Musicians and comedians from across the world made appearances on Wednesday night during the 12-12-12 Concert for Hurricane Sandy Relief. The show was held at Madison Square Garden, was televised in the United States and around the world, was streamed on the internet and was broadcast on radio stations across the world. Close to two billion people were estimated to have seen or heard the concert live, according to The Associated Press.
“When are you going to learn,” comic and New Jersey native Jon Stewart said. “You can throw anything at us – terrorists, hurricanes. You can take away our giant sodas. It doesn’t matter. We’re coming back stronger every time.”
Bruce Springsteen, New Jersey’s own, opened the show with “Land of Hope and Dreams” and “Wrecking Ball.” He was joined on stage by another Jersey hero, Jon Bon Jovi, to sing “Born to Run.” Springsteen then joined Bon Jovi for “Who Says You Can’t Go Home.”
Prices for tickets to the concert ranged from $150-$2,500.
“This has got to be the largest collection of old English musicians ever assembled in Madison Square Garden,” Rolling Stones rocker Mick Jagger said. “If it rains in London, you’ve got to come and help us.”
The sold-out concert was aired on 37 television channels in the United States and 200 more across the globe. The concert was being streamed on 30 websites, including Yahoo and YouTube. The concert also aired on countless radio stations across the world. There were at least 27 theaters in the New York region that aired the concert live.
All of the money raised from the concert will be donated to the Robin Hood Foundation. From ticket sales alone, $30 million was raised on Wednesday night.
Hurricane Sandy has been blamed for 104 deaths in New York and New Jersey, with 125 people total losing their lives from the storm. Millions of people were without power for weeks and underwater for days along the East Coast.
The night was capped off by performances from Billy Joel, Chris Martin (Coldplay), Paul McCartney and Alicia Keys. Keys ended the concert with a stirring rendition of Empire State of Mind as the heroes of Hurricane Sandy were invited up on stage with McCartney to be saluted by the crowd.
One member of Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, said his family is still dealing with the storm’s troubles. “I had to hold back the tears really,” Sambora said about visiting storm-ravaged New Jersey. “My mom’s house (in Point Pleasant, N.J.) got trashed. They had to evacuate her. She’s living with me until we fix it up.”
Steve Van Zandt, the famed guitarist from the E Street Band, said, “Yes, it’s more personal because literally the Jersey shore is where we grew up. But we’d be here anyway.”