Guitar News Daily: Thoughts on the 12.12.12 Concert for Sandy Relief

Posted 14 Dec 2012 in Featured, Music, News, Performance

Did you see the six hour and 30 minute 12.12.12 Concert last night?  We did and we want to tell you our thoughts on this epic gathering of some of the greatest bands in Rock N Roll history and break down the good, bad and ugly of last night’s even….and of course Kanye West…whatever the hell THAT was.

Lets begin with the good.  For the most part (again…barring Kanye West) the lineup was truly amazing.  Where would you be able to see a group of legends like this all on one stage.  Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, Roger Waters, The Who, Billy Joel, Paul Mccartney, the surviving members of Nirvana, Bon Jovi, Chris Martin and even special guest Michale Stipe all rocked the house.  Sure its a little odd watching these guys now that most of them are pushing 70 but they still brought the thunder to the stage and I felt like the performances were excellent.  Maybe someone could have told Roger Daltrey and Richie Sambora and some of the other aging rockers to button their shirt but they still rocked.

I’d like to start with Bruce since he kicked off the show.  Let me first say that I’m a big fan of The Boss but I have to admit that I get a little bit tired of his folk music that he’s been churning out lately.  Sure I know he is now at a point in his career where he can do what he wants but I’m sure I’m not the only one who wanted to see a little more old stuff as opposed to some of his preachy stuff but he still put on a very strong performance.  There was one point in Bruce’s set where he said “I wrote this song for my adopted home town” and then immediately went into a song that sure as hell sounded like People Get Ready (with different words)….Does that count as writing a song?  Side Note:  Bruce sure does sweat a lot….

Roger Waters was also incredible in my opinion.  Would have liked to see a little more out of him but he looked like he was having a blast up there and the crowd was loving it too.  When he called Eddie Vedder to the stage was another great moment.  Eddie had a look on his face like “What the hell is going on here…I’m playing with Roger Waters!”  Plus after that performance, I believe it was Jon Stewart who said “After Roger Waters played did everyone remember where they hid their pot in 9th grade?”

Bon Jovi, although not nearly on the same level as The Stones, The Who or Paul Mccartney certainly put on a great set that had the hometown crowd begging for more.

The Rolling Stones were great too.  They didn’t play very long and seemed to get off the stage rather quickly considering they are one of the greatest rock bands of all time.  I find it humorous watching these old guys prance around the stage at their advanced ages but you can’t deny that they’ve still got tons of talent.   They will probably outlive us all…..

Billy Joel….what can you say…He’s Billy Joel and another hometown boy that the crowd loved.

Chris Martin may have been the youngest guy there but he also had a nice little set which was highlighted by a surprise duet with Michael Stipe of REM fame.  Their rendition of Everybody Hurts was beautiful.  Funny side note…Did anyone notice that Mr Gwyneth Paltrow had to ask Stipe if he was playing the song correctly before they got into the first verse?  Martin is a true talent and it was good to see him there supporting the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Ever since I was a kid I’ve been a huge fan of The Who.  I’ve been a drummer forever and Keith Moon is one of my heroes so it was really cool to see him on the screen and watch Daltrey interact with him.  Pete Townsend and Roger Daltrey still have it going on after all these years.  Their vocals were great, Townsend is a guitar god and Zak Starkey (yes that is Ringo’s son if you didn’t know) is a monster behind the drums.  The Who was one of my favorite performances of the night.  Side Note:  Think about this for a second.  Ringo Starr and son Zak Starkey can confidently be named the only father son duo to be members of two of the top rock bands OF ALL TIME.  Now that’s cool.

I’m going to take a quick little detour from all of the awesomeness that this show brought.  WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH KANYE WEST!  Now before I go off on a rant here I want to say that I listen to Hip Hop/Rap music occasionally and even sometimes listen to Kanye West.  But that has to be one of the worst performances of all time.  First of all it seemed very angry.  He didn’t play anything that was uplifting and I remind you that this was a benefit concert.  It looked like he wanted to fight all the old rich white guys that were sitting in the front rows.  Plus he had that hideous leather dress on….again I say…WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH KANYE WEST!

Enough of that nonsense.  Lets get back to the good stuff.  Alicia Keys is not only a beautiful woman.  She has a beautiful voice and I thought her performance was great.

Finally I’m going to touch on the coolest man to ever live….that would be Sir Paul Mccartney!  I’m going to start with his performance with Dave Grohl, Krist Noveselic and Pat Smear (love that name).  To prove that he is indeed the coolest man to ever live Sir Paul seemed to fit in very nicely as the frontman for Nirvana.  You can’t deny that when he needs it Paul has an incredible rock voice.  The look of euphoria on the face of Grohl and the rest of the boys (now old men) from Nirvana shows you what an honor it is to share the stage with a living legend of Mccartney’s stature. Paul owns every crowd he stands in front of.  It never seems canned or forced and it always comes across as genuine.  Even if he left fans wanting to hear Let It Be and Hey Jude he still played enough classics to satisfy the majority of fans.  All I can say is Paul is and always will be the best to ever do it and I hope we continue to see him touring and cranking out tunes for a long time to come.  Think about this for a second.  How weird must it be when Paul looked over at the stage during The Who’s performance to see his lifelong friend and bandmate’s son wailing away on the drums.  Seriously cool and probably a little surreal even for a man who has probably seen more than we can ever imagine.

I know I didn’t touch on everyone who performed but I think we did a pretty decent job covering the highlights (or in Kanye West’s case lowlights).  One thing I would have liked to see would have been the surviving members of Led Zeppelin hit the stage…but I guess that is never gonna happen.

We’ll be back soon with more guitar music news and reviews.  Until then….Keep Rockin!


Dave has been eating, living, and breathing music since before he could talk. This makes Dave perfect for his role here at Guitar News Daily.

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