Sunday, September 28, 2014

3rd Annual Global Citizen Concert In Central Park Amid Heightened Security

In noticeably heightened security the U. S. Secret Service manned metal detectors at the third annual Global Citizen Concert in Central Park.  This is the first time such measures have been used for a concert in the celebrated park. (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge


By Geoffrey Croft

The third annual Global Citizen Concert arrived in Central Park under noticeably heightened Security on Saturday.   

The U. S. Secret Service manned metal detectors,  the first time such measures have been used for a concert in the celebrated park.  

Police with high-powered binoculars scanned the audience, a number of bomb-sniffing dogs could be seen working in concert with a heavy police presents.  

No Doubt's Gwen Stefani belts out a song at the Global Citizen Festival 2014, which returned to Central Park's Great Lawn on Saturday.  The band commanded the stage in an electrifying set. 

Several Prime Ministers and the Queen of Sweden participated in the event which aims to end extreme poverty in the world by 2030.

The concert coincides each year with the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York. 

Actors Jessica Alba and Ryan Reynolds joined concert repeaters including Olivia Wilde and host Hugh Jackman and more than 60,000 attendees on a picture perfect day that reached a high of 83 degrees. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio & wife Chirlane McCray opened the festivities by greeting the crowd.

Mayor Bill de Blasio & wife Chirlane McCray open the festivities.  

Electronic DJ Tiesto opened the show followed by The Roots. NYC's The Fun performed a set including their anthem hit We are Young.   

A pregnant Alicia Keys dressed in all white performed her new single "We Are Here" with Israeli and Palestinian musicians. 

"The opposite of poverty is justice," she said. "Let's stop waiting for others to change our world and do it ourselves."

A very pregnant Alicia Keys after finishing her set. 

Carrie Underwood, also pregnant, performed a 50-minute set, including WastedJesus Take the Wheel,  and a cover of R.E.M.'s Everybody Hurts

 "This is very special," Underwood said. "I'm definitely going to file this under the 'coolest things I've ever done' category."   

Several international politicians including India's controversial new Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Queen Silvia of Sweden spoke. 

Modi addressed the crowd after being introduced by actor Hugh Jackman.    

"I feel a current of hope in this park, I feel confident about future of whole humanity," Modi said in a seven-minute speech in English.  After that he also read a Sanskrit scripture calling for "peace in the world" and greeted the audience with a "Namaste."  

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Previously Unwanted. India's controversial new Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the crowd. "I feel a current of hope in this park, I feel confident about future of whole humanity, said "(Photo: Twitter)  

Modi ended his speech with "May the Force be with you" from Star Wars

The U.S. had previously denied Modi, a Hindu nationalist, a visa for his alleged complicity in the 2002 riots in Gujarat  the Indian state where thousands of Muslims were killed. He has received considerable criticism for allegedly allowing killing, raping and looting which lasted for months. A lawsuit filed in New York Federal accusing Modi of human rights violations stemming from his tenure as then Gujarat Chief Minister during the riots has been filed. 

No Doubt commanded the stage with a powerful set including their breakthrough hit "Just a Girl. "   

For their finale,  Gordon Sumner aka Sting joined the band for the Police hit "Message In A Bottle,  with the Central Park West resident and Gwen Stefani exchanging lead vocals. (They had previously performed the song live with Sting,  sans bass but with hair, at the 2003 Super Bowl)  Near the end of the song Gordon held a rousing 10 second note while singing,  "s e n d i n g  o u t".

Gordon Sumner, aka Sting, joined No Doubt for a rendition of the Police's Message In A Bottle.

Elmo and friend work the crowd.

Four PEP officers work the center aisle on the Great Lawn which leads up to the stage.

More than 60,000 people attended the event.

No Picnic In The Park.  The list of prohibited items continues to grow. Concert goers arriving with food and beverages were not allowed to bring them into the concert. Many people were forced to throw the items away,  irony that was not lost on many for an anti-poverty event.  The public was forced instead to purchase items at the event. 

Prices for the event.

The audience were able to buy $ 8 sandwiches while supplies lasted which ran out about half-way through the event.   Event staff prevented the public from bringing in their own food.

Selling Lots Of Water.  Event organizers sold a lot of $ 3 bottles of water on a day that hit a high of 83 degrees while forcing the public to throw away water they had brought before they entered the concert. 

Fans gather outside of the Great Lawn along the park's East drive to listen to the show.  

Shawn Carter,  aka Jay Z opened his energetic and much anticipated set with Empire State of Mind, and performed half dozen more songs.  

The crowd went crazy when his wife, a glowing Beyoncé joined him onstage for "Holy Grail."   For their second and final song Shawn encouraged the crowed to hold up their cell phones, "Let's light this whole park up" he said before launch into Forever Young to end the show.

Every move of fan favorite Shawn Carter, aka Jay Z,  was documented by the audience. 

The night concluded with Shawn Carter, AKA Jay Z. He was joined by his wife Beyoncé. 

 (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge

Read More:

New York Daily News - September 27,  2014 - By Jim Farber

1 comment:

  1. You are usually anti private events in parks. How come the change here?