Twenty five years after their landmark human rights concerts, Amnesty International hosted the Bringing Human Rights Home benefit concert at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn. Madonna was on hand to introduce Pussy Riot members Nadya Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina onstage for the first time since their unjust incarceration in Russia. Speaking through a translator they brought their gravitas and powerful message to the concert; it was a once in a lifetime experience. Susan Sarandon and The Fray highlighted the continued struggle of human rights around the world, with inspired sets from Debbie Harry of Blondie fame to Teegan and Sara. Live Aid founder, Sir Bob Geldof encouraged us all to do more, following medleys from Cold War Kids and Imagine Dragons.
Lauryn Hill’s performance was the most soul stirring of the night, doing a rendition of Bob Marley’s “Zimbabwe” in tribute to Nelson Mandela. Word backstage was that she’s steadily amassed a slew of new material that will see the light of day hopefully later this year. Lastly Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne covered the Beatles “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” while cannons of confetti covered the area, joined on stage by Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, and dozens of Amnesty staffers. Do your part. Take action.