I had been writing a post last week to take the focus off business and talk about music (my true love) and then Friday and Newtown, CT happened. People far smarter and far more eloquent have said so much about the tragedy and I still remain completely speechless… so I would simply like to share something President Obama said Sunday night which really hit home for me as a father and a human being. And then I want to go back to talking about music since I think it is actually one of the true healing powers we have in this world. Whenever I am feeling depressed or having a bad day or, in this case, experiencing the completely unthinkable, I do find that music can make me feel the slightest bit better.
Some excerpted words from President Obama (the full link is here) :
As a nation, we are left with some hard questions. Someone once described the joy and anxiety of parenthood as the equivalent of having your heart outside of your body all the time, walking around. With their very first cry, this most precious, vital part of ourselves — our child — is suddenly exposed to the world, to possible mishap or malice. And every parent knows there is nothing we will not do to shield our children from harm. And yet, we also know that with that child’s very first step, and each step after that, they are separating from us; that we won’t — that we can’t always be there for them. They’ll suffer sickness and setbacks and broken hearts and disappointments. And we learn that our most important job is to give them what they need to become self-reliant and capable and resilient, ready to face the world without fear…. This is our first task — caring for our children. It’s our first job. If we don’t get that right, we don’t get anything right…. We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end.…. There’s only one thing we can be sure of, and that is the love that we have — for our children, for our families, for each other.
And now the music to help us feel better:
I couldn’t let the 12/12/12 concert pass without dropping a few lines about it. Mick dubbed it “the greatest collection of old British guys ever assembled at MSG” and he was not wrong!! It not only featured everyone from The Who to Roger Waters to the Stones to a cool McCartney/Nirvana thing, it also benefited the Robin Hood Relief Fund. New York City and the surrounding metropolitan areas were SO severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy and it was nice to see the music and film industries organize a high-profile event in order to raise money for the rebuilding efforts.
And aside from the real reason for the show, it was also an AWESOME show. My personal highlights (which you should check out – or even better – BUY on iTunes to support the relief efforts):
Eddie Vedder singing the Dave Gilmour parts of Comfortably Numb
Bruce and Jon Bon Jovi – the Jersey Boys – singing Born to Run
Alicia Keys to close the show with New York was brilliant.
And really it was ALL awesome.
And continuing in this week of great concerts was not one, but two, Rolling Stones shows (and the Who doing Quadrophenia the week before… a good concert week for me!). Last Thursday I ventured out to the Prudential Center in Newark for the first of their 50th Anniversary concerts that I would attend. John Mayer joined on guitar for ‘Respectable’ but perhaps more interesting, the band played a request that fans had voted for on the new Rolling Stones app. (side note – I told you that embracing technology was a huge trend! If the Stones can do it, so can you!) Also of note was the return of Mick Taylor – it was his first time playing with the band in U.S. since 1981. And he KILLED it on Midnight Rambler.
Saturday night was EVEN BETTER as we were lucky enough to be sitting in the 5th row in the friends and family section. We were seated next to Mick’s longtime companion L’wren Scott and Keith’s wife Patti Hanson. And right there in front of us was Sarah Jessica Parker, Billy Squier, and Chris Rock. The show was awesome before it even began. Amazing highlights were:
Lady Gaga belting out Gimme Shelter with Mick.
Mick Taylor repeating his awesome guitar work on Midnight Rambler.
Bruce joining the Stones for Tumblin Dice.
The Trinity Wall St Choir singing You Can’t Always Get What you Want.
And of course just being so close to the band made for an amazing special evening and a necessary break from the sadness of the weekend.
Check out their set lists for night 1 and night 2 if you’re interested.