I made it through most of the 12/12/12 concert last night.
Organized to aid the struggle of the many here in the tri-state area after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, it was as Mick Jagger -- stick-thin and suggestively squirmy as ever -- said: "the largest collection of old, English musicians ever assembled in Madison Square Garden." He wasn't kidding.
Throw in Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel -- looking pretty gnarly in high-def (not that I'd look any better), a satin-skinned Alicia Keyes, the ever-sexy Jon Bon Jovi, the grizzled Pete Townsend and Roger Daltrey (wearing a suit from the 70's) representing "The Who," and you have an idea of some of the rock royalty in attendance.
Roger Waters of Pink Floyd showed up, still agile and rangy in his black tee and funky sneakers. His hair totally gray, he sang with Eddie Vedder, who can do no wrong but may not have been faking it about being "Comfortably Numb."
|Smile, Mike, you get|
residuals, don't you?
Chris Martin of Cold Play, not only did a nice acoustic set but also lured the perpetually melancholy Michael Stipe of REM out of his mausoleum for a song. And, yes, he is still losing his religion. It is reported that he did, indeed, smile last night but confirmation is pending.
His wife, Patty, was there, but shook her tambourine across the stage from her husband reportedly because of his display of the most amazing pit-stains ever revealed at the Garden...and that includes Elvis. Patty has obviously had it with Bruce and his refusal to wear a good Sports deodorant. She is, however, very relieved to have finally solved the "plumber's crack" issues that have plagued him in the past.
Joined by Jon -- Oy, what a man! -- Bon Jovi, the two did some predictable but ever-enjoyable New Jersey rocking-out.
All Eric Clapton has to do, in my opinion, is simply walk onstage. Dignity and talent, thou art Eric Clapton. Remember, around thirty years ago, when I made a fool of myself in Manhattan when I saw you, Eric? You dont? Good.
Amidst all the warmth, high-fiving and rampant thumbs-upping that was going on, the Disney villain of the evening, Mr. Kanye West showed up decked out in a confusing combination of a black leather skirt and leggings underneath.
He bounced around gamely but whether he'd pissed the lighting guys off before the show or, himself, chose the weird effects, his set was back-lit and strobey...and he seemed slightly off.
|Back-lit and be-skirted.|
He was neither rude nor overtly malevolent but he was something worse: he was boring as hell. Having seen him before, I was expecting better but wonder if, under the weight of all that heavy leather, he might have lost some of his steam. That was some skirt--pleats and all.
A kilt can be a very sexy thing on a man....those socks, that waist pouch, those laced shoes....think Sean Connery. But this was no kilt. Kanye wore a skirt. Perhaps he accidentally grabbed something discarded by his girlfriend, Kim Kardashian. Or a vengeful Taylor Swift may have been behind it, though that's doubtful since that would have forced her to take time off from her spree of promiscuity soon to be seen in a city near you.
Her motto in this quest:
"I shall leave no testicle unturned "
"I shall leave no testicle unturned "
I love Billy Joel. Yes, he's a cranky old man now with a gigantic head that has, apparently, never known the benefits of sunscreen. Those crazy eyes have gotten droopier and his voice has been roughened by years of God knows what but he still sounds great to this old girl.
Commanding the stage from a piano bench, he never fails to bring me back to a time when I didn't have all that much to worry about other than whether I'd wear my buffalo sandals or my Dr. Scholls to the beach that day.
|Remember these, ladies? Did you know they were called "Buffalo sandals?"|
My favorite act was The Rolling Stones. Mick simply has not slowed down at all. Prancing, sliding, side-stepping and flapping his pipe cleaner arms in those unmistakable signature moves, he is as apt to thrust his impossibly narrow pelvis at us at the age of 69-going-on-70 as he did when he was 25...and it still makes me feel young.
|Still has it...|
|...lost it a while ago.|
Unlike Roger Daltrey's insistence on revealing his aging chest, the Stone's lead singer can still get away with it.
"Why? Because he is Mick Jagger, of course.
During the set, I realized that Ron Wood and I have the same hair-do and that Keith Richards may be the most amazing guy in entertainment today. I don't think I have seen anyone look worse...except my friend's 96 year old grandpa at a wake I attended many years ago in Brooklyn....and he was the one in the coffin.
Paul McCartney is a quintessential showman. Closing the show, he did a new-ish song about yet another wife (please, Paul, after you divorce this one, give up. You simply cannot recreate what you had with Linda) and some Wings but I admit that I also wanted a flat-out Beatles medley as well as a mention of John Lennon who was assassinated thirty-two years ago this week not all that far from Madison Square Garden.
All in all, despite some dozing and laser pointer playtime with the cats, the unflattering lighting of Billy Crystal's neck, Brian Williams acting like an idiot at the phone bank and my concern for one of my favorite people, Adam Sandler who, likely, used the tune of Leonard Cohen's magnificent opus "Hallelujah" without legal permission, it was a great night of entertainment.
|Available in every dressing room |
of the evening.
I hope Billy Joel starts using at least an SPF30 on his head, Roger Daltrey gets some new clothes (and glasses), Mick Jagger had enough Tylenol Extra Strength to endure his transatlantic flight home today and Taylor Swift wasn't hanging around backstage last night.
In the old days any one of those guys could have handled her easily but times have changed and I suspect they were just all hoping Mick had enough Tylenol for sharing and weren't thinking much about their prolific, groupie-filled pasts.
I also hope the money gets to the people and the enightmare of Sandy can be put behind the thousands affected by the storm. And, as Billy Crystal said as the show ended, "Please don't light me from underneath again and God bless America."
|And why, oh why, was Kristin Stewart dressed|
like a football ref from Liverpool?