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We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert

We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert


                                   by Jeanne Lieberman

                                            photos by Phil McAuliffe


Is the prematurely canceled concert celebrating New York’s victory over Covid a metaphor for incomplete victory as the Delta variant looms over us?


The crowd came in exultant and in a celebratory mood.

Their party personae reflecting the theme of the concert:

New York is Back! Victory over the Virus declared!


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she  dressed specially for event: New York Chic


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Happy celebrants


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All went will until....


 “the wettest hour on record for New York City” 

More rain fell in Central Park between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. Saturday than in any other hour since records began, a single hour being the wettest ever recorded in the city.

New York City was drenched with its heaviest hour of rainfall ever on Saturday night as Tropical Storm Henri neared the Northeast, according to the National Weather Service.

Rain and an unexpected thunderstorm forced organizers to cancel a Central Park concert aimed at celebrating the Big Apple’s comeback from COVID midway through the show.

The standard weather requirements for cancellation of an event declare that any lightning within 10 miles of the event is reason to cancel the event: two bolts of lightning, one at nearby Battery Park, within those 10 miles prompting the evacuation. Before 10PM blindly optimistic forecasters predicted 1/2 hour duration creating confusion Will they... or wont they?


But there was plenty of show until then: "I've never heard of a concert with that kind of lineup," de Blasio said after it was announced for the first time earlier this summer.

The star-studded lineup was to include the cast as planned

·                                 Jon Batiste

·                                 Andrea Bocelli

·                                 Kane Brown

·                                 LL COOL J

·                                 Elvis Costello

·                                 Lucky Daye

·                                 Earth, Wind & Fire

·                                 Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds

·                                 Cynthia Erivo

·                                 Jimmy Fallon

·                                 Jennifer Hudson

·                                 Wyclef Jean

·                                 Journey

·                                 The Killers

·                                 Gayle King

·                                 Don Lemon

·                                 Barry Manilow

·                                 The New York Philharmonic

·                                 Polo G

·                                 Carlos Santana

·                                 Paul Simon

·                                 Patti Smith

·                                 Bruce Springsteen

·                                 Rob Thomas

Mayor Bill de Blasio teamed up with legendary music producer Clive Davis to organize the concert, which celebrated New York City's reopening from the corona virus pandemic.


Setting the bar really high the concert began with Andréa Bocelli and Jennifer Hudson delivering operatic arias with no less that the New York Philharmonic backing them up after their own overture performance.


Santana with Rob Thomas had the crowd dancing to “smooth”.

Rev Run joined the exultant crowd with LL cool J in rap version of “Its tricky “

Santana and Wyclef Jean performed an unrecognizable version of Westside story's "Maria Maria"

Earth Wind And Fire performed their iconic ”September “


Barry Manilow, who noticed the drizzle from the wings, was compelled to stop crooning "I cant Smile Without You", when the message came out advising all concertgoers to safely leave the area due to dangerous weather conditions.


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The dreaded announcement to leave.


But just as Victory is not yet achieved due to the rise of the variant threatening the city all over again, the concert was never finished, the big names (Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, et al) never appeared and although some loyal fans struggled to remain in the rain to continue the celebration, repeated attempts, valiant as they were, proved futile.

This created a nightmare conundrum for Anderson Cooper who was commentating from CNN headquarters and faced with 2 hours of empty airtime to fill. He did this admirably earning respect of his peers with help from Manilow himself who sang, appropriately, " I made it through the rain" from his trailer, as Anderson swayed to the music in the studio.

     And The Killers performed one of their numbers in a cramped dressing room.     

    (Anderson later received compliments from his peers for his extraordinary

     feat filling the two hours )  


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And so as the battle against the virus continues,  we hope the concert will eventually.



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my view of stage prior to performance.....


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my view of stage during performance!!!