Live Earth Concert, or Bob Geldof can bite me

We watched the coverage of the Live Earth concert last night. Mostly we watched it on Bravo, which seemed to have the most thorough coverage of the New York concert (though we had to listen to Duff or someone interview Cameron Diaz rather than hear Jane Goodall speak …). We did check out the coverage on NBC, which was mostly a highlights reel from the concerts. I liked that the Shanghai concert included local musicians, not just American or British acts flown in for the occasion.

Okay, so here are my top acts of what we saw (in sort of a particular order):

Roger Waters
Kanye West
The Beastie Boys
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Bon Jovi (seriously, they were great. Bradley pointed out that they're turning into the Rolling Stones, just without the dignity)
The Police (made particularly better in their last song by including John Mayer and Kanye West)

Other good stuff we caught a bit of:
UB40
Lenny Kravitz
Joss Stone
Duran Duran (though I think it was the same set that they did last week for the Concert for Diana. They’ve been busy).

And I’m pleased that The Smashing Pumpkins are back.

Here’s the thing. I love the Police. I think Bradley dies a little inside each time I admit this. But seriously, I love The Police. I saw Sting in concert. It’s a little embarrassing, but it’s not as embarrassing as that Hootie concert I saw. I promise.

What was good about all of the acts was that they all knew they were playing at a benefit concert, so in addition to playing some songs that are new, they all played that one song we all long. Bon Jovi pretended like they wouldn’t play “Livin’ on a Prayer,” but then they did.

Bradley’s assessment of the concert’s effectiveness and minivans around the country is right on. But that’s also the point. I know that Bob Geldof was all cranky about the concept, but I think that he’s absolutely wrong in the sense that we’re all clearly not aware of what kind of impact we have on the environment, and what we, as individual consumers, can do to make changes.*

The television coverage clearly aimed at women (and men) who are about my age or a little older. A lot of this was music we listened to in high school or college (or, in the case of Duran, Duran we had vague recollections of it, and then listened to it to be “retro” in college. But I graduated from college in 2000, so I’m young.) These are also the people who are currently having children and who are currently spending a lot of money on household products.

The point of the concert wasn’t just to raise awareness about global warming, since many of us are indeed aware of it. The point of the concert was to raise awareness about all the small things that we can do every day. The show also included a number of PSAs about small things that everyone can do that will make a difference (how to stop the junk mail, always unplug your cell phone charger when you’re not charging your cell phone).

Plus the whole global aspect of it was really cool.

By the way, check out this post on Shakesville about global warming and the fantastic guide it mentions at New Scientist.

(We do regret forgetting to buy stock in one of the companies that makes CFL lightbulbs. At least people will go out and buy them on Monday. And then not have to buy anymore lightbulbs for some time.)

* Plus Bob Geldof has forgotten that he’s talking about a concert organized by someone who “lost” the presidency to someone who refuses to “believe” in science.

edit: I think that the links should all work now. Sunday 3:00 PM

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