The giant Amnesty International concert went off as scheduled at Bercy Stadium in Eastern France last night. The show opened with Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gabriel, Tracy Chapman and Youssu N'Dour performing together on the Bob Marley classic, "Get Up, Stand Up." The performance itself was an anniversary of sorts -- it came ten years after Gabriel, Chapman and N'Dour took part in Amnesty's Human Rights Now tour.
Other highlights included an acoustic set from Bruce Springsteen, Radiohead's first live appearance in eight months, and performances from Alanis Morissette, Shania Twain, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page and the Asian Dub Foundation. Also on hand was the Dalai Lama, who took to the stage to urge the crowd of 16,000 to fight for human rights.
The concert marked the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights (see "Radiohead, Alanis Morissette, Others To Play Amnesty Concert"), and fifty years of support from the music community.
Other benefit shows took place around the States over a two-day period. Wednesday night saw Perry Farrell DJ a rave in Venice, Calif. which Pink Floyd's David Gilmour sat in for briefly, while other performers included rapper Kid Frost, DJ Moses, DJ Sara and DJ Keoki. Elsewhere, related concerts and benefits included Lou Reed in New York, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones in Boston and the Urge in St. Louis. On Thursday, the Deftones and Everclear's Art Alexakis played a benefit gig in Portland, Natalie Merchant performed in Connecticut, and X's John Doe played a set along with Mike Watt and others in L.A.