We Love NYC concert was great before Central Park washed…


Exactly when you thought we were prepared to fall back in affection with enormous live shows again — Hurricane Henri had different designs for New York City.

The unfavorable HH cleaned out what should be a victorious night for NYC — over a year after the COVID-19 pandemic shook the Big Apple — at the We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert on the Great Lawn of Central Park on Saturday night.

Halfway into the show — as Barry Manilow belted out “I Can’t Smile Without You” —  the a downpour began and pre-Henri showed up a few hours sooner than anticipated, with the downpour and lightning danger stopping what was transforming into an epic occasion.

Maybe Mother Nature was saying it was “too early” to celebrate beating COVID with cases ascending because of the Delta variation. Mother was a lot of advising us, “We’re not home yet.”

We Love Nyc Concert Was Great Before Central Park Washed

Barry Manilow performs before his moment in the spotlight was cut short by a thunderstorm during the We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert

In reasonableness, when the elegant show — delivered by music industry legend Clive Davis and show business behemoth Live Nation — was reported last month by Mayor Bill de Blasio, things appeared to drift a considerably more sure way for New York, yet with COVID cases rising — even with some advancement positive tests among the inoculated — there was some worry that we were not prepared to party in the recreation center like that yet, regardless of whether evidence of immunization was needed for passage.

However, when the sun came out not long before the show began at 5 p.m. — with a yellow-dressed Gayle King practically representing it — it genuinely appeared as though more brilliant days were ahead. The “CBS This Morning” have presented the New York Philharmonic, who added a degree of gravitas and magnificence to the procedures: We were meeting up to have a genuine snapshot of acknowledgment of all that we had made due before the entirety of the fun started.

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Andrea Bocelli prepares backstage before the We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert.

Then when Andrea Bocelli — the Italian tenor who himself battled COVID early last year — sang “You’ll Never Walk Alone” backed by the Philharmonic, it rang a resounding note throughout Central Park. It was as if he didn’t even need a mic as he implored us to “Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart.”

And as if to show us all the challenges that we have overcome, the blind singer even played the flute before telling us, “After a storm comes always the sun.”

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Jennifer Hudson’s jaw-dropping performance of “Nessun Dorma” — an homage to Aretha Franklin’s iconic/impromptu 1998 Grammys rendition — with the New York Philharmonic was an early highpoint of the We Love NYC: The Homecoming concert.

After that passionate second came Jennifer Hudson, who, new off of her Aretha Franklin biopic “Regard” opening last week, showed that she was not to be outshone by Bocelli. Honoring the Queen of Soul, she performed “Nessun Dorma,” the aria that Franklin broadly sang at the Grammys in 1998 as an extremely late substitution for Luciano Pavarotti.

It was a lofty presentation for the ages — with a last high note would most likely make it  hard to top.

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Jennifer Hudson, currently starring in “Respect,” the big screen biopic of Aretha Franklin, paid homage to the Queen of Soul with her jaw-dropping rendition of “Nessun Dorma” — an homage to Franklin’s iconic/impromptu 1998 Grammys version of the opera canon classic. Getty Images for Live Nation

All things considered, the show was simply beginning. Also, there were a lot of other early features, from an ever-enduring Carlos Santana “Smooth”- ing it out with Rob Thomas — and a Great Lawn brimming with concert attendees cutting in the grass — to Journey reminding us, even notwithstanding a worldwide pandemic, to “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

And afterward came what, in any ol’ normal Central Park show, may have been the finale: LL Cool J and a large group of other New York hip-jump legends — including Busta Rhymes, Fat Joe and Rev. Run of Run-DMC — shook the stage in a presentation that ran from Busta’s “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See” and Fat Joe’s “Recline” to LL’s own work of art “Mom Said Knock You Out.”

In a water velour sweatsuit, LL, at 53, was as yet the embodiment of cool in the late-August dampness.

Then, at that point de Blasio came out to an ensemble of boos prior to presenting the incredible R&B band Earth, Wind and Fire. What’s more, the components genuinely took over after their exhibition, with Hurricane Henri halting the night prior to the Killers, Bruce Springsteen and Paul Simon could even make that big appearance.

While CNN prodded that the show may start again — maybe with no crowd and a few holdouts who would not leave — at last Anderson Cooper considered it a wrap: The Homecoming was formally gone. Furthermore, in what is most likely the most dire outcome imaginable, the doused — and plastered — concert attendees overwhelmed the metro, numerous without covers, pondering when they could feel home once more.

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An aerial view of the “We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert” in Central Park.
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The sprawling overview of Central Park before the We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert was rained out.

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