Sometimes rock and roll can change the world. And sometimes rock and roll extravaganzas can be just a chance to party. Al Gore is a learned and well-intentioned man and I presume that the globe-spanning Live Earth concerts he inspired were indeed as well-intentioned as he is but one has to wonder what the long term changes that will come from this latest effort to use pop culture to change the world.
Band Aid/USA for Africa/Live Aid did not end hunger in
Live Earth will not, in and of itself, save the world, of course…no pop show will do that. Some of the stars who performed will hopefully make their lives more “green” while others may feel that having performed at the shows is enough to allow them to continue to live their luxurious lives the way they want (reports have it that fuel-guzzling, carbon spewing private planes and limos were in evidence at Live Earth.) Some of the people who attended may be moved to make their own lives more “green” but chances are, to be perfectly frank, a good percentage will not.
But, as a wise man once said, the longest journey begins with the first step. If even a small percentage of Live Earth participants, attendees, and viewers buy a few more fluorescent light bulbs or find other ways to reduce their so-called “carbon footprint”, it’s a start. Or at least so the cynical optimist in me would like to believe.
As to the shows themselves I didn’t really catch that much of them…I just couldn’t work up the enthusiasm to sit through hours of yet another such extravaganza. I caught bits and pieces…the unlikely duo of Keith Urban and Alicia Keys ripping through a credible version of “Gimme Shelter”, Madonna apparently invoking the spirit of Jimi Hendrix by humping a guitar against an amplifier stack, Foo Fighters, Kanye West, Kelly Clarkson, the Dave Matthews Band, Metallica, the Police…but nothing made me want to linger for long.
Save the world…and rock on.
* * * * *
More MKW Blogstuff: Bread and Roses