7. Kanye West brought a refreshing change of pace from the old British rock stars that dominated the stage. He injected a modern, hip-hop medley of 10 smash hits ranging from “Gold Digger” and “Jesus Walks” to more recent hits “Diamonds” and “All of the Lights.”
8. Kanye infamously broke all the rules of fashion with his avant garde leather skirt/kilt designed by his favorite designer at the time and good friend Riccardo Tisci (Givenchy). "When I saw this kilt, I liked it. I was into it," he wrote for Paper Magazine. "It looked fresh to me. I felt creative; I didn't feel limited by some perception."
9. We loved the bromance between Roger Waters and Eddie Vedder during the beautiful rendition of “Comfortably Numb.” At the start of the song, Waters was so moved that he gave Vedder a kiss on the side of his head. “I stopped singing at one point to kiss him! Which is weird! It’s very rare I do anything like that. Eddie was absolutely amazing. That was a dream come true.”
Kevin Mazur / WireImage
10. Jon Stewart introduced “Mr. Slowhand Himself.” Eric Clapton’s bluesy, three song set opened with the soulful, seated performance of 'Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out'. Clapton picked up the tempo with the lyrically-appropriate “Got to Get Better in a Little While” and the classic “Crossroads.”
11. Bruce was joined by Jon Bon Jovi and made New Jersey proud for a strong duet of “Born to Run”. Later, Springsteen joined Bon Jovi during their performance of the song “Who Says You Can’t Go Home.” Perhaps not the most appropriately chosen song, especially considering Bon Jovi’s guitarist Richie Sambora said his mother had been living with him since her house got destroyed during the storm.
12. The Who rocked MSG with powerful, passionate performances of classic songs such as “Who Are You” and “Love Regin O’er Me.” Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend paid homage to the disaster that brought them to the venue by switching out “It’s Only Teenage Wasteland” for “It’s Only Sandy Wasteland” during “Baba O’Reilly.”