Elder statesmen and an oddly high number of British acts were on display at 12.12.12 The Concert For Sandy Relief benefiting the Robin Hood Foundation at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, December 12. But forget (most of) the old guys. Here’s a recap of the highlights you care about.

There was a parade of performances, starting with Bruce Springsteen and classic rocker Roger Waters and finally Adam Sandler doing a comedy version of Leonard Cohen’s beloved “Hallelujah” retitled as “Sandy Screw Ya” to lighten the mood. He was followed by New Jersey’s own Bon Jovi.

sandler Alicia Keys, Kanye West & More Light Up 12 12 12 Concert
(Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Clear Channel)

Then we got a bit of Eric Clapton and the Rolling Stones.

The first performance from a younger artist came at around 10pm EST when New Yorker Alicia Keys took the stage for a two-song solo piano performance of “Brand New Me” from her album, Girl On Fire, and then played her 2007 hit “No One.” The singer looked transformed by her ner blunt angle bob with blonde highlights and rocked a red sleeveless bodysuit.

The Who played for what felt like forever and we all wondered what it’s going to take to get Roger Daltry to button his shirt up all the way — was the feedback on Twitter during the GRAMMYS Nominations Concert — LIVE!! not enough to persuade him?

Kanye West was the only hip hop performer of the night and he put on an energetic set that featured a collection of his hits, including “Mercy,” “Power,” “Jesus Walks,” “All Of The Lights,” “Diamonds From Sierra Leone” mixed with his remix of Rihanna’s “Diamonds,” “Touch The Sky,” “Gold Digger,” “Runaway” and “Stronger.” The crowd seemed a bit perplexed when he first took the stage, but “Runaway” got them all dancing.

Let’s address the kilt: it’s not new, Kanye’s been wearing it on the Watch the Throne tour for about two years. Perhaps tonight’s appearance was a nod to the costuming of Robin Hood, since the Robin Hood Foundation are the benefiting charity of the evening? Just a thought!

kanye by larry busacca  Alicia Keys, Kanye West & More Light Up 12 12 12 Concert
(Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Clear Channel)

Quick break for Blake Lively to talk about Connecticut! (What? Yeah? Okay, good casting? Cool dress.)

blakelively Alicia Keys, Kanye West & More Light Up 12 12 12 Concert
(DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

Up next was Coldplay frontman and Brit-turned-New Yorker Chris Martin, who cracked mad jokes about how old everyone was. Best joke of the night, paraphrased: “If you’re thinking about donating tonight, donate what you think the average age of the performers is. We’ll make billions.” He took to the stage with an acoustic guitar (and a suit very reminiscent of Mumford & Sons) to play “Viva La Vida.” He was then joined by R.E.M.’s MIchael Stipe, who retired from music when his band split up in 2011, for “Losing My Religion.” He finished his set on piano, playing “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall.” 

chrismartin Alicia Keys, Kanye West & More Light Up 12 12 12 Concert
(Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Clear Channel)

Billy Joel turned in a pretty rocking performance and may have won himself a whole new generation of fans.

Paul McCartney headlined the show, rocking some songs from the Beatles and Wings, respectively: “Helter Skelter” and “Let Me Roll It.” After a few slow jams, he was joined by Nirvana drummer/Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic and Nirvana touring guitarist/Foo Fighters member Pat Smear. They did a brutally rocking new song called “Cut Me Some Slack.” 

nirvanareunion Alicia Keys, Kanye West & More Light Up 12 12 12 Concert
(Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Clear Channel)

To close out the show, Alicia Keys returned to the stage for “Empire State Of Mind.” While many hoped Jay-Z would show up, the hip-hop businessman and prominent New Yorker was a no-show. 

Several performances will be available on iTunes. You can still contribute to the Robin Hood Foundation here.

Brian Ives, CBS Local


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