Entertainment

Gore, Live Earth musicians urge environmental action

The Police closed the Live Earth concert series in the U.S. Saturday night with their hit song Message in a Bottle, featuring a cameo by Kanye West repeating the lyric "Sending out an S.O.S." and adding the declaration "We can save the world!"

The Police closedthe Live Earth concert series in the U.S. Saturday night with their hit song Message in a Bottle, featuring a cameo by Kanye West repeating the lyric "Sending out an S.O.S." and adding the declaration "We can save the world!"

Sting, left, and Kanye West teamed up for the Live Earth finale in New Jersey on Saturday. ((Stan Honda/AFP/Getty))

After more than 24 hours worth of music that began in Sydney, Australia, and ended in East Rutherford, N.J., Live Earth's main organizer Al Gore urged the public to "put all this energy in your heart and help us solve the climate crisis."

Organized to focus public awareness on global warming and other environmental concerns, the day-long, continent-hopping series ended in the Western Hemisphere with rollicking performances from Roger Waters and the Police at New Jersey's Giants Stadiumand Lenny Kravitz closing down the vast — and free — Live Earth concerton Rio de Janeiro's famed Copacabana beach.

'Hearts will be opening to hear the plea of the natural world,' anthropologist Jane Goodall said from New Jersey. ((Tim Larsen/Associated Press))

Throughout the day, a host of celebrities appeared at the nine Live Earth concerts around the globe, with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Cameron Diaz, Chris Rock, Alec Baldwin, Boris Becker, Pauly Shore and Jane Goodall among those who urged action against climate change.

"If we would all start thinking about all the consequences of our actions every day … the world would start to change," Goodall, the renowned anthropologist and animal rights activist, said from New Jersey.

"I believe that after this event all around the world, hearts will be opening to hear the plea of the natural world … We must obey this appeal for help."

Earlier, on the same stage, actor Leonardo DiCaprio called Saturday's concerts "a tipping point in our history."

"Our actions from this day forward will help determine just what kind of future we pass on to our children and to their children," he said.

Leonardo DiCaprio was among the celebrities who took to Live Earth stages around the world. ((Tim Larsen/Associated Press))

Series touched down on 7 continents

Across seven continents, acts ranging from Kelly Clarkson to Angélique Kidjo to a five-piece band of scientists playing a tiny gig in Antarctica delivered Live Earth's call for action against climate change amid a host of high-energy musical performances.

From the umbrella-toting fans in Shanghai to bikini-clad concertgoers in Rio, music-lovers the world over took in a diverse lineup of acts.

The day-long concert series officially kicked off in Sydney, Australia, with a welcome ceremony by a group of aboriginal elders and a message from Gore sent live from Washington, D.C. — where he began his day.

Selected Live Earth performers

Sydney, Australia
Crowded House, Ghostwriters, Jack Johnson, Toni Collette & The Finish, Wolfmother.

Tokyo, Japan
Linkin Park, Rihanna, Rize, Xzibit, Kumi Koda, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Michael Nyman, Ayaka.

Shanghai, China
Sarah Brightman, Winnie Hsin, Anthony Wong, 12 Girls Band, Joey, Huang Xiao Ming, Soler.

Johannesburg, South Africa
Angelique Kidjo, Joss Stone, Danny K, The Soweto Gospel Choir, UB40, Zola.

Hamburg, Germany
Chris Cornell, Shakira, Enrique Iglesias, Katie Melua, Reamonn, Jan Delay, Lotto King Karl.

London, United Kingdom
Beastie Boys, Madonna, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Black Eyed Peas, Corinne Bailey Rae, Duran Duran, Foo Fighters, Genesis, James Blunt, Pussycat Dolls, Metallica, Spinal Tap, Snow Patrol, Keane, Kasabian.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Lenny Kravitz, Jorge Ben Jor, Macy Gray, Pharrell, Vanessa Da Matta.

Washington, D.C.
Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood.

East Rutherford, N.J.
The Police, Alicia Keys, Fall Out Boy, Bon Jovi, Melissa Etheridge, Kanye West, Dave Matthews Band, Akon, Kelly Clarkson, John Mayer, Roger Waters, Smashing Pumpkins, K.T. Tunstall, Keith Urban, AFI.

Officials estimated that 50,000 people took in performances in Sydney by the likes of surfer-turned-singer Jack Johnson, the rock group Wolfmother and reunited band Crowded House.

Next, in Tokyo, Gore appeared onstage in the Japanese capital as a hologram.

"Global warming is the greatest challenge facing our planet, and the gravest we've ever faced," he told the audience.

"But it's one problem we can solve if we come together as one and take action and drive our neighbours, businesses and governments to act as well. That's what Live Earth is all about."

Aside from hot Japanese acts like Rize, Genki Rockets and Ayaka, U.S. stars Rihanna and Linkin Park took to the Live Earth stage.

Xzibit onstage at the Tokyo leg of the Live Earth concerts on Saturday. ((Koji Watanabe/Getty))

"This is something that is going to live beyond us, go past us," said U.S. rapper Xzibit, speaking in Japan.

"When my son and the rest of the world's children inherit the Earth, I want them to have something they can hold on to, not something that's falling apart, on the brink."

The concert in Shanghai followed, featuring popular Chinese and Taiwanesesingers as well as British diva Sarah Brightman, whoperformed before approximately 3,000 fans before being rained out by thunderstorms.

Taiwanese singer Evonne Hsu performs during the Live Earth concert in Shanghai on Saturday. ((Eugene Hoshiko/Associated Press))

The wave of music proceeded through to Johannesburg,South Africa, andHamburg, Germany, as a diverse range of performers — from Shakira,Chris Cornell and Jan Delayto the Soweto Gospel Choir, Zola and Danny K — delivered hits and urged viewers to personally take action to combat climate change.

On Saturday morning, Gore helped kick off the Washington, D.C., show at the National Museum of the American Indian at the National Mall.

Organized by the Native American community, the Mother Earth event was elevated to official Live Earth concert status at the last minute on Friday and headliners such as Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood added to the lineup of mostly aboriginal musicians.

Al Gore opened the Washington, D.C., Live Earth concert at the National Museum of the American Indian. ((Brendan Smialowski/Getty))

Gore repeated his earlier statement that despite the wish of certain U.S. politicians to keep his climate change awareness event out of Washington, "the cavalry didn't come riding to the rescue, the American Indians did."

In London, such performers as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Keane, Black Eyed Peas, the Pussycat Dolls and Duran Duran rocked the stage and offered environmental messages to an estimated 65,000 fans.

Phil Collins and the reunited Genesis urged the audience to make the planet "a place worth living in."

Phil Collins and Genesis performed at the Live Earth concert at Wembley Stadium in London. ((Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty))

Madonna, whose set included a tune called Hey You that she wrote specifically for Live Earth, declared that "tonight's concert and concerts going on all over the world are not just about entertainment but about starting a revolution."

Shortly before the pop diva's act, actor Terence Stamp had moderated over a symbolic moment in which all non-essential power to London's Wembley Stadium was cut.

"As the generation that history has chosen to inherit this crisis, we can be the generation that solves it," Stamp said.

The day included a handful of crowd-pleasing collaborations, including Corinne Bailey Rae with John Legend and Spinal Tap backed by Metallica (both in London), Angélique Kidjo with Joss Stone (in Johannesburg), Keith Urban rocking with Alicia Keys and The Police joined by John Mayer and Kanye West (both in East Rutherford, N.J.).

Experts shared green tips, urged action

Between musical sets at the various concerts worldwide,organizerstold the audience how they had made the massive shows more eco-friendly (by using biodegradable containers for the concessions, for example,or buying carbon credits to offset the energy used). Fans and viewers were also urgedto adopt Gore's "seven-point pledge" to combat climate change.

Madonna on stage at London's Wembley Stadium during the British leg of the Live Earth concerts on Saturday. ((Anthony Harvey/Associated Press) )

Performers and hosts also shared simpletips for people to use at home, from unplugging appliances and electronics not in use, to switching to energy-saving light bulbs.

Organizers saidthey expected the concerts and their message to reach approximately two billion viewers, throughbroadcasters airing the concert series andonline streaming via MSN.

Critical reactions

Since Live Earth was first announced by Gore and co-founder Kevin Wall, the concert promoter behind Live 8, a host of critics have denounced the concerts.

Anti-poverty activist Bob Geldof has been among those who called the series "just an enormous pop concert" and criticized the movement for lacking achievable goals.

Early estimates put the attendance at the free Live Earth concert on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro at about 400,000 on Saturday. ((Ricardo Moraes/Associated Press))

"The last thing the planet needs is a rock concert," The Who's Roger Daltrey said recently, questioning the true environmental message being sent when Live Earth rock stars — many whom live lavish lifestyles — were jetted to exotic locales to perform.

However, a few of Saturday's musicians chose to answer these critiques.

"If you want to peg me as not being entirely eco-friendly, you'll win," John Mayer admitted to reporters after his set in New Jersey. But he pointed to the overall goal organizers hope to achieve in the long run.

"It's very difficult to judge the success of a movement … You can't find out by 9 o'clock this evening how much awareness was raised … What you're really talking about is the placement of an idea at a rock show."

Live Earth 'beginning of a 3-year campaign,' says Gore

The day-long concert series, whichpresenters worldwide repeatedly described as historic,was an event to mark "the beginning of a three-year global campaign to get this information to every person on the planet," Gore said on Saturday.

Following the concert series, a global advertising campaign will continue to keep the Live Earth message in the minds of the public, he said, adding that he will also return to giving his climate change awareness slideshow — which inspired the Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth — and train others to give the presentation.

Keith Urban and Alicia Keys team up at the Live Earth concert at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Saturday. ((Tim Larsen/Associated Press) )

At one point, the former U.S. vice-president took the stage in New Jersey to thank everyone participating in his global event.

"You are Live Earth," he told viewers and concertgoers, before thanking the more than 100 performers "who are not only taking the stage, but taking a stand and helping to launch this global effort to solve the climate crisis."

Canadian parties among 'Friends of Live Earth' events

Though Canada didn't host one of the official concerts, Canadians took part in some of the more than 10,000 "Friends of Live Earth" events registered at the website.

For instance, Greenpeace organized an all-day concert and information fair in downtown Vancouver.

In Toronto, part of the busy downtown was closed for an outdoor Live Earth party and environmental fair Saturday afternoon, while a concert featuring prominent Quebec performers rolled out at Montreal's Old Port.

With files from the Associated Press, Canadian Press

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