Well it was a pretty awesome day yesterday – Live 8 was, well, amazing. I signed the list that now numbers in the millions that supports ending poverty and all the concerts were fantastic. Some were better than others, but generally it was a really cool event.
Barrie’s concert was good, but not great. Among the highlights: Barenaked Ladies, The Hip, Neil Young and Blue Rodeo. Not so good? Well, hate to say it, but Tom Green and Dan Akyroyd wern’t the best choices for hosts. Plus, it would have been nice to have had more diversity in the acts – why couldn’t the organizers have tried for Feist, Arcade Fire or Jully Black?
London’s concert was the best one by far. It had the most spirit of Live Aid and the greatest number of artists. Plus, there wasn’t a single weak link in the line-up. Pink Floyd was surprisingly true to old form, R.E.M. was full of energy and Coldplay definitely hit a high mark in terms of their cultural influence musically. Annie Lennox was incredible, Madonna seemed back as her old self – really, there wasn’t a single bad act in London.
Philadelphia’s concert was pretty good but am I the only one who thought the Philly organizers were trying to Americanize the event with the completely over-the-top reference to the American Declaration of Independence? Plus, the concert was far more focused on celebrities than the other concerts.
Probably the weakest concert was Tokyo, mostly because the crowd was, um, small, and the number of performers was too small for a Live 8 concert. Bjork was true to form.
Berlin’s concert was pretty awesome – Green Day had an electrifying performance.
All in all, this was a really great event – hopefully, it will put the pressure on world leaders to raise funding to 0.7 per cent of the nation’s GNP in foreign aid. This being said, it’s all far more complex as an issue in defeating global poverty than simply putting pressure on politicians. Various issues, like wealthy countries selling arms to developing countries, unfair agricultural policies and structural funding issues to the developing world are all part of a broader pantheon of problems surrounding global poverty.
Plus, how long will people remember this event, really? Will it stick? I doubt it for many folks.
Still, for one day, Live 8 brought a lot of people together. Kudos to Bob Geldof.