New Jersey is second hardest hit state in the union in terms of corona virus deaths and they’re not taking it lying down. The New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund was formed to help locals affected by COVID. On April 22, executive producers Jon Landau, Joel Gallen, Joel Peresman and Irving Azoff joined with the nonprofit for a public broadcast of the Jersey 4 Jersey event.
The one hour event started at 7 PM Eastern and was broadcast on New York and New Jersey major network channels. It was also available on certain radio stations and on Apple Music and Apple TV. Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen headlined but there was tons of other native Jersey musicians, actors and entertainers on hand and there was a definite spirit recreating all things Jersey.
Here are some of the highlights.
Charlie Puth revisited his teen years sitting in his bedroom and playing Springsteen’s track ‘Growin’ Up’ on his MIDI keyboard while wearing a tank top and gold chains.
Bon Jovi had previously been working on a track about the COVID situation co-written by his fans. He debuted the song, ‘Do What You Can’ on the show. He closed with ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’.
Bruce Springsteen enlisted the help of his wife, quarantine mate and fellow E-Street band member Patty Scailfa for his rendition of ‘Land of Hope and Dreams’ and Tom Waits take of ‘Jersey Girl’.
Danny DeVito took us on a walk down memory lane describing his times growing up in Jersey and visiting Asbury Park. He ended his monologue promising the audience that when this is all over “we’ll go to Asbury Park and have a big party”.
Fountains of Wayne front man Adam Schlesinger died just a few weeks ago due to coronavirus complications. It was only appropriate that his band members come together via video conference to perform a live rendition of their song ‘Hackensack’ in his memory. Singer/songwriter Sharon Van Etten took over vocal duties.
SZA introduced herself as Solana from Maplewood and then launched into a super Jersey rendition of her song ’20 Something’.
Tony Bennett may have been born in Astoria, Queens but he was all Jersey when he performed his version of Charlie Chaplin’s ‘Smile’.
Halsey started off solo acoustic for her performance of ‘Finally/Beautiful’ and then brought in her remote band for a dramatic ending.
The performances were punctuated by Jersey scenes including businesspeople talking about how the pandemic has affected them, frontline workers bravely volunteering and a sign from the Jersey Shore that read ‘Boulevard Closed Until Further Notice’.
There is no word on how much money the event raised for the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund but we hope it made a difference. It was definitely successful in bringing a much needed smile to the faces of everyone that tuned in.