‘We Love NYC’ concert canceled halfway by Lightning Threat
UPDATE: “We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert”, the concert scheduled by Clive Davis in Central Park, was canceled just after mid-term on Saturday due to lightning strikes within 10 miles of the Great Lawn.
Artists like Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Elvis Costello, Maluma, Patti Smith and the Killers had yet to appear when it was closed. Those who arrived on stage before the brutal cancellation included Jennifer Hudson, Polo G, Andrea Bocelli, Earth Wind & Fire, LL Cool J, Kane Brown, Journey, Santana, Jon Batiste and the New York Philharmonic.
The crash came in the middle of a Barry Manilow medley at 8:37 p.m., as the 60,000 fans in attendance and even those in the VIP area were ordered to exit immediately.
Confusion reigned the day after the mass exit. While an announcer can be heard on the CNN show telling attendees that the show has been “canceled,” in an effort to convince latecomers to leave, some fans on social media have reported that Mayor Bill de Blasio had come out and suggested they take refuge near cases, the show could be restarted later.
Ironically, Manilow had gone far enough in his medley to sing “Copacabana”, “Mandy” and “Can’t Smile Without You”, but failed to hit the capper set for her set, “I Made This Through. the rain.
For nearly three hours afterward, as some of the artists who had yet to perform waited for things in their trailers, Clive Davis and other organizers chatted with city officials with the idea that the show could resume without an audience and end as a pure broadcast event. . But hopes of a crowd-free recovery were in vain, with host network CNN announcing just before 10:30 a.m. – with rain and lightning still in the area – that there was no possibility even of a impromptu and informal finish.
The concert and the broadcast were to last five hours. It was two hours and 37 minutes after the show started when Manilow, in the middle of the verse of “I can’t smile without you,” was interrupted by an announcer saying, “Attention. Please pay close attention to the measurements. Due to the approach of inclement weather, all people should move quickly and calmly to the nearest exits and to your vehicles and protected areas. Some fans were reluctant to leave, but the announcer quickly declared on PA that the event was canceled.
Despite this, CNN urged viewers to stick around by putting a chyron on screen for much of the next three hours that read, “The gig could resume soon after the bad weather has passed.” This belief seemed to be more than just hope, as presenter Anderson Cooper interviewed artists in their trailers who said they believed some sort of ending, however short, might be in order, although the fans were told the concert was on hold.
The CNN weather presenter said city officials previously revealed that the show should be canceled if there was lightning within a 10 mile radius, and once it occurred in areas of Rockaway and of Battery, there was no choice but to undo it. The lightning represented the outer flank of Hurricane Henri, 270 miles from Manhattan at the time of the show.
“They called the show and then everyone was like, ‘Wait a minute, we could be back,’” Costello told Cooper in a phone interview about two hours after the show closed. “There is, after all, a big old storm coming…. (But) if there’s a way to go play a few songs to get it to some kind of musical conclusion, that would be great. Let’s see what happens. “
That was not to be the case, even as Cooper continued to interview stars who were in their trailers or, in Patti Smith’s case, already offsite. Hearing that host Gayle King was in a trailer where the killers and others were set up, the CNN host coaxed King into FaceTiming the network one live stream of the Killers making an acoustic “Mr. The Good Side,” after initially hesitating, seemingly jokingly, saying she wanted to save it for her CBS show on Monday morning.
By 10:00 am, what appeared to be a hundred fans in the rain had been cleared back into the area, raising hopes for a very late coda for the show. Cooper continued with what he called “our one-show freeform jazz odyssey,” which got more and more silly as he joked with the stars in the rain, with some viewers likening it to the show. one of his craziest New Years Eve shows.
When word finally came that the show was canceled, Cooper went through the final stages of denial. “I’m like the last guy at the party who says’ No! With the time change, we have one more hour! ‘ He joked. “They whisper in my ear that it’s done, but I really feel like I’m not ready to give up on that yet … I just felt like we were bonding with all these people and having fun, and backstage shows… Apparently the show isn’t happening. That’s the word. Is it official? It’s official. It does not happen, I am told over and over again. He finally sinks. I am super stunned.
“It’s such a shame,” Manilow told Cooper earlier. “They cut us off and threw us off the stage because they were afraid of lightning. It was getting very dangerous there. The singer then asked his music director to play “I Made It Through the Rain” on a keyboard over the phone, as Cooper waved his arms back and forth.
The first highlights of the show included the reveal of what the star of Aretha Franklin’s song “Respect” was going to perform: It was “Nessun Dorma”, the opera piece that Franklin sang at the Grammys without warning when Pavarotti had to step down. Hudson sang with the Philharmonic, as did Andrea Bocelli, who performed “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and “O Sole Mio”.
Julia Michaels and JP Saxe have joined forces for their duo “If the World Was Ending”. Most of the other performers got two songs each, including Santana, who did one number with Wyclef Jean and another with Rob Thomas. Earth Wind & Fire were joined by Lucky Daye on vocals for “You Want My Love” and Babyface on guitar.
The biggest crowd response was for a (mostly) vintage rap medley, performed by what emcee DJ Cassidy described as “the Avengers of hip-hop”: LL Cool J and Rev Run (“Mama Said Knock You Out “and” It’s Tricky “), Miss Mel and Scorpio (” The Message “), Busta Rhymes and Spliff Star (” Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See “), French Montana, Fat Joe and Remy Ma (“All the Way Up” and “Lean Back”) and young star A Boogie Wit da Hoodie (“Look back on her”).
Gayle King hosted and the personalities called for the presentations included Senators Chuck Schumer and de Blasio, who called the soon to be truncated event “the biggest concert in New York City history.”