It’s been said that music is the universal language, and that notion was exemplified by Saturday’s Live Earth event.
Over the course of 24 hours, more than 100 of the world’s biggest musical acts performed in a globe-spanning series of concerts, designed to raise awareness of climate change and global warming.
All seven continents (including Antartica!) were host to the concerts, which attracted thousands of spectators and featured performances by internationally-acclaimed artists such as Madonna, The Police, Bon Jovi, Shakira, Lenny Kravitz, and many, many more.
Former U.S. vice president Al Gore spearheaded the massive initiative — the largest musical event ever staged — as his way of providing Earth’s populace with a wake-up call in regards to the dangers facing us if the necessary steps aren’t taken to conserve energy and limit pollutants and waste.
Gore, who previously drew attention to the environmental crisis with his award-winning documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” made his presence felt at a number of the venues, through personal appearances, video uplinks, and in the case of the Tokyo show — a hologram!
“Global warming is the greatest challenge facing our planet, and the gravest we’ve ever faced,” Gore said via live video to a crowd of over 50,000 in the kickoff city of Sydney, Australia. “But it’s one problem we can solve if we come together as one and take action and drive our neighbors, businesses and governments to act as well. That’s what Live Earth is all about.”
Australian Aboriginals danced to welcome performers and fans to the concert in Sydney, which included sets by surfer-turned musician Jack Johnson, ‘80’s hitmakers Crowded House, and “Little Miss Sunshine” actress Toni Collette (who showed off her musical talents by singing for the huge crowd).
The city of Shanghai in China featured performances by popular Chinese stars, as well as an appearance by British chanteuse Sarah Brightman.
The cities of Tokyo and Kyoto gave dual representation to Japan, and boasted performances by alt-rockers Linkin Park, R&B sensation Rihanna, and a variety of local celebrities.
Click HERE for further details of the shows in Australia and Asia, along with a photo gallery!
Germany and The U.K. got in on the action as the event swept Westward. Latin superstars Shakira and Enrique Iglesias were among the performers who rocked the crowd in Hamburg, while the newly re-built Wembley Stadium in London hosted a huge array of superstar appearances.
Fergie, along with the Black Eyed Peas, was one of the first artists to take the stage in London. Their electrifying set was followed by such luminaries as Metallica, The Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Beastie Boys, and a reunited Genesis led by Phil Collins.
Madonna closed out the London show in grand style, performing a set that included a new song she wrote expressly for the event, called “Hey You.”
“Let’s hope the concerts that are happening around the world are not just about entertainment, but about starting a revolution,” said Madonna to the crowd of thousands.
Click HERE for further details and photos of the shows in Germany and The U.K.!
Live Earth continued to expand West, with shows in South Africa, Israel and Brazil — before culminating in a star-studded concert at Giants Stadium in New Jersey.
Lenny Kravitz, Joss Stone and Macy Gray were among the performers at the shows in Rio de Janeiro and Johannesburg, and photos of these concerts can be found by clicking HERE.
Like Japan, the United States was home to two separate Live Earth concerts — the main event in New Jersey, and the last-minute addition of Washington D.C., which was headlined by country superstars Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood.
Giants Stadium attracted a sold-out crowd of about 52,000, who came to see performances by artists such as Kelly Clarkson, Ludacris, Keith Urban, Alicia Keys, Fall Out Boy, John Mayer and the aforementioned Bon Jovi and headliners The Police.
Melissa Etheridge provided one of the show’s major highlights with her performance of “I Need to Wake Up,” which won the Academy Award for Song of the Year as the theme to “An Inconvenient Truth.”
Musicians weren’t the only stars taking the stage in New Jersey — actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Alec Baldwin and Cameron Diaz also leant their support to the proceedings.
Click HERE for further details on the U.S. shows, along with photos from the events!
All of the events went off with virtually no major problems, and as Gore rode a train between his personal appearances in Washington D.C. and New Jersey, he summed up his feelings to a reporter from The Associated Press:
“I’m just so filled with enthusiasm and energy,” he gushed, but added that his mission to promote environmental awareness is going to continue far beyond Live Earth.
“I’ve been trying to deliver this message for 30 years, and I know that it doesn’t take in just one delivery,” he said. “You’ve got to keep going.”