Global Citizen Festival

September 30, 2012
by J.D. Cook

Global Citizen Concert stageMy mind was effectively blown when I won free tickets to see the Black Keys, Foo Fighters, and Neil Young all in one. The way I accomplished this was through Social Media. How crazy is it that we live in a world where I can win tickets to see a concert via tweeting and facebooking! Anyway in exchange for tweeting and sharing Global Citizen Festival’s recommended articles and videos I earned points. The more points I earned the better the chance that my name would be drawn from a raffle entitling me to tickets. When I heard about this concert, held in Central Park, New York City on Saturday, September 29, 2012, I figured what the hell; why not…and the rest is history!

Now let’s just jump into the concert. I’m tired of all of this foreplay.

The Black Keys completely knocked the ball way out of Central Park. Dan Auerbach deserves some kind of improvised blues guitar solo award! The man shreds unlike anyone else I’ve ever seen; not to mention his completely unique singing voice. I’m not sure I have ever heard one quite like it. Patrick Carney sits behind Auerback drumming with the intensity of a soldier. The two make up the most dynamic duo in rock at the moment. They have been an invigorating burst of fresh air in the disgusting music scene of the modern day. They hearken back to days I personally believed lost. Anyway let’s not forget a huge shout out to their touring band that performed just as well. The Black Keys managed to play a huge amount of their music in a relatively short amount of time with fun variations throughout.

(Check out my recent review of The Black Keys’ Attack & Release)

Let’s rewind the day a bit. K’Naan started things off. I was completely unfamiliar with him at the beginning of the day. He impressed me immediately with a unique sound before his third song hit my ears. “Wavin Flag” was a song I’ve heard a ton of times and he did a fantastic job of introducing it. He did the most he could with the three songs he was allotted. On the flip side, Band of Horses was a band I had never heard of that did not completely impress me. I would have to hear some of their music in studio form to really judge it but on first listen I didn’t hear enough to get into it.

Going into this concert Foo Fighters was a band I have loved since whenever I first started hearing their songs. Everyone who went to see them live raved and ranted about how fantastic they were. Well they lived up to their legend. They seemed to play a great deal less then Neil Young or the Black Keys but I can actually recall every song they did play. “Learning to Fly” and “Everlong” were, of course, fantastic but I was most impressed with “Walk” and “Times Like These” because they are two songs that just sort of go straight to my core. Dave Grohl has to be the king of rock music personalities at the moment. He screams, shouts, controls the audience and you can tell he really loves every minute of performing.

Closing out the show was the legendary Neil Young. He played for the longest and just seemed to go wild on his songs. Although I was tired from a long day of music I appreciated his enthusiasm. He only played a few songs I really knew well but since his discography is rather large I am not going to hold that against myself. If given the whole night to close out the concert…he very well might have. “Walk Like a Giant” was a really cool song that was probably the highlight of the set for me.

Finally the concert was closed out when Neil Young said in his signature accent, “we’re joinin’ forces for ya”. Dave Grohl, and Dan Auerbach then re-joined with guitars for an epic rendition of “Rockin’ In the Free World”. Seeing those three front men up on the stage together was truly a once in a life time event. Add in the Central Park setting and the fantastic build up and you can see why I really enjoyed my time at the Global Citizen Festival.