Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Chimp Greetings, The Wave, and An Inconvenient Truth: Remixed

Back Row Seats. Who could say no?

On July 7th, my husband Steve and I headed out to the Meadowlands to see the New York (or more accurately New Jersey, which many of the performers and presenters -most notably Bon Jovi and Zach Braff, writer and director of Garden State- pointed out) Live Earth concert at Giants Stadium. An estimated 65,000 people showed up along with us on the second Saturday in July. The purpose of the concerts was to launch a movement to address the global climate crisis. More than 10 million people watched the concerts live or on television. Eight concerts took place in New York, London, Johannesburg, Rio De Janeiro, Shanghai, Tokyo, Sydney, and Hamburg. While the concerts served as a giant launch party for the cause, this is just the beginning of a global movement to help repair and sustain a climate in crisis. The Live Earth website offers many tangible ideas for both reducing one's personal footprint and encouraging others to do the same.

While my husband and I were pretty much as far back as you could get while still being in Giants Stadium, we were grateful to be able to see all of the performances and speeches in person. Our seats also gave us a good vantage point for checking out the rest of the crowd from around the world.

Knew the words to every Kelly Clarkson Song...Best fan ever

Some of the highlights included performances by Bon Jovi, Alicia Keys, Roger Waters, and John Mayer. My four favorite moments were Melissa Etheridge's performance of music and words (here is the link to the first part - be sure to check out the second part on youtube as well), Jane Goodall's speech complete with two chimp greeting calls, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s speech about what we can do to promote effective and sustainable environmental policys, and the audience-generated wave.

While many of the other moments mentioned above were broadcast internationally, the wave was one of the most moving moments of the night. It began as a spontaneous rumble somewhere on one of the lower tiers of the stadium and turned into a musical movement of its own, as each section waited like an instrument in an orchestra to stand up and cheer at the appropriate time. The wave traveled through the stadium several times, picking up volume and synchronicity with each pass. It was a profound representation of what can happen when thousands of people make a collective decision to work together. While the moment passed as soon as Cameron Diaz came out to introduce The Police, we were all left with the knowledge that no matter what differences exist between 65,000 people, we all have the power to work together to shape the future of the home we all share.

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