Last night’s “12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief” in New York’s Madison Square Garden gathered some of popular music’s most notable figures and so far has raised more than $30 million. And, the money is still pouring in, with all funds directed towards the Robin Hood Foundation. New Jersey native Bruce Springsteen opened the concert with “Land of Hope and Dreams” and “Wrecking Ball.” Fellow New Jersey native Jon Bon Jovi later joined Springsteen for the latter’s beloved “Born to Run.”
The gathering of artists tilted in favor of rock music, but everyone seemed to have a good time and no one took themselves seriously. Among the performers were Billy Joel, Alicia Keys, Paul McCartney, the Who, Eric Clapton and the Rolling Stones. “This has got to be the largest collection of old English musicians ever assembled in Madison Square Garden,” Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger said. “If it rains in London, you’ve got to come and help us.” That’s a nice comparison to a storm that killed more than 100 people.
Aside from the great music, there was some comic relief, too.
“I know you really wanted One Direction,” comedian Christ Martin said of the popular British boy band. “But it’s way past their bedtime.”
“You can feel the electricity in the building,” host Billy Crystal noted, “which means that Long Island Power is not involved.”
“When are they gonna learn you can throw anything at us,” said “The Daily Shows” Jon Stewart, “terrorists, hurricanes; you can take away our giant sodas. It doesn’t matter. We’re coming back stronger every time.”
The concert was broadcast live on 37 U.S. television stations and more than 200 others worldwide. Producers claim that up to 2 billion people across the globe watched.
Ironically, this concert came one day after the death of internationally renowned musician Ravi Shankar. In 1971, Shankar held a benefit concert at Madison Square Garden for the victims of Cyclone Bhola, which struck Bangladesh on November 11, 1970 and killed over 1 million people.
You can still donate to the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund by going here.