HBO airs Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concerts: Your favorite moments?

Yesterday evening at 8 P.M. Eastern, HBO began airing the two-night all-star concert that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame put on in NYC a few weeks back. To give you a sense of the material they were working with here, if the network had shown the entirety of both October dates, that broadcast would have just finally wrapped up around six this morning. Instead, HBO selected a representative sampling of the concerts’ most awesome moments — which, given the lengthy and generally unbelievable nature of the original set lists, added up to a four-hour extravaganza anyway.

I haven’t watched the whole HBO broadcast yet, but I caught some killer performances while channel-surfing through. Annie Lennox ripping through “Chain of Fools” with Aretha Franklin was the stuff of legends (pictured, with Lennox in an eye-catching “HIV POSITIVE” shirt to raise awareness for her SING public-health campaign). Ditto for U2, Patti Smith, and Bruce Springsteen‘s “Because the Night” — though, to be entirely honest, I would have preferred to see Patti and Bruce perform their composition themselves without Bono getting in the way. The first-night highlights I remembered from seeing in person a month ago were just as cool the second time around, too, with stellar turns from Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, Stevie Wonder, and especially Springsteen and the E Street Band.

Obviously I’m not listing close to everything that stood out last night. Did you watch the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concert on HBO? What were your favorite and least favorite moments? Speak up in the comments section!

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th anniversary concert: Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Simon and Garfunkel, Crosby, Stills and Nash and so many more
Songs about food: Let us give thanks!
John Mayer tops album chart; Norah Jones and Justin Bieber, not too shabby
Jimmy Fallon does Neil Young

Photo credit: Kevin Kane/HBO

Comments (248 total) Add your comment
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  • Josh

    I loved everything Bruce & E Street. But Bruce and John Fogerty doing their best Roy Orbison on Pretty Woman was phenomenal.

  • Brian

    I thought the entire Metallica set was great. I really enjoyed the video montage of Mariano Rivera during Enter Sandman. A nice touch for New York.

    I also thought Simon and Garfunkel were very good.

    • Matt

      Cannot beat Simon and Garfunkel.

    • Sina

      I also loved that Metallica set. That’s not even my type of music but I loved that song with that Roy Davies from The Kinks. I downloaded it as soon as they set was finished. Ozzy was even great. That set really influenced my muscial tastes.

      • Tara

        Where did you download the music from? Can’t find it on iTunes.

    • Donna

      Lou Reed too? Think he was a little too buzzed to be up there with Metallica

      • Karen

        Lou Reed was in a coma; horrible. Best set was Springsteen and the E Street Band. He connected with all the performers, showing how classy the man is. Fergie rocked too and the chemistry with Mick was classic. Ozzy was great, Ray Davies, ehh;)

      • Chris

        “Ray Davies was ehh”? Are you nuts?

      • Slasher

        lou reed looked a lil scared of metallica

    • Lynny

      My favorite thing about their set was watching James Hetfield get all giddy singing with Ozzy. He was like a little girl!

  • Jenn

    Though I loved the performance, just once I’d like to see Bruce and Bono sing together without trying to outdo each other.

  • HAZ

    Loved Simon & Garfunkel, Annie Lennox, Sam Moore looking spry. My fave was U2, esp Gimme Shelter with Mick Jagger and Fergie. It was a great show all around!

  • Karin

    Who was the young girl playing bass behind Jeff Beck?

    • Hemisphire

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tal_Wilkenfeld

      She’s been playing with him since 2007.

    • Mikie

      Her name is Tal Wilkenfeld; she’s currently a member of Beck’s band.

    • Jenn

      We were wondering the same thing! We figured it must be Beck’s daughter, but not sure.

    • dave McMillin

      Tal Wilkenfeld

    • nick barkanic

      punch in “jeff beck cause we ended as lovers” and check out her solo

    • David

      The girl who is playing bass with Jeff Beck is Tal Wilkenfeld.

    • codee tubb

      her name is tal wilkenfeld, she is like 24 years old out of Australia.

    • eric

      i believe it was tal wickenfield

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  • Barry H

    I was impressed with the selections aired and especially so with Jeff Beck’s contribution. The moment when Stevie Wonder broke down while doing his Michael Jackson tribute was tear jerking, but I thought Bono’s statement where he said U2 can now be considered a “wedding and bar mitzvah” band was a derrogatory remark, as if to say they had to lower their standards to be present. Fergie sang off key while doing the number with Mick Jagger, but overall, it was a nice compilation of the two days events.

    • Jennifer

      My perception was that Bono’s snide remark was in response to Fergie’s performance. I think that she upstaged him and torqued him off. She was a little off key, but overall a good performance, and nice compliment to Mick.

      • Brenda

        I was there, and Gimme Shelter came off as Fergie’s moment, with Mick close behind. I’m sure it bothered Bono to no end. And of course, The Edge sounded as great as ever, too.

    • Sue1

      Bono’s comment was a joking response to Jagger calling U2 “the world’s most expensive house band”. Taking it out of context to take a shot is so much more fun, eh?

    • Kat

      Guys, guys, as Sue said, Bono was responding in the spirit in which Jagger’s dry but funny “house band” remark was delivered. Pay attention! Egos are big here, but these top dogs have more class than you’re crediting them with. I didn’t see a moment of jackassery (unless maybe that Metallica lead singer just had to throw the f-bomb to establish his youth cred?)

  • davidsask

    Bono and his huge ego just needs to go away!

    • alex

      agreed! no bono would have been just fine by me at this event

    • THe chif

      why do people say he has an ego, why? just because he likes saving the world, as if that’s a bad thing, gee some of you peeps need to go away too

    • Mary Jo

      Obviously a comment from an uneducated human. Bono is fabulous…and a great HUMANITARIAN!
      Need a definition? Get some fact before you post those kinds of crap filled comments!!!!

      • jeanine ohara

        i’ve seen bono on shows speaking on human rights’how whatever we do touchs many otherpeople & I was amassed by his sensitivity to the human sprit & how significant we all are to the greater scheme of life , he’s a very intelligent humanitiam’ but i must say i enjoy there eariliar work more than recent

  • amye

    It’s ridiculous to have it NY.

    Anything associated with the RnR HOF should be held in CLEVELAND, which it is.

    It’s not like NY needs more positive publicity or dollars, while Cleveland does.

    • art

      COMPLETELY AGREE! The Hall of Fame is in Cleveland. It makes no sense to honor its 25 years in another city.

      • hazydavy

        wah, wah

      • Marie

        i agree.
        to have a hall of fame concert nowhere near the ACTUAL museum doesn’t make any sense.
        too bad the people running the museum don’t have the guts to say why they won’t put it in cleveland.

      • Courtney

        Yeah, but the induction ceremonies are always in New York, anyway. So, there is no real change, really.

      • Clay

        Marie: Since I’ve read the statement I’ve come to realize you have no idea how its run. Its run by multiple people, almost all were present for the planning, and many of which work for Rolling Stone (who helped MASSIVELY putting it on and is based out of California) While I wish the concert had been put on in Cleveland (I’m from Lorain County so you can imagine I’m upset as well) it does make sense that it was put on in the city that all but three induction ceremonies have been held.

        That and it wouldn’t be a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concert without controversy ;-)

      • Ann

        Clay
        what do any of those “excuses” have to do with not putting the concert in cleveland?
        the induction ceremonies should also all be held in cleveland as well, WHERE THE MUSEUM IS ACTUALLY LOCATED

      • Brian

        Cleveland is the home of rock and roll…….too bad they had to cry and bribe their way to that title. Everyone and their brother who’s in the music industry had to be paid off to vote for Cleveland to get The Rock Hall. Way to go losers.

    • Ellen S.

      This was a benefit concert. You just aren’t going to get the celebrities and top ticket prices in Cleveland. My mid-priced ticket to the first night wasn’t cheap. I’m always happy to see CSN and was thrilled to see Simon & Garfunkel for the first time. No one seemed as happy and comfortable to share the stage with other artists as Bruce.

      • Joanne

        I agree Ellen, Bruce seemd to be having a blast. He had a huge little boy grin the whole time.For some it was all about the music, and the feelings we got from it then. Music is a powerful way to communicate..Great show egos and all.

  • Bill

    The entire concert was perfect. I wish the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame held a 25 year anniversary every year.

    • terry

      Every year is the 25th anniversary of something. Nxt year is the 25th ann of the 2nd year :)

    • Ritra

      Does anyone know the name of the song that Fergie sang with Mick Jagger…. it’s just a shot away… it’s just a SHOT away?

  • kal

    I thought U2 and Mick Jagger doing Gimme Shelter was phenomenal, even with Fergie. It is amazing that Mick can still strut at his age.

    • messerli

      Even with Fergie, are you kidding?I had to stand for an hour. She rocked and you couldn’t pay me to listen to the Black Eyed Peas.

      • Jo,

        Usually I think Fergie sucks, but she totally rocked it…Mick forgot the words in Gimme Shelter, Thank God for Fergie! At least she didnt sing at half tempo. But Mick was awesome with Bono…and Art Garfunkel-Amazing! Loved Jeff Becks Beatles tribute, Bruce & John Fogerty on Pretty Woman was great!
        I thought it was awesome, but I would much rather listen to Ozzy on an album than live anymore. That goes for Aretha too…and did she dis Ahmet Ertegun? I couldnt tell, she looked like she didnt want to be there at all. She cant breathe fast enough to sing like she used to.

      • Lynny

        Agreed. I actually like BEP usually anyway, but whatever you think of them, Fergie strut dueled Mick and sounded really good. There was one moment, you could see in her face, that she realized she was singing with Mick Jagger and she kind of froze up for a second, but came back strong. It was really fun.

  • Jeff

    None of the above. I was a boring show. Please put these lame acts out to pasture.

    • Jay

      Nah. They can still go, let ‘em perform. Let’s see how your favorite bands are doing when they’re 60.

    • luke

      Jeff – You wrote “I was a boring show” – Freudian slip. It was an amazing concert.

    • Mary Jo

      BLAH BLAH BLAH must have stayed up past your bedtime…too much greatness for you!

  • Janette Maurer

    Where can I get Paul Simon’s blue velvet blazer that he wore on the show?

    • bucky

      I think he got it out of Judy Garland’s old wardrobe.

  • Janette Maurer

    Did anyone notice the cool necklace Smokey Robinson was wearing while playing with Stevie Wonder? Isn’t that a design just the inside of an old 45 record disk?

    • Ani

      Yes! I love his necklace pendant – hadn’t seen one of those in decades!

    • bucky

      I told my wife “Look at that neat AA Recovery Symbol on Smokey’s collar!” Then I realized it was a diamond studded 45 rpm converter insert.

    • Lynny

      I did and I want one.

  • Tara Day

    Two words: Jeff Beck. The instrumental of “A Day in the Life” gave me chills. I was also in love with the duet with The Boss & Tom Morrello. All in all, it was a solid show. Less Bono would have made it perfect.

    • Joanie

      Less Bono more Beck for sure! Jeff Beck was/is unbelievable!!!

      • mark

        It’s funny how we can all watch the same thing and come away with completely different views. I’m not U2’s biggest fan, but I walked away from the show feeling like U2 and bruce springstein were the highlights. Even fergie held her own…go figure. For me the lowerst point was “because the night…” I could go the rest of my life without ever hearing that song again and it would be a good life. To each his own, I guess.

    • katie

      and how about those arms on Jeff Beck. Perfection. Also love Tom Morillo…..and everyone else. Great show.

      • wvance

        jeff beck has such a magnetic presence on stage. what a style. classy guy. “live at ronnie scott’s is the best performance i’ve ever seen of him

    • maria

      Tara…they also did an amazing version of the Clash London calling…i can’t believe they cut it out!!!

      • maria

        i was speaking of Tom Morello & Springsteen doing the Clash, London Calling…. phenomenal..

  • david

    I thought the U2 set was phenomenal. Bono sounded great, as did Patti, The Boss, Mick, and God forbid, Fergie. Because The Night and Gimme Shelter were absolutely explosive. Of course the Irish band’s own songs were great too. A-frickin’-plus.

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