And Reznor himself was playing six songs from Hesitation Marks for the first time live; NIN had performed at several festivals in Europe and the United States this summer with a slightly different band. The 24-song set could have benefited from more rehearsal (more technical than musical issues), better pacing and the inclusion of NINs biggest hit, Closer, which was typically the closing number this summer. But then the St. Paul show had a more organic feel than NINs other Twin Cities performances in this century. Hands clenched around the microphone, biceps bulging and sweat pouring down his face, Reznor came out roaring at the X. With the overhead light rigging hanging low to make it seem like the band was performing in a club with a 10-foot ceiling, NIN opened with the thrash and throb of Copy of A from the new album and the electro shock of 1,000,000 from 2008s The Slip. Soon thereafter, the pulverizing March of the Pigs reminded the near-capacity crowd of 12,000 of NIN mid-90s heyday. But momentum slowed with the new disco funk All Time Low, which was the nights low point. Other new numbers including Came Back Haunted with its David Bowie-like swagger and the moody ballad While Im Still Here had more impact live than on record. Ten tracks from Hesitation Marks were included, though Reznor never plugged the album. To the delight of the crowd, the home stretch featured old favorites, including the electro-stomp Wish, Only with its jittery rhythms, The Hand That Feeds with its bazooka-resounding brutality and the headbanging hit Head Like a Hole. Then Reznor, who had stalked the stage with seething energy but none of the scary danger of old, went arty on Even Deeper, allowing Fischer to unleash an otherworldly coo that built into a scream. Always big on stage fog and strobe lights, NIN has long featured creative use of state-of-the-art lighting.
Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys among performers at NYC concert highlighting worldwide poverty
Also on the bill were Jessie J, Labrinth, Ed Sheeran, Rita Ora, Mercury Prize nominees Rudimental, Ellie Goulding, Beverly Knight, Jamie Cullum and former X Factor contestant Jahmene Douglas, who performed with the London Community Gospel Choir. Plan B opened the show with his track ‘Ill Manors’, also performing ‘She Said’ and ‘Stay Too Long’, and was followed by Rizzle Kicks, who performed ‘Lost Generation’ and, as with most other artists, a cover version. They chose The Beatles’ ‘Blackbird’. Most artists refrained from making statements beyond being proud and honoured to participate while on stage, although Tinie Tempah did add his own tribute to the murdered teen. “This night is about the amazing work done by the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust so let’s have a big cheer for them,” he said after performing ‘Pass Out’. “On a personal level, it feels like we’re celebrating a bit of justice as well. Stephen Lawrence, may your soul rest in perfect peace.” The rapper then performed ‘Written In The Stars’, and later returned to the stage to duet with Rita Ora on ‘RIP’. Ora also covered Prince song ‘Diamonds And Pearls’. Oscar winner and mastermind of the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony Danny Boyle appeared on stage to introduce Stephen’s mother Doreen Lawrence, who was recently made a peer for her work campaigning in her son’s name and against racial inequality and social injustice. She praised the artists involved for giving up their time for free to support that charity, and spoke about how important awareness and funds raised on the evening would be to the Trust. Highlights of the concert will be shown on BBC1 on October 1 at 10.35pm and repeated on BBC Three on October 5, with additional performances available on red button interactive.
The Global Citizen Festival coincides with the U.N. General Assembly. Fans earned free tickets for helping spread the word or volunteering to help end world poverty. World leaders who attended included Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. There is so much energy here tonight. We can power the world, Ban told the crowd. Will.i.am and Olivia Wilde were among the celebrity attendees. Wonder ended the five-hour event, electrifying the crowd during his hour-long performance. He even teased concertgoers before singing Signed, Sealed, Delivered Im Yours. Thats it! he yelled, then added: Yall wanna jam some more? John Mayer also performed Saturday and was a favorite with his solo work on the guitar. He was full of power when he performed Slow Dancing In a Burning Room and Gravity. Its so nice to be here, he said. Other performers included Kings of Leon and Alicia Keys, whose set included No One and Empire State of Mind. I believe if we dont care about each other, who will? the singer said. Help me celebrate tonight so we never forget. Wonder also had a touching moment when he sang John Lennons Imagine and encouraged the audience to lobby for more gun laws. Can you believe blind people have guns? he said. Lets keep it real.