America: A Tribute to Heroes (2001)/The Concert for New York (2001)
In the confusing and emotionally fraught days following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, two major musical events helped America mourn our losses and celebrate our heroes. On September 21, the four major U.S. television networks aired America: A Tribute to Heroes, a telethon-style benefit concert for the victims, highlighted by Bruce Springsteen's "My City of Ruins" ("A prayer for our fallen brothers and sisters," he called it), Neil Young's pensive take on "Imagine" and Willie Nelson's gorgeous "America the Beautiful." Paul McCartney organized the more raucous Concert for New York, which took place on October 20 at Madison Square Garden, to honor police and firefighters who had acted as first responders. The Who turned in a brutal set and the Beatle himself capped off the night movingly with six songs, including "Yesterday," "Let It Be" and a new number, "Freedom."