Sunday, July 03, 2005

Live 8.

WOW! How fun was that? After staying awake for 28 hours I might not be able to properly express how I feel about what I just witnessed, but I'll try. It all started way back on Friday at 2:00pm. I woke up after a long night of reading and revising a script of mine. I had to be in work at 10:00pm and planned to meet The Buonanno for dinner. After dinner, which consisted of us sharing a bowl of cold stone creamery ice cream, I went to put in my 10 hours at work.

Saturday, after waiting for, getting passed by and finally taking the train into the city packed like sardines, we were on our way. As we emerged from the trains underground exit, there was already a buzz from the 100's of thousands that had the fortune to precede me on this journey. The first thing I noticed was the eerie landscape void of cars. The streets we passed are some of the widest in the city and without cars you could see what looked like a mass exodus heading toward the parkway and Art Museum. Walking toward the parkway, if you looked straight ahead you would see a sea of people jockeying for position, but if you looked to your left or your right you would see the nearly empty street with the next intersection bulging with people walking in the same direction as you were.

In the few blockeds we had to walk from the train station to the parkway you could buy all kinds of tee shirts, buttons, hats, sunglasses, bracelets and any other thing you could think of, all with the Live 8 logo or the performing acts all over them. The most interesting thing was the seemingly ordinary people with regular BB&Q coolers that you would find at any cookout selling water. I knew I would see people doing this but I thought they would at least have better means of selling their swag. Next time I'll get my own cooler and make a few bucks.

Around 10:00 we arrived at the parkway to what turned out to be a smaller crowd then I had anticipated. This wouldn't stay that way for long. Luckily for us we had people holding a spot for us. We got as close as the first jumbo screen after the stage. We situate ourselves on the far right side of the screen with barely enough room for us to see it. For the next 2 hours we would walk around taking in the event as the jumbo screens played AOL sessions until the main event started.

At around 12:05 the host and Philly's own Mr. Will Smith shouts Phillllllllllyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!. Any signs of tiredness have just left. After being up for 22 hours up until that point, having the city I love erupt into a loud cheer could keep me up for days. Will gets started by telling Philly to say hi to the world. The World! I have never been at an event that the world was watching. As he says this I begin to realize the impact this event could, should and will have. If that wasn't enough to get the goose bumps working, he started talking about how every three seconds a child dies in Africa from lack of medicine and other needs we find common. Then he asked the crowd to join him in snapping your fingers every 3 seconds. This was the most haunting numbing sound I'd ever heard. Just weird. To add to this they showed all the other locations doing the same thing. Canada, Rome and a few others. Just Haunting.

After this the Black Eye Peas got the party started with 3 of their most popular songs post Fergie. This got the crowd jumping. After they were done they invited The Marleys on stage for a nice touch of some reggae. They were followed by the boys from Jersey, Bon Jovi. They kept the crowd moving but kind of ended abruptly.

Up until then the biggest cheer came when Will Smith started the event. Not until after Don Cheadle or Chris Tucker said a few words - not sure which one - and introduced Destinys Child did the crowd cheer louder. They were followed by Kanye West who put on the best show until that point in my opinion. I'm not even a big fan but I would love to see him in concert where he gets more then a 3 song set.

Then it was Big Willie's turn to sway the crowd. He played to the crowd more then any other act. He came out on a thrown to the Rocky theme song which quickly changed to chants of "The Champ Is Here" which he said from the movie ALI. If you have seen the movie you know he says that over the beat of drums. He kept this beat going and sang the Fresh Prince Of Bel Air Theme song as the crowd sang along. As he said in the beginning of his set, this truly was his house. He finished up with a few of his well known songs. Oh and DJ Jazzy Jeff was on the wheels of steel!

I'm not sure of the order after that but I did see Alicia Keys do one song very good and then leave making everybody want more. Black ICE recited a poem called Imagine that was powerful. Dave Matthews played longer then anyone I saw. He started out just playing riffs for 10 minutes and from what I heard that's what he does in concert. Toby Keith did his country thing, at least I think it was him. They played Madonna on the jumbo screen. Linkin Park started to play and we thought that Jay-Z wasn't there so we started to leave only to find out as we walked away that he was being introduced. This was around 4:00pm and I was fading fast. The redbulls I was drinking didn't work anymore. Everyone was ready to go by this time.

By the time I had gotten home and went to sleep, I had been up for 28 hours. Was it worth it? Hell yes! Would I do it again? Yes, and I would stay the whole time. Although it was fun and I had a good time I hope the message wasn't lost in all the glits and glitter. We made our statement and I'm proud to have been a part of that, but if we walk away and don't continue to do more, it was all for nothing. There is so much more to write about, like the other celebrities that were there, and maybe I'll write a part 2 but I'm tired.

Like I said I don't know how to express the way I feel but it's a cool feeling to have. I will be posting a few pictures soon, I just need to get some rest.


At Sunday, July 03, 2005, Blogger ANDREW M. said...

what a sham! where the fuck was hall and oats?!?!?!!!!


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