And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we'll see
No I won't be afraid
Oh, I won't be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me..."
Ben E. King
The healing power of music is undeniable.
So, last night -- with the hope that some music could help soothe my sad soul -- I headed to the Hope VI concert in Red Bank, NJ. I've attended this show almost every year and it never fails to put me in the holiday spirit. And this year, with the devastation caused by superstorm Sandy, it seemed everyone in the theater was longing for that boost of optimism.
With performances by Jon Bon Jovi, Southside Johnny, Gary US Bonds, the incomparable Ben E. King and a band of nearly every Jersey Shore musician I know, led by Bobby Bandiera, it was 2.5 hours of unbridled fun. Exactly what we needed.
After some great performances by members of the band (including favorites Layonne Holmes, Ray Andersen and Bob Burger), out comes Ben E. King..truly one of the greats of all-time. I loved Southside coming out to sing back-up on This Magic Moment, Spanish Harlem and Under the Boardwalk (#JerseyStrong, baby!)
|Ben E. King and Southside|
Then, Southside did his set. I love this man. End of story.
Perfect for the occasion, Johnny opened with Better Days (I once again reiterate, if you do not own this album, your music collection is seriously lacking.) He continued with I Don't Want to Go Home (none of us did, by the way), This Time It's For Real, Hearts of Stone and Talk To Me. He sounded fantastic. He was having a great time..and so were we.
And, for a while, we almost forgot the pain and turmoil of the past year. The power of music.
This was basically Jersey's version of the 12.12.12 concert..and with a MUCH better ending -- everybody on stage singing Stand By Me, led by Ben E. King (and Southside dancing with Elmo!)
Looking through the pictures this morning, it occured to me that it was truly a night of "American idols" and the singers that influenced them.. Ben E. King --> Southside Johnny --> Jon Bon Jovi.
Here are a few more images..
|Southside Johnny, Ben E King, Gary US Bonds|
|Jon Bon Jovi|
|the ORIGINAL Jersey Johnny|
|..just don't ask..it's Southside LOL|
|Grinches - buy one, get one free! (Southside)|