Mother Nature in the guise of Hurricane Henri stormed on the parade of music stars the last time a mega-concert took place on the Great Lawn of Central Park in a post-pandemic NYC. The rain forced the event to be cancelled in the middle, before Bruce Springsteen and Paul Simon could even perform.
After a month, on a sunny Saturday, there was no such drama for Global Citizen Live NYC, which was part of a 24-hour festival across six continents from London and Paris to Rio de Janeiro and Lagos, Nigeria raising awareness of the hunger crisis, developing-country climate needs, and COVID-19 vaccination distribution.
And, in a surprise appearance, Simon, who was supposed to close the Homecoming Concert on Aug. 21, provided the finale that the 79-year-old Queens native was supposed to have five weeks ago, singing classics such as “The Sound of Silence” and “The Boxer.”
It was a fitting conclusion to a night previously dominated by another hometown hero, the Bronx’s own Jennifer Lopez. J.Lo won the night over other music heavyweights such as Billie Eilish, Coldplay, and Lizzo, as if proving that she would not be upstaged in her own city by any other artist.
Jennifer Lopez cranked out a medley that included her hits “If You Had My Love” and “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” after a shout out from Mayor Bill de Blasio, who, like at the Homecoming Concert, was greeted by a chorus of boos.
Then she performed an age-defying re-enactment of her “I’m Glad” video’s “Flashdance”-style choreography. Lopez did what true icons do: she took it to the next level by enlisting the help of two other New York legends, LL Cool J and Ja Rule, for the songs “All I Have” and “I’m Real”/”Ain’t It Funny,” respectively.
The sexy chemistry between Lopez and LL, in particular, was enough to convince Ben Affleck to call it quits. And then, wearing a glittery gold Yankees hat clearly, she still loves her hometown team despite her breakup with former star Alex Rodriguez she reminded us that don’t be fooled by her rocks, she’s still “Jenny from the Block.