Dave Grohl had just led Foo Fighters through a thrilling rendition of “My Hero” when he watched the thousands of people – real living people standing right in front of him – singing at the top of their lungs.
“GuyHe said, smiling as he savored the moment. “I remember this.”
More than a year after COVID-19 essentially shut down the live music business, Foo Fighters and a host of other acts have moved cautiously but enthusiastically into the post-pandemic future on Sunday night at SoFi Stadium in ‘Inglewood, where the international humanitarian group Global Citizen presented “Vax Live: The Concert to Bring the World Together.”
The grandiose production, which also featured performances by Jennifer Lopez, Eddie Vedder of J Balvin and Pearl Jam and live appearances by Prince Harry, Selena Gomez, David Letterman and Sean Penn, aimed to encourage people to get vaccinated and to urge the rulers of the rich. countries to share their resources with those who need them; an edited version of the concert airs Saturday on ABC, CBS, Fox and YouTube.
But while “Vax Live” will eventually reach its target audience via screens, Sunday’s recording, as Grohl cheerfully pointed out, was the kind of large-scale in-person event few musicians or fans have experienced since. early 2020. More Than One speaker on stage said the show was the first gig at SoFi, which only opened in September to host spectator-less NFL games by the Rams and Chargers.
“Vax Live” was not open to the general public; the audience consisted of around 20,000 visiting health professionals and other essential workers, all of whom were asked to provide full proof of vaccination upon arrival. operational. The fancy food stalls were closed and no alcohol was served; instead, workers wearing masks and gloves walked the winding hallways, handing out water bottles and apples individually wrapped in plastic.
Yet the welcome novelty of a live music experience after months of glitchy livestreams has not been lost on anyone in the building.
“Tonight is the first taste of the life we’ve all missed,” Penn said to applause as he introduced his old friend Vedder, who struck an endearing note of disbelief between songs. “Saint f…” he exclaimed. “There is a microphone. There is a crowd. “
Indeed, for artists who were getting back into fighting form, this was probably as sympathetic an audience as they could find. People even cheered when SoFi’s huge video screens showed a pre-recorded performance by HER, who sang “Glory” in the stadium parking lot surrounded by guitar students from LA public schools.
“It’s fun, it’s awesome, it’s nice just to be outside,” said spectator Yvette Kasper from Newbury Park with a warm laugh.
Yet few of the people on Bill took advantage of the coast opportunity; the pent-up desire to perform ran through a fierce rendition of Vedder’s Pearl Jam’s “Corduroy” and his threesome support group and Balvin’s “Otra Noche Sin Ti,” which featured the synth love song. smooth pop like a kind of exploration of outer space with dancers and a giant replica of the moon.
Foo Fighters brought in Brian Johnson from AC / DC to do “Back in Black”, immortal of this group, while Lopez sought a more unexpected pleasure for the public: “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond, for which she brought her mother on stage after explaining that her mother sang the song to her like a lullaby when she was young.
Dressed in a feathered pantsuit and dazzlingly too fabulous for Zoom, Lopez extended her arms considerably as they encircled Diamond’s words about “hands touching” – a glorious confirmation that the cheap seats and theaters of showbiz intended for them seem to be on the way home. .
Among the luminaries using their fame in an attempt to tackle vaccine hesitancy and uneven vaccine distribution, Prince Harry has been greeted the most with enthusiasm; he was also most blunt in describing vaccines as a “basic human right” and warning against misinformation and misinformation circulating online about them.
“I understand why people are confused or sometimes don’t know what to think or believe about vaccines,” he said. “We are experiencing a viral pandemic alongside a digital pandemic.”
Of course, Harry was a message intended less for the pro-vaccine crowd at SoFi and more for those who might later watch him on TV. A little later, as Chrissie Teigen introduced Lopez, the model and writer played straight to those in the house, and ultimately out on their own, when she dropped an F-bomb after missing her scripted lines.
No one blamed him for the time to try again.