A concert at the World Trade Center?


Nick Lowe
Originally uploaded by kenf225

It felt weird today to say, for the first time since the summer of 2001, that I was going to see a concert at the World Trade Center. In fact, I was going to see a concert in front of the rebuilt 7 World Trade Center, which is not quite the same thing; even the original was part of the WTC in name only.

Nick Lowe closed his main set with “What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding.” He sang it slowly, wistfully, with the cursed Deutsche Bank building looming in the background (those diagonal lines of lights behind him in the photo are the lighting on the staircases in that hulk).

As I walk on through troubled times
My spirit gets so downhearted sometimes
Where are the strong? And who are the trusted?
And where is the harmony, sweet harmony?

And every time I feel it slipping away
It just makes me want to cry
What’s so funny about peace, love and understanding?


Also on the bill were The Holmes Brothers, a great NYC gospel group, and Olabelle, a rock band that plays lots of traditional country tunes.

A Holmes Brothers anecdote: Many years ago mikeskliar and I were playing a bar in Hell’s Kitchen, and in between set the bartender pulled me aside and said, “Popsy Dixon from the Holmes Brothers is here and wants to sing a song.” So we called him up and thankfully Mike knew the chords to “Georgia On My Mind” and I got to play harmonica in answer to that spectacular voice. It was quite a moment.

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11 Responses to A concert at the World Trade Center?

  1. lesliepear says:

    Yes, I can relate to the weirdness. (I worked in the DB building prior to 9/11, managing not to be there that day due to jury duty). I remember going to concerts in the plaza.

    • ken says:

      Wow, that is freaky. I worked just down the block from you.

      He actually mentioned the building early in the set; waved his hand at it and made a remark about the moon rising over the hulk.

  2. alice_ayers says:

    I adore Nick Lowe–did he play Heart? Or When I Write I The Book?

    • ken says:

      Damn, I was thinking of posting a note about the show tonight but didn’t think anyone would bite. I love him too, he’s such a songwriter, a great combination of bitter old Brit and eternal optimist.

      He did play “Heart” but no, he didn’t do “When I Write the Book” or in fact anything else by Rockpile. About half the set was recent stuff (do you have his new album?), and of the old hits he did “Cruel to Be Kind,” “I Knew the Bride,” and of course “What’s So Funny…”

      Anyway, just emailed you.

  3. kibbles says:

    Peace, Love, Understanding

    We love that song here, it’s one song to get the family singing at the top of their lungs. You know, we sing it like we mean it. 😉

    (And we do.)

    One of my favorite versions was at the end of a movie, but I can’t remember who did it, and have never been able to find it.

    • ken says:

      Re: Peace, Love, Understanding

      That’s a great song to all sing together!

      Looking at iTunes I see a version from the Bodyguard, as well as versions by Steve Earle, Keb Mo, Lucy Kaplansky (great dobro-driven version) and the Holmes Brothers. “They kindly let me do my little version,” Lowe said last night, thanking the Holmes Brothers for not doing it in their set.

      • kibbles says:

        Re: Peace, Love, Understanding

        Found it! The movie was FLOUNDERING. I guess there IS a soundtrack, after all. I remembered finally a band that was in the movie (Saw Doctors), and then took it from there.

      • kibbles says:

        Re: Peace, Love, Understanding

        I just poked around iTunes and you know what? I like the more upbeat versions of the song. Makes me feel more hopeful, it’s more of a rallying cry to peace that way, than mourning the loss of it. Maybe that has a LOT to do with my mental state. Because if I gave up on it, I’d be unable to function at all. I HAVE to be this way.

        Ahh it’s just a song that really means a lot to me so I think about it more than I would something else in passing.

        • blueyodels says:

          Re: Peace, Love, Understanding

          1. People Change (openned with different arrangement than on CD)
          2. I Trained Her To Love Me
          3. Hope For Us All
          4. Long Limbed Girl
          5. Soulful Wind
          6. The Beast In Me
          7. Lately I’ve Let Things Slide
          8. Has She Got A Friend?
          9. Shelly My Love
          10. She’s Got Soul
          11. What’s Shaking On The Hill
          12. All Men Are Liars
          13. Seven Nights To Rock
          14. Cruel To Be Kind
          15. What’s So Funny (‘Bout Peace, Love & Understanding?)
          16. I Knew The Bride (When She Used To Rock n’ Roll)
          17. Heart Of The City
          18. Heart
          19. Without Love

          Nick Lowe’s set list (not in order played) from Wed 9/19/07 @ 7WTC in NYC

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          • ken says:

            Re: Peace, Love, Understanding

            Thanks! I guess you were there? And that you’re also a Jimmy Rodgers fan?

          • blueyodels says:

            Re: Peace, Love, Understanding

            I was there with my wife (and bandmate). The Blue Yodels is our group. We do a lot of Nick Lowe, Patsy Cline, Beatles, Stones, Costello stuff. Love Jimmy Rodgers-but don’t do any of his stuff yet.

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