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Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Roger Waters and Eddie Vedder Highlight Early Hurricane Sandy Benefit Concert Sets

Bruce Springsteen-Bon-Jovi-Roger Waters-Eddie Vedder
Larry Busacca / Brian Killian / Gareth Cattermole, Getty Images

It’s hard to find anyone better than New Jersey’s home state hero Bruce Springsteen when it comes to opening a benefit show for victims of the East Coast’s Hurricane Sandy. As expected, the inspirational rocker kicked off the ’12-12-12′ benefit on a high note, and he welcomed a fellow New Jersey favorite in Jon Bon Jovi to raise the excitement level even higher. Springsteen and a Roger Waters-Eddie Vedder collaboration were among the early highlights of the ’12-12-12′ benefit.

The show opened with the powerful Springsteen track ‘Land of Hope and Dreams’ backed by a blaring horn section and a full arsenal of backing singers. Adding some extra meaning to the song, Springsteen and his E Street Band finished out with a stanza of the Impressions classic ‘People Get Ready’ and used the track as segue music a few times during their set.

The Madison Square Garden crowd let out an audible cheer as Springsteen sang, “My home’s on the Jersey Shore’ during the title track from his recent album ‘Wrecking Ball.’ The track was followed by another newer favorite, ‘My City of Ruins.’ The vocalist said of the track, “This was a song I wrote for my adopted hometown — Asbury Park, which was struggling through hard time. Tonight this is a prayer for all of our people struggling in New York and New Jersey.” If one New Jersey icon was great to open the show, then two sent the crowd into overdrive as Jon Bon Jovi took the stage to join Springsteen for the classic set closer ‘Born to Run.’

After Springsteen, Roger Waters, fresh off the year’s highest grossing tour, took the stage to provide a healthy dose of Pink Floyd‘s past. The performance, which in some cases was a scaled down version of his ‘The Wall’ shows, found Waters and his band seamlessly working their way through such favorites as ‘In the Flesh,’ ‘Another Brick in the Wall’ (featuring a dance troupe stepping along to the beat), ‘Money,’ and ‘Us and Them’ for the appreciative audience.

Waters set hit its peak with Pearl Jam‘s Eddie Vedder joining in for the final track ‘Comfortably Numb.’ The collaboration seemed a perfect fit, with Vedder entering the song on the “There is no pain you are receding” verse and ably handling a few other stanzas with aplomb. Vedder joined Waters and the rest of his band at the end of the performance, embracing hands and taking a united bow.

After Waters’ set, Bon Jovi returned with his full band for an electric set. The four-song performance opened with ‘It’s My Life,’ with Richie Sambora breaking out the talk box for good measure. Audience favorite ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’ followed with the New Jersey brotherhood of Bon Jovi and Springsteen once again hooking up for a version of Bon Jovi’s ‘Who Says You Can’t Go Home’ with the vocalist trading back on forth on the mic. Finishing out their performance was a slightly altered ‘Living on a Prayer,’ with Bon Jovi delivering a soulful opening before the song kicked in and the fans helped out with the singing.

Watch Bruce Springsteen Perform ‘Land of Hope and Dreams’ 

Watch Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi Perform ‘Born to Run’

Watch Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen Perform ‘Who Says You Can’t Go Home’

Watch Roger Waters and Eddie Vedder Perform ‘Comfortably Numb’

Next: Eric Clapton Keeps it Soulful at the Hurricane Sandy Benefit

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