Best performance in the tribute

What’s your choice?

Mine is Celine Dion (I think) singing “God Bless America.” She’s not a singer I care much about, but she had the best songwriter doing the music.

Second is Simon’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”

Weakest was probably Willie Nelson and “America the Beautiful.” A bit too slow, and too long. More rehearsal would have helped, though I guess there wasn’t time.

Neil Young’s Imagine.

Billy Joel’s * New York State of Mind*

And I liked Celine’s rendition. She came out of retirement for this.

I have never particularly cared for John Lennon’s “Imagine,” which I think is overly treacly, and the most overplayed song in the history of FM radio.

But I’ll be darned if Neil Young’s rendition didn’t move me close to tears.

I’m sure it won’t be considered the best, but my favorite was Tom Petty & I Won’t Back Down

I’ll give a little respect for Limp Bizkit doing Wish You Were Here, but I send demerits to whoever decided to change the lyrics to “glad that you’re here” or whatever that was. When it first started I thought “Oh God, don’t tell me they got Pink Floyd! Ooh, maybe John Watters is back, too!” Oh, well, too bad. And I think the original lyrics would have been a little more poignant.

Sting is just so smooooooth. Thought Sheryl Crowe’s song was lovely, though it should have been shortened a tad.

Wasn’t impressed with anything in particular about any of the performances, but it’s funny you mention those three:

  1. As a rule of thumb, I can’t stand Celine Dion. She sings everything, including this wonderful song, like it’s the Titanic theme. Plus she’s Canadian, which I realize is North America, but she just seemed a strange choice for a song that I’ve always considered a great theme for the USA.

  2. Another simply wonderful song that was ruined by the man who wrote it, of all people! The problem is it was written with Art Garfunkel’s much higher and broader range in mind.(Where was Art anyway?) Paul can carry a tune as well as anyone, but for the most part he belongs in that elite group of songwriters who aren’t the best interpreters of their own material(i.e.,Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, etc.) :o

  3. IMHO this was the best song I heard all evening. Willie and Company sounded fine, they sounded very strong on the much-lesser-known later verses. Either they had a very big teleprompter or they got a lot more rehearsal time. I suspect they sang it slower so people at home could sit and think about the actual meaning of a beautiful song they’ve heard so many times before, but never LISTENED to. When they kept singing after they went back and repeated the first verse, I could kind of imagine the musical director pointing to his watch and making motions like "we’ve got 5 minutes left, keep singing! :cool:

Seriously, it wasn’t a bad 2 hrs of entertainment, I wish they would have stuck with the whole “cover versions” theme. I gathered many of these songs were new or written for the occasion, and the unfamiliarity with the songs kind of lost my interest at several points.

I really liked Bruce Springsteen’s song. It’s still running through my head.

The finale of “America the Beautiful” damn near brought me to tears, and I don’t tear up easily.

I seriously hope they put the whole show on a CD. I’d buy in a hearbeat, and I would hope that the money from the sales of the CDs would go to the American Red Cross and other charitable organizations.

Gotta second Atreyu because all through it, I kept thinking the same thing. And just this once, the various record companies might speed through all the clearances needed to get a CD out quickly.

If they do, I will be listening to Ms. Dion’s incredible performance (by the way, I thought it only added to the poignance to have a Canadian sing it) plus the Limp Bizkit song (a revelation to this boomer-aged consumer, who will be checking into their music more closely in the future).
Also have to give the props to Billy Joel, who was absolutely right on with his NY State of Mind.

Biggest surprises of the night: Neil Young whose thin nasal voice turned out to be perfect for Lenon’s Imagine AND a haunting, blow-me-away version of Bon Jovi’s Livin’ on a Prayer with really excellent violin.

Aside: seemed to be a lot of strings about, which only added texture and depth to the songs.

Yes, I’d buy that CD in a heartbeat.

I liked Neil Young. U2 was excellent. Dave Matthews (I think that was him. I am decidedly uncool.) was good. Mariah Carey is too “diva” for me to enjoy her. Petty made me smile. One of the few “shove it up your ass” moments of the night! I loved it. Faith Hill was elegant as usual.

A few other thoughts:

Ali hasn’t made many speeches in the last 5-10 years and he’s now done two in the last week. How this must be affecting him.

Eastwood looked weird. His jacket poked out at hsi hip. Was he packing heat?

Was Jennifer Anniston there? Brad Pitt was. I saw a lot of couples. The Cruise/Cruz crew was there. Goldie and Kurt.

Missing? Seinfeld. Any athelete other than Ali (MJ?)

I liked “Livin’ On a Prayer” by Bon Jovi and “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” Both brought me to tears.

I duidn’t watch it on tv, I listened to it on the radio for most of my car ride home. It was a wonderful performance. if they cut out some of the intros (in particular, Julia Roberts) I will definitely buy the CD.

Was anyone else wondering how long it would take for the focus to move from the everyday, common folk who are suffering to the trials and tribulations of the famous folk? I’m surprised they lasted a whole 10 days without dominating the news in some way.

I was a pleasure seeing Eddie Vedder again. It’s not important that I didn’t understand a word he was saying. I just love that voice.

Neil Young’s version of Imagine was great.
Limp Bizkit changing the words to Pink Floyd was not too good of an idea.

Especially love how some of the songs had been on the ban list circulated by Clear Channel radio stations because they might upset listeners, like “Imagine” and “New York State of Mind.”

I was impressed that they didn’t have applause of any kind for the performances–they didn’t have the names of the artists. It wasn’t about them.

Cheryl Crow…it was beautiful.

I would’ve loved to hear Julian sing ‘Imagine.’

I would’ve loved to hear Ray Charles sing ‘God Bless America.’

I was moved by all of it–by how cathartic music can be. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for these artists to get through without losing it. But that’s why they’re pros.

It’s a tossup between Jack Lemmon and Robbie Benson.

Ooooooooooooh. THE Tribute.

never mind…

I had no idea Celine Dion was “retired”. I did hear that Paul Simon was going to pretty much retire - at least from major gigs - after “Capeman” flopped a couple of years ago. So I was happy to see him. And his rendition of “Bridge over Troubled Waters” was great - he breathed fresh life into a song that has been played to death in the last 30 years.
Billy Joel also did good. He took an old song of his that was a little bit corny, and made it very poignant. And Neil Young did a good job too. I usually don’t like covers of Lennon and Beatles songs, because they usually only make me long for the original
Really no one was really awful, Fred Durst, Mariah Carey, and Celine Dion - all singers I normally can’t stand - did ok. The title “Wish You We Here” probably expresses what so many people feel - even if the lyrics got altered.
In the opening, for just a second or two, when I saw the figure in black, with a guitar and a harmonica around his neck - I was sort of expecting Bob Dylan. But It was Springsteen of course.
I hope they rebraodcast it sometime soon…I think I missed a song or too.