Rihanna, Metallica Anchor 2016 Global Citizen Festival

5th Annual Global Citizen Festival 9-24-16

Saturday was a mad scene in Central Park as 60,000 turned up to see, by any standard, an impressive lineup of talent.  The musical parade in the early going – in the afternoon – included Demi Lovato, Ellie Goulding, and Major Lazer as well as special guest Usher.  Speakers included Queen Rania, Nancy Pelosi, Salma Hayek Pinault, and Jada Pinkett Smith.  Chelsea Handler, Neil Patrick Harris, and Seth Meyers added their personalities.  The event unfolded, as in past years, with about a 4:1 mixture of music and politics.  It makes for a long day but the crew and talent were on it and the weather was fine.  Individual issues were seized upon within the broad Global Citizen framework of ending extreme poverty by 2030.   Those watching the concert on MSNBC were urged to take specific actions – primarily by using social media – advocating a handful of issues such as empowering girls and women and aiding millions of refugees from war-torn regions around the world.

Chris Martin who, as Eddie Vedder pointed out, has done more for the organization than anybody [who isn’t a co-founder] was charming when he improvised lines about Rihanna and turned in a fine Crowded House cover with Eddie Vedder.  EV spoke about the antiquated values of Trump making a last gasp and also shared the stage with Yusuf/Cat Stevens for an excellent reading of Father and Son.  The men of peace spoke briefly about the times we are experiencing.  Meanwhile, Kendrick Lamar killed it, Metallica crushed it, and Yandel sexed it right up.  Rihanna found a new level of sex and it was over.

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