Last-Minute Live Earth Updates: Gore Adds DC Show, Gogol Joins Madonna
Fri, 06 Jul 2007 11:30:46
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Both Live Earth organizers and the performers they've booked are cutting it right down the wire for the biggest concert event in history. In what's widely seen as a major political coup for Live Earth co-organizer Al Gore, a ninth concert has just been added in Washington, DC, where country superstars Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood will headline a performance on the National Mall, two blocks from the U.S. Capitol. Republican lawmakers had previously lobbied successfully to prevent Live Earth from coming to DC, arguing that the event amounted to a partisan political event to rally support for Gore, a former Democratic presidential candidate whom many suspect may run again in 2008.
Meanwhile, Live Earth London has added an unlikely additional act to its bill: gypsy punk rockers Gogol Bordello, who will perform with Madonna. The band cancelled its scheduled appearance at another big festival this weekend, Scotland's T in the Park, to accommodate Madge's invitation to join her at Wembley Stadium.
Another rumored collaboration at Live Earth London officially fell through today, as a spokesperson for Justin Timberlake confirmed that the "SexyBack" singer will not make cameos during the Black Eyed Peas' and Duran Duran's sets as originally planned. "He wanted to appear," said the spokesperson, "but it's proving a logistical nightmare."
Amidst all the anticipation for the Live Earth concerts, there has come a backlash, as many non-participating bands and other observers are questioning whether such a large-scale event is really necessary to raise awareness about global warming and climate change. "The last thing the planet needs is a rock concert," Roger Daltrey, lead singer of The Who, told a British newspaper. And Matt Helder of the Arctic Monkeys told the AFP news service it would be "hypocritical" for their band to play Live Earth: "We're using enough power for ten houses just for lighting."
An undaunted Al Gore insists that Live Earth is "the beginning of a multiyear campaign, and that is exactly how this has been designed." Gore explained to MTV News that he and his fellow organizers have learned lessons from similar global concerts like Live 8: "We listened carefully to their advice to make this not just a one-day event."
—The ARTISTdirect Staff