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Rocking the Planet

Nobel Peace Prize Concert Oslo Spektrum Oslo, Norway Pictured L-R Melissa Etheridge, Al Gore , Kevin Spacey and KT Tunstall, backstage at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert
Nobel Peace Prize Concert Oslo Spektrum Oslo, Norway Pictured L-R Melissa Etheridge, Al Gore , Kevin Spacey and KT Tunstall, backstage at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert (Sandy Young - Sandy Young - For The Washington Post)

During the concert, the audience watched a videotaped interview Spacey conducted with Rajendra Pachauri, head of the IPCC.

"Surely there are skeptics still out there," Spacey said.

"Well, there will always be some skeptics," Pachauri said. "As you know, there is still in existence something called the Flat Earth Society. There are people -- a very limited number, thank God -- who believe the Earth is flat."

"Yes, I believe many of them live in Washington, D.C.," Spacey said.

Spacey recently finished filming "Recount," an HBO movie about the 2000 election in which he plays Ron Klain, Gore's former chief of staff.

Backstage after the concert, Gore approached Lennox, another Academy Award-winning performer. "I just love your work," Gore said, holding out his arms to Lennox, who hugged him emotionally and said, "Congratulations on everything you've done."

A few minutes later, Lennox, in a fiery interview, called the Bush administration "absolutely disgusting" and said she lamented that Gore was not elected president in 2000.

Tunstall, 32, jumped up and down when Gore approached her, and hugged him close. "I've got all your songs," the Nobel laureate told her. "I play them all the time." Tunstall later said she had never met Gore before, but "he speaks from the heart."

"I trust him, and there are so few people I believe in public life these days," she said.

Gore worked the room slowly, spending time with each artist. He made small talk with Thurman and her two young children. He spoke to Juanes briefly in Spanish and told him his performance had been "fantastico."

"He's a politician, but he has a lot of charisma," Juanes said, saying that it was his first meeting with Gore, and he found him "exactly the same as in the movie."

Tipper Gore, in a green dress and high-heeled boots, gently wiped sweat from her husband's brow.

As he left the room for a private performance by Earth, Wind & Fire, Gore stopped for a brief interview. He said he did feel more comfortable now as a sort of public-policy celebrity.

"There is a grain of truth to the old saying that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger," said the man of the hour, as he was whisked away to the next party.


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