The Album: Released this week, just over a month after it aired to millions around the globe, there are still some who have not yet heard this concert– including, of course, those knocked out by The Great Hurricane of 2012 who had no electricity to actually see it. Whatever your reason for buying this album–and there are indeed many good reasons to do so– the performances are generally good, with a few standouts and a few that are pretty rough around the edges.
For my money, Roger Waters is clearly one of the best here, and when Eddie Vedder joins him onstage for “Comfortably Numb”, the moment is certainly chill-worthy. The Stones are perfect, Billy Joel’s in great voice and his band superb, and Eric Clapton is excellent as always, especially in his nostalgic trio setting. Musically, The Who are rockin’, but Roger Daltrey continues to struggle vocally. Obviously songs like “Baba O’Riley” and “Love Reign O’er Me” weren’t exactly intended for 68 year-old singers to belt out, but props to Daltrey for giving it his best for the cause, and for recording those classic vocals in the first place. There are 24 tracks on this 2-CD set, culled from the original six-plus hour concert, and no doubt most people will find something to like– not the least of which is the complete exclusion of Kanye West.
The Bassists: Willie Weeks is a particular standout backing Eric Clapton, and– as he has done since John Entwistle’s passing– Pino Palladino does a stellar job with The Who (propelled by a ferocious Zak Starkey on drums). Here is the complete lineup of bassists:
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band: Garry Tallent
Roger Waters: Roger Waters
Bon Jovi: Hugh McDonald
Eric Clapton: Willie Weeks
Rolling Stones: Darryl Jones
The Who: Pino Palladino
Billy Joel: Greg Smith
Paul McCartney: Paul McCartney
Best Tracks: “Comfortably Numb” (Roger Waters), “Got To Get Better In A Little While” (Eric Clapton), “You Got Me Rocking” (Rolling Stones), “Miami 2017” (Billy Joel), “Empire State Of Mind” (Alicia Keys)
12-12-12 The Concert For Sandy Relief is available at Amazon.com.