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July 04, 2005

Live8 article

Philly Highlights:

-Bon Jovi rocked the Philly stage by opening with "Livin' on a Prayer." Guitarist Richie Sambora was decked out in fire-engine red duds.

Live 8 Concerts Draw Huge Audience

Live 8, the biggest concert event in history, rocked the planet.

More than 150 artists performed and urged the eight most powerful politicians in the world "to stop 30,000 children dieing every single day of extreme poverty."

Rocker Bob Geldolf organized Live 8, 20 years after he put together the now-legendary Live Aid event.

The free Live 8 concerts took place simultaneously in nine cities around the world including Philadelphia, London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Johannesburg, Moscow, Toronto and Tokyo. An estimated 1 million people attended the events.

Live 8 was staged to encourage the leaders of the eight most powerful and wealthy countries to agree to a plan to fight extreme poverty, AIDS and corruption in Africa.

Philly Highlights:

-The Kaiser Chiefs opened the Philly show in front of the mile-long crowd with "I Predict a Riot."

-The Black Eyed Peas brought the crowd together when everyone threw their arms in the air for "Where Is the Love." Rita and Steve Marley -- the widow and son of Bob Marley -- came on stage with the quartet to sing the reggae legend's "Get Up Stand Up."

-Bon Jovi rocked the Philly stage by opening with "Livin' on a Prayer." Guitarist Richie Sambora was decked out in fire-engine red duds.

-Destiny's Child started their four-song set with "Survivor." Beyonce introduced "Say My Name" by pointing to a video screen showing a list of names of people who have died of Aids.

-Kanye West started his set with "Diamonds (From Sierra Leone)," on which he was accompanied by a full string section. All of the female players, who were dressed in formal black dresses and face paint, also stuck around for a version of "Jesus Walks."

-Actress Natalie Portman introduced the Dave Matthews Band to the stage. Their performance at Philly's Live 8 show was extra important because Matthews was born and raised in South Africa, which gives him first hand knowledge of the problems facing the continent. The band's set included "Don't Drink the Water" and "Dream Girl."

-Linkin Park not only played a set of their own material, but also collaborated with Jay-Z. The band performed "Somewhere I Belong" and "Breaking the Habit."

-Will Smith not only acted as the host of the show, but he led the crowd on a trip through his entire musical career. Smith dipped deep for versions of "Summertime" and the theme to his classic TV series, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. He brought things up to the present day with a take on "Switch."

-Stevie Wonder closed the Philadelphia concert with a little help from some acts that preceded him. The soul legend opened his set by offering a shout-out to the late Luther Vandross during a version of "Master Blaster."

Stevie called up singer Rob Thomas to pitch in on a rousing "Higher Ground," which gave way to a reflective version of "A Time to Love" -- the title track to the much-delayed album he's set to release sometime this year. Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine added his falsetto to "Signed, Sealed, Delivered," then departed so that Wonder could deliver another of his new songs, "So What the Fuss," and the sweat-soaked closer, "Superstition."

London Highlights:

-Paul McCartney, backed by U2, launched the show. They sang a version of "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band." McCartney then left the stage for U2 to take over and they performed three more songs, including "Beautiful Day" for more than 200,000 people.

-Coldplay was up next and got the crowd's participation with their hit "In My Place." Chris Martin then called up a special guest on stage, Richard Ashcroft of The Verve, who led the audience in his band's song "Bittersweet Symphony." Coldplay ended their set with "Fix You."

-Madonna - after hugging and kissing a young woman who organizer Bob Geldof said was saved from death by money raised by the original Live Aid concerts -- brought in a 20-person choir to back her on versions of "Like a Prayer" and "Ray of Light."

-Dido was introduced on the stage by Microsoft founder Bill Gates. She got the second hour going in London by performing "White Flag" and was joined by Youssou N'Dour for "Thank You" and "Seven Seconds."

-Elton John, one of the performers from the original Live Aid concert, treated the audience to a three-song set. He went through "The B**** Is Back" and "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" before he invited Pete Doherty on stage to sing T-Rex's "Children of the Revolution."

-R.E.M. brought a bit of elegance to the stage with "Everybody Hurts" and "Man on the Moon." Michael Stipe did some offbeat modern dance moves and also sported face paint.

-Travis' frontman Fran Healy guided his band through a set of their hits before springing a major surprise, by bringing Live 8 organizer Bob Geldof onstage. Geldof said he "couldn't resist" the chance to perform at the historic event and launched into a version of "I Don't Like Mondays," the biggest hit from his old band, The Boomtown Rats.

-Mariah Carey was in fine voice for her London performance, which kicked off with a version of "Hero" that teamed her with a children's choir. Mimi showcased the full range of her multi-octave voice on that song, as well as a "We Belong Together" that floated skyward with a flurry of high notes.

-Singer Annie Lennox performed a set with a booty-shaking version of "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)."

-The Killers, dressed in formal white suits, performed many hits, including "All the Things I've Done."

-Velvet Revolver's Scott Weiland gave the crowd a slow-motion strip-tease that accompanied the intro to "Slither."

Rome Highlights:

-Country music was the highlight in Rome with country music couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. McGraw opened his set with his new single "Drugs or Jesus." He followed that with "Live Like You Were Dying," before bringing out Faith, who launched right into her current single, "Mississippi Girl."

She then went on to perform a slowed-down version of "Breathe" and a version of Janis Joplin's classic hit "Piece of My Heart."

-Duran Duran did a four-song set that included "Sunrise," "Ordinary World," "Save a Prayer" and "Wild Boys."

Berlin Highlights:

-Actor Tim Robbins introduced trio Green Day on stage and they immediately launched into "American Idiot." Singer Billie Joe Armstrong was dressed in all black and led his band in their political hits "Minority" and "Holiday," and also brought an accordion player on stage. They closed their set with Queen's "We Are the Champions."

-Brian Wilson performed five Beach Boys classics during his short set, including "Good Vibrations" and "Fun Fun Fun."

-Audioslave started their set in a mellow mode, playing "Doesn't Remind Me" and "Like a Stone." Tom Morello read a strident speech about debt relief. Chris Cornell kicked out a profanity-filled take on the Rage Against the Machine classic "Killing in the Name Of."

Ontario Highlights:

-Veteran Canadian rocker Tom Cochrane kicked off the festivites in Barrie by performing "Life Is a Highway" under sunny skies. He was followed by more Canadian rockers, singer-songwriter Sam Roberts and Bryan Adams, who played an acoustic version of "Back to You."

-Former Guess Who's Burton Cummings was not able to attend the event because he was sick, but that didn't stop Randy Bachman from entertaining the crowd. Bachman treated the crowd to a mini-set of Bachman-Turner Overdrive material.

-Deep Purple fired up the crowd with "Highway Star" and "Smoke on the Water."

-Barenaked Ladies frontman Steven Page infused the band's set at Toronto's Live 8 show with a bit of the band's trademark quirkiness -- and plenty of serious commentary as well. He sang a wildly over-the-top version of "Tears Are Not Enough" (the Canadian answer to "We Are the World," which was released in conjunction with the original Live Aid).

-Neil Young, just a few weeks removed from brain surgery, closed the Toronto show on a poignant note. Strumming an acoustic guitar and flanked by wife Pegi, Neil opened his set with a haunting version of "Four Strong Winds" (originally done by folkies Ian and Sylvia). To top off the night, Young led an all-hands-on-deck run through "Rockin' in the Free World," on which guests like Gordon Lightfoot, Jet singer Nic Cester and members of the Barenaked Ladies swapped verses

Tokyo Highlights:

-Only about 10,000 fans in Toyko were thought to have come out to support the cause and see as Bjork and Good Charlotte.

Premiere Radio Networks contributed to this story.

Posted by riesambo at July 4, 2005 08:18 PM