NEW YORK – From Living On a Prayer to Living Proof, every song Friday at NBC’s benefit concert for superstorm Sandy victims became a message song.
Hosted by Matt Lauer and featuring performances by Christina Aguilera, Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen, the hourlong event was heavy on stars and lyrics identified with New Jersey and the New York metropolitan area, which took the brunt of this week’s deadly storm.
The telethon was a mix of music, storm footage and calls for donations from Jon Stewart, Tina Fey, Whoopi Goldberg and others.
The mood was somber but hopeful, from Aguilera’s Beautiful to Bon Jovi’s Living On a Prayer and a tearful Mary J. Blige’s Living Proof.
Jimmy Fallon gamely led an all-star performance of the Drifters’ Under the Boardwalk that featured Joel, Springsteen and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith.
The show ended, as it only could, with Springsteen and the E Street Band, tearing into Land Of Hope and Dreams.
God bless New York, Springsteen, New Jersey’s beloved native son, said in conclusion. God bless the Jersey Shore.