Global Citizen Festival Brings 60,000 To N.Y.'s Central Park for Jay Z, No Doubt, More
September 29, 2014 at 11:48 AM (PT)
Last SATURDAY's GLOBAL CITIZEN FESTIVAL drew a crowd of 60,000 people to the GREAT LAWN at CENTRALPARK in NEW YORK CITY.
Sponsored by the GLOBAL POVERTY PROJECT, whose goal is to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030, among the performers at the six-hour show were JAY Z, NO DOUBT, CARRIE UNDERWOOD, THE ROOTS, FUN. and TIESTO, all donating their services to the cause.
There were several world leaders on hand, too. NARENDRA MODI, the Prime Minister of INDIA, reaffrirmed a commtiment to provide toilets to all Indian citizens by 2019, while EMA SOLBERG, Prime Minster of NORWAY, pledged more than $1.2 billion over the next six years for vaccinations in underserved countries.
Even the show's headliner, the usually unflappable JAY Z, was astonished at the sea of people.
Tickets for the event were earned through Internet activity — sending tweets, signing petitions, forwarding FACEBOK messages, etc.. For the first time, the concert aired live on MSNBC and was also live streamed, with an edited version shown on NBC.)
The N.Y. TIMES' JON CARAMANICA dubbed NO DOUBT, "taut and convincing... GWEN STEFANI maturing into full DEBBIE HARRY mode, singing in a tough husky voice." They were joined by STING for a cover of THE POLICE's "Message in a Bottle." He noted FUN. for its "family-sized QUEEN-ISMS" and TIESTO "for his booming post-trance pop." He thought 'CARRIE UNDERWOOD "appeared to be undersinging during her set of bionic anthems, either to protect her voice or because cameras can’t really tell the difference."
Celebrities, including ANDRIAN GRENIER, OLIVIA WILDE and JESSICA ALBA, introduced the musicians, while such political presences as U.N. Secretary General BAN KI-MOON, AMERICAN ambassador to the U.N. SAMANTHA POWER, WORLD BANK President JIM YONG KIM and NELSON MANDELA's grandson NDABA MANDELA were also on hand.
Only a few of the performances were political. THE ROOTS performed a cover of FELA KUTI's “Water No Get Enemy,” while ALICIA KEYS appeared with IDAN RAICHEL, an ISRAELI musician, and ALI AMR, of PALESTINIAN background, on her new song, “We Are Here.”
JAY Z’s set was full of "social messages ... though not the sort that lined up with the day’s causes," according to CARAMANICA, adding, "he delivers them with the confidence of someone who’s seen both sides," from great poverty to great wealth.
BEYONCE also made an appearance to perform a duet with her husband on "Holy Grail" and "Young Forever." CARAMANICA, addressing the rumors of marital discord between the two, said the couple "reshaped [the day's] narrative ... two people doing an act of charity, for the planet, but also each other."