On Saturday, millions gathered in eight, make that nine, cities during the Live Earth concert series in effort to raise global awareness of global warming — and to catch Snoop Dogg, natch. Millions more watched and/or listened to the well-publicized extravaganza on television, satellite radio, and, of course, the internet. Fortunately, if you missed any of the live internet and television coverage, there will be plenty of footage sailing through the media outlets for quite a while (check Sirius and MSN). You’ll also find a bazillion videos circulating on YouTube.
Not all of the acts that were broadcast have made it the ‘Tube yet. Where’s the love for Wolfmother or Mando Diao? There are a few crappy videos out there for the more indie-tastic performers, but we’re here to help you separate the wheat (Snow Patrol, Spinal Tap) from the chaff (Linkin Park, Metallica). To that end, we’ve gathered a few of our favorite performances in this Live Earth roundup:
As much as we’d prefer to skip it, we’d be remiss if we failed to present this “Message in a Bottle” teamup tragedy between The Police and Kanye West. We like both, but somehow the mix of The Police and Kanye added with a twist of John Mayer just becomes unpalatable. But the crowd does seem to dig it:
“Hello Wimbledon!” Although Spinal Tap documentarian Marty DeBergi (aka Rob Reiner) admits, while promoting his 15-minute reunion film (viewable for free here), that the band is “not that environmentally conscious, but they’ve heard of global warming,” in his introduction to the Wembley crowd, he commends them for their “volume” and “punctuality.” You can check out the introduction and performance of “Stonehenge” and the new song “Warmer Than Hell” here, but this video of “Big Bottom,” backed up by “every bass player in the known universe,” is well worth six minutes of your life:
she’s being criticized in regard to her participation in the pro-green concert series for not being green enough. Madonna’s spokesperson assures critics that her “agreement to sing at the Live Earth event is merely one of the first steps in her commitment to being environmentally responsible.” We have to give the Material Girl credit for making a change — after all, that’s what an awareness campaign is supposed to do: incite change, not blame those who aren’t green already! And mad props to Madge for bringing on board gypsy pranksters Gogol Bordello for her performance of “La Isla Bonita”:
The Beastie Boys eschewed the instrumental experimentation of their recent performances and instead worked a set of hits consisting of “Sure Shot,” “So Whatcha’ Want,” “Intergalactic,” and “Sabotage.” Catch them here, looking dapper in their suits:
Lenny Kravitz played to the largest crowd of all at the Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro. During the nearly 10-minute “Let Love Rule,” Kravitz runs into the crowd (circled closely by his security team of course) and attempts to get the appreciative crowd to sing along. Here he is with the more rockin’ “Are You Gonna Go My Way?”:
One of the more “indie” bands in the lineup, Snow Patrol, performed a moving rendition of “Chasing Cars,” and it’s great to see the crowd embody the emotion of the song — the closest thing you’ll see to U2 playing Live Aid in ’85:
Not quite as anthemic but stirring in its own way is Bloc Party‘s performance of “So Here We Are”:
Once you get past Reed Richards’ (Ioan Gruffudd) cracking voice on this clip, you’ll hear the beautifully sung “Somewhere Only We Know” by Keane:
Other emotive U.K. tunesmiths, Damien Rice and David Gray, joined at Wembley for an outstanding set. While Rice’s “Blower’s Daughter” is one of the most stirring songs ever performed live (and that’s not hyperbole!), the duo will probably be remembered for their adaptation of “Que Sera Sera”:
Nobody cares about the greenhouse effect like Snoop Dogg! Here’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot”:
While many musicians approached the issue of global warming quite seriously, British comedian Ricky Gervais added some much appreciated levity, especially when joined by Chris Rock, who quips, “I pray that this event ends global warming in the same way Live Aid ended world hunger.”
So who do you think most embodied the spirit of most-stirring-anthem-at-a-worthwhile-cause-festival as U2 did with their performance of “Bad” at Live Aid, 1985? Take our poll:
Here’s a link to U2 doing “Bad” at Live Aid.