10. James Taylor-“Fire and Rain”
Taylor was, and always has been, extremely solid. He has no bigger hit than the story of love lost in “Fire and Rain.” With so many hard rocking performances, it was nice to here Taylor slow it down a bit and turn in an emotional masterpiece.
9. Five For Fighting-“Superman (It’s Not Easy)”
Over a decade ago, an unlikely band called Five For Fighting took the music world by storm with a delicate little number about the “Man of Steel.” No song could better embody the efforts and vulnerability of the New York City first responders during 9/11.
8. John Mellencamp and Kid Rock-“Pink Houses”
Mellencamp’s “Pink Houses” is a somewhat cynical American anthem, but it has as much heart as it does cutting edge. John’s duet with Kid Rock was a bit of a strange combo, but it worked perfectly and really had the crowd on their feet.
7. Billy Joel-“Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out On Broadway)”
Joel’s “Miami 2017” tells the story of destruction in New York City. While the song’s lyrics are more satire than anything else, they really hit home during the concert. A usually rousing number was more sombre this time.
6. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards-“Salt of the Earth”
Of all the songs Richards and Jagger could have performed, “Salt of the Earth” seemed like an odd choice at the time. Those who heard the performance though, can attest to the amazing vulnerability shown by the two legendary musicians, making for an unlikely highlight.
5. Paul McCartney-“Freedom”
McCartney’s “Freedom” was anthem to liberty amidst terrorism and hatred. While somewhat heavy-handed, the song really struck a nerve post-9/11. The inclusion of many of the concert’s performers made this one all the more special.
4. The Who-“Won’t Get Fooled Again”
While somewhat past their prime, The Who rocked Madison Square Garden. A number of their performances could have made this list, but it was their power rock anthem that stole the show. A stunning catharsis for a city and country in mourning.
3. Adam Sandler-“Operaman”
Adam Sandler is an amazing comedian, which many nowadays forget. He was at his absolute best during the concert, doing his Operaman character, whom he perfected on SNL. Everybody, including Derek Jeter, was mentioned.
2. Elton John-“Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters”
Elton’s ode to New York City and its unique culture was amazing and really shook an already emotional house. As John has aged, his voice has gotten much deeper and richer. You could really hear this change during his performance.
- Paul McCartney-“Let It Be”
To headline “The Concert for New York,” you’d need to be a true music legend. This could only mean one living artist, Sir Paul McCartney. He was awesome playing both Wings and The Beatles’ major hits. No one song was more excellent than “Let It Be.” The song has always been extremely powerful, but this was even kicked-up another notch during the concert.