Saturday, September 11, 2010

Elevation, Baby

For my money, the two most poignant 9/11 tributes, delivered in the months immediately following the atrocity by Muslim terrorists in New York.

First, from the Concert for New York City, held October 20, 2001. In this tribute concert to the cops and firemen who sacrificed so much on 9/11, headlined by the likes of McCartney, Jagger, Richards, Bowie, Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, etc., a young singer-songwriter who fortuitously had a hit record the previous summer about every day heroes, stole the show. John Ondrasik, aka Five For Fighting, with 'Superman (It's Not Easy)', the climax to the 5-hour TV broadcast, which he said during an interview on NARN last year, he delivered fighting back tears throughout. A note-perfect, soothing respite for an America in mourning:

And then the morning after. Five months past, on February 3, 2002, U2 performing at halftime of Superbowl 36 in New Orleans. Turning their 1987 ballad "Where the Street Have No Name" into a sublime tribute to the victims of 9/11. What a spectacle. The energy of the youthful, American crowd on the stadium floor. Bono racing around the stage. The names of the victims slowly crawling up the nylon screen to the sky, as if on their way to heaven. The band locked in and feeling every note. And finally, Bono miming a heart, then revealing the American flag under his jacket. It was a valentine to this besieged country from the these foreigners who happened to be the biggest band in the world. At this moment, it was clear that we're going to be all right. In fact, we cannot be stopped. In these increasingly uncertain times, something to be reminded of again.