This past weekend was filled with music all over the world. Team Twinseperable was lucky enough to score lobbyist passes to Gov Ball, resulting in a lovely few days of Don Julio cocktails and musical sets to satisfy even the most discerning palates (thanks Jenn Kaytin).
However, sometimes music is about something bigger. This past Sunday was also the Manchester Benefit concert. After the incredible time we had on Randall’s Island, we made sure to watch the Benefit in its entirety once we returned to our HQ, and are dedicating this Tunesday to Manchester.
The attack at Ariana Grande’s concert on May 22 was extremely well planned, targeting a select group of people and sending a loud message. It was no coincidence that the majority of the victims were young girls and women. The terrorists, and the larger organizations that radicalize and support them, wanted to instill permanent fear in the young girls who idolize the progressive artist and everything she stands for.
Whether you are a Grande fan or not, she never hides her sexuality and feminist pride. She promotes an attitude and self-confidence that threatens the heteropatriarchy that these monsters are committed to perpetuating across the globe.
I know I am not the only one who feels that music has a special power. And it isn’t necessarily always about a specific song or lyric. Music brings people together. It has done so after natural disasters, other attacks both domestic and abroad, and so much more.
It is the coming together this past Sunday that perfectly exemplifies a collective unification against hatred that music is so capable of inspiring. Despite the evident desire to cause mass fear, and especially despite the more recent attacks in London over the weekend, the artists confirmed their enduring support on Sunday morning. And the crowds came out in droves.
The crowd surpassed 50,000 and General admission tickets sold out within 20 minutes. Close to 14,000 complimentary tickets were allocated to people who were at Grande’s show on the night of the attack.
“Music is meant to heal us, to bring us together, to make us happy. So that is what it will continue to do for us. We will continue to honour the ones we lost, their loved ones, my fans and all affected by this tragedy. They will be on my mind and in my heart every day and I will think of them with everything I do for the rest of my life.”
To watch the benefit in its entirety, click this link.
Take a look below at some of our favorite moments of the night… although we really believe the entire benefit was incredible.
Opening the show with a minute of silence for the attack victims, Marcus Mumford then told the crowd, “Let’s not be afraid,” before performing his 2009 song “Timeshel.”
Pharrell Williams performed his and Daft Punk’s 2013 hit “Get Lucky,” and bowed to the crowd, exclaiming “I’m bowing because despite all the things that have been going on in this place, I don’t feel, or smell, or see any fear,” he said. “All I feel here tonight is love, resilience, positivity and you know what? I hate to be corny, but it actually makes me happy.”
Miley Cyrus then joined him onstage for a duet of his 2013 hit “Happy.”
“The most important responsibility we have on this entire planet is to take care of one another,” Cyrus told the crowd. “And look what we’re doing today and how amazing that is.”
Ariana Grande joined the Black Eyed Peas for a performance of one of my all time favorites, “Where is the Love?”
Their impeccable vocals and heartfelt execution of the timely lyrics made for an even more moving experience.
A surprise performance of her hit “Hide and Seek”, by Imogen Heap, was perhaps one of the most emotionally charged moments of the night. The already raw song was made even moreso through the shaky, tear-filled vocals of the singer.
Grande then brought Miley back to the stage. They performed Crowded House’s 1986 hit ballad “Don’t Dream It’s Over,” which was one of our top two favorite performances of the night.
Liam Gallagher, who previously said he would be unable to attend, also surprised fans with some Oasis songs, despite the absence of his brother.
Ariana Grande ended the night with “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” which was exquisitely executed and appropriately timed as the conclusion to the incredible event.
“All the love and unity you’re displaying is the medicine the world needs right now.”
If you want to contribute to the British Red Cross Society for its “We Love Manchester Emergency Fund,” you make a direct donation or purchase branded “One Love Manchester” clothing here.