Live Earth Makes Going Green Global
Sunday, July 8, 2007; 2:19 AM
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- In a 24-hour music marathon spanning seven continents, rock stars sharing the spotlight with aboriginal elders and famous scientists urged their fans to turn interest in the Live Earth events into environmental activism.
"Put all of this energy in your heart and help us solve the climate crisis," said former Vice President Al Gore, appearing onstage at the end of the final concert, staged at Giants Stadium in New Jersey.
With other shows in London, Sydney, Tokyo, Kyoto, Shanghai, Hamburg, Johannesburg, Rio de Janeiro _ and even a performance by a band of scientists at a research station in Antarctica _ organizers called Live Earth the biggest musical event ever staged, dwarfing the Live Aid and Live 8 concerts.
Live Earth venues featured aboriginal elders, chimpanzee calls from scientist Jane Goodall, a holographic Gore and more than 100 of the biggest names in music _ including Bon Jovi, Smashing Pumpkins and The Police.
The concerts were backed by Gore, whose campaign to force global warming onto the international political stage inspired the event. Musicians and celebrities at each show encouraged fans to take little steps, such as not leaving electrical devices plugged in when not in use and changing to low-energy light bulbs.
The Police, led by frontman Sting _ who along with his wife, Trudie Styler, has been active on environmental issues for years _ was the last act to perform in the global concert series. They were joined on stage by John Mayer and Kanye West for a version of "Message in a Bottle."
At the London show, the stadium's nonessential lights were turned off before the closing act _ Madonna _ came onstage, leaving the venue dark except for the glow of exit lights and the flashes of cameras.
"Let's hope the concerts that are happening around the world are not just about entertainment, but about starting a revolution," said Madonna, who sang a song she wrote for Live Earth called "Hey You."
The Beastie Boys wore their feelings on their sleeves, performing a furious set of their hits in tailored green suits and shades when they took the stage at Wembley Stadium.
In New Jersey, rocker Melissa Etheridge pounded out her song "I Need to Wake Up," which was featured in Gore's documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," and won an Oscar for best song this year.
Gore later introduced Bon Jovi, which hails from the Garden State, saying the group was one of the first to volunteer musical services when the concerts were announced. The band didn't make any environmental statements during its five-song set, but that didn't seem to matter to its cheering fans.
The former vice president called on members of the crowd to commit themselves to a seven-point pledge to combat global warming, including steps such as demanding a moratorium on building new coal-powered plants and fighting for more renewable energy.