Saturday, April 13, 2024

Sting’s “Message in a Bottle” Sets Tone for Matt Lauer Hurricane Telethon


Over at you can watch the entire telethon for Hurricane Sandy survivors and victims. Matt Lauer put the show together in about five minutes, but it’s a success from beginning to end. Sting, a passionate transplant to New York, sets the tone with “Message in A Bottle.” It’s just him, the delivery is stark and moving. Sting, who grew up in a real seaside town and knows from tragedy there, was channeling a lot of those feelings.

That doesn’t diminish our local heroes– Bruce, Billy, Jon Bon Jovi– each of whom anchored the show. Springsteen was smart to choose “Land of Hope and Dreams” rather than “My City in Ruins.” He kept it positive. Billy Joel’s “Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway” was apt since below 39th Street there were no lights on Broadway. (Broadway has also been wrecked by Mayor Bloomberg’s bike lanes, turning lanes, potted plants and garden tables but that’s another story.)

Christina Aguilera was probably the big surprise on both the telethon and Jimmy Fallon’s show that night. If only she were singing like that on her current records, she’d still have a recording career. “Beautiful” is still her signature song. On Fallon’s show, Aguilera was magnificent:

We’re waiting for numbers from NBC to see how much the telethon raised. And hopefully the American Red Cross is using that money effectively even as we speak.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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