Wednesday night’s 12-12-12 benefit concert for Sandy relief was an unqualified success: Before even a single note was played on stage at New York’s Madison Square Garden, more than $30 million had already been raised for the Robin Hood Foundation through ticket sales, merchandise, and corporate pledges.
As a charity event, 12-12-12 was a slam dunk. As a musical entertainment endeavor, it was more of a mixed bag, full of plenty of glorious, triumphant moments for sure, but also bloated with curious choices and inexplicable performances.
Bruce Springsteen had the honor of kicking the show off, beginning his band’s brief set with “Land of Hope and Dreams.” As Jersey’s greatest ambassador for well over three decades, Springsteen sweated and howled through the opener’s anthemic refrain, only to raise the stakes on “Wrecking Ball,” a defiant anthem of hope from the album of the same name.
“Wrecking Ball” started a running theme of transformation through out the night: Familiar songs became re-packaged and recontextualized, and themes of renewal and rebirth crept up during the finest performances. READ FULL STORY »