Global Citizen 2021: You’ve seen how it is with overwhelming issues such as global warming and soaring poverty. Sometimes, you’d like to confront and take on these issues, and other times you would prefer to go away from them, given the weighty and difficult it can be. The same dynamic was evident in this year’s New York edition of the 10th annual Global Citizen concert, a concert and Save the World pep talk held within Central Park that found an assortment of performers trying, in diverse ways to balance the excitement of performing live and the dread of a world that is slowly falling apart on a variety of areas.
Global Citizen, which dubs itself as an “international advocacy organization” aimed at addressing these issues, held concerts across the globe in the exact same time. Ed Sheeran and Elton John performed at the Paris concert as did Stevie Wonder, H.E.R., Migos and OneRepublic were present in L.A. The next show was in London was presented by Duran Duran, Kylie Minogue and Nile Rodgers and Chic.
However, it was the New York show, conducted on the same Great Lawn that hosted last month’s partly-rained-out “Homecoming” all-star event, featured the largest and most glamorous lineups of the bunch with a strong focus on the 21st century of pop. The event ran for six hours, and was hosted by Coldplay, Billie Eilish and Jennifer Lopez, who were followed by Lizzo, Camila Cabello, Meek Mill, Shawn Mendes Alessia Carra, Burna Boy, Cyndi Lauper, Jon Batiste, Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang and Bob Marley’s grandson Skip (who kicked off the evening by singing a medley of all the stars “One Love” and “Get Up Stand Up”).
The duo of Eilish and Lizzo effortlessly balanced the joy with worry. Like other performers throughout the show, such as Mendes They appreciated the excitement of getting back on stage after the lockdown of live music, and Lizzo particularly was clearly moved by the affection the audience gave her. The pop singer is one of the most charming and charming entertainers, she was able to keep audience in her pink bodysuit right from the beginning and throughout “Good as Hell” and “Rumors,” and the unavoidable flute solo in “Juice” — and laughed, “Don’t let me pull any sick bitch tricks out,” after flashing her back to the audience.
However, Lizzo did not deny the significance of the situation. “And now I’m a rich bitch, that’s exciting, that’s never happened,” Lizzo said. “I’ll be thinking, “What kind of rich woman do I like to turn into?’ I’ve decided to become an charitable person. I’d like to help others.” (She also informed the audience that the location of the concert was recognized, more than 150 years ago in the past, in the past as Seneca Village, a largely black neighborhood that was removed to make way for the creation of a park.) Her inspirational speech–leading the audience in a rendition of “I love you, you are beautiful, and you can do anything”-and brought people together in a manner unlike any other moment throughout the entire day.
In her final set, which included all of six tracks–Eilish also took a walk along the line between joy and fear: “This is real–it’s no joke,” she declared of the global crisis in her set, noting that the crowd “makes me hopeful.” She expressed her hope for the future that the climate-change legislation that is scheduled for a Congressional vote will be passed. But, she also stated to the audience, “We’re going to forget all the problems in the world” through music. Beginning with a rousing “Bad Guy,” she demonstrated how far she’s come in her career as a live performer in the last couple of years. Her brother Finneas and a moody number such as “My Future” and “Happier Than Ever” remain not suitable for outdoor events However, Eilish demonstrated her ability to make the most of an expansive arena and setting.
A few participants were caught in messages at times and after. Cyndi Lauper dedicated her heavy percussion almost reggae-inspired remake to “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” to “the women and girls of Afghanistan.” (Accordingly, the track wasn’t as cheerful as older self.) In what might have been a tense time, Cara announced that her new album dropped earlier in the day however, she compensated for it by performing one of the songs which was a mellow, song of inspiration “Best Days” that felt made for the more optimistic parts of the day.
Some people merely ignored or dismissed the message of the concert. Jennifer Lopez coyly referred to having “love on the brain,” she was thrilled to have LL Cool J and Jah Rule (but not a particular prominent lover) for rapping cameos, and provided an early preview of a love track for her forthcoming film, Marry Me. The set was brief, but Meek Mill mentioned, not only once, but twice that his new album is due out on the same week. Cabello’s romped through a costume-and-dancer-heavy extravaganza. Mendes appeared during her performance for the duet of “Senorita,” blasted out his arena-pop and danced through the crowd, but made only a few hints to the reason why everyone was there.
In addition, the crowd of more than 60,000 clarified which non-musical performances they prefer. The biggest roar of the evening came from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and it wasn’t just at the odd sound of Harry shouting, “New York cit-aaayyyy!” The moment the duo spoke, Markle spoke, speaking about the issue of people who have and not been vaccinated worldwide, she was treated as a heroine from the new generation. However, not as New York mayor Bill DeBlasio who was booed loudly, and local Senator Chuck Schumer, whose statement that Congress is doing its best didn’t receive much attention even a little.
After Eilish was done, a large portion of the crowd – who by the time they left was there for up to eight or seven hours – began to leave. The remaining fans were treated to an uncharacteristic performance by Coldplay and they fully accepted the international-music-citizen element of the show more than any band before them Saturday. Chris Martin and company may be seasoned veterans with more than two decades of successes (and critiques) to their credit however they’re confident and experienced enough to be able to share the stage with no reservations.
Eilish and Finneas together with the group for “Fix You” (with Eilish singing the lead vocal and dancing during the final section) as Mendes and Cabello took part in an unplugged version of “Yellow.” Lang Lang was the conductor of the chamber ensemble with an instrumental rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” earlier in the day to pay tribute for Live Aid, took over the piano portion of “Clocks.” By way of a screen that was video-based, the band recorded a version that BTS performed behind Coldplay in “My Universe.” One of the most exciting moments was the manner in which Coldplay transformed into a credible world-music group while playing Esther Chungu (whom Martin introduced as “The Beyonce of Zambia”) on “Jehovah.”
When Martin introduced a person he called “one of the greats,” using”greats “great” a dozen or more times, everyone would have expected a new top-of-the-line collaboration. The guest was Paul Simon, who never was able to sing in the last month’s canceled Central Park show.
The idea of a Simon-Martin duo (sorry, Artie) sounded appealing. Simon’s set was his playing “The Boxer” and “The Sound of Silence,” with Coldplay absent from the stage. It was an unforgettable New York moment – Simon finally completing what he was unable to perform on the same stage just a month ago and with the audience noticeably thinned by the time he was done the show was also an unsettling experience.