The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is turning 25 this year, and plans to celebrate with a birthday bash at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The concerts, to be held on October 29 and 30, will feature an all-star lineup of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers including Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, U2, Metallica, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, Simon & Garfunkel, and Crosby Stills & Nash and friends.
According to Rolling Stone, the concerts are being designed as a celebration of rock history, and could feature some interesting collaborations from the artists involved.
“These once-in-a-lifetime concerts are designed to celebrate the artists and their music,” according to Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner, who is also producing the event. As such, many of the performances will be themed, as well as feature special guests which have yet to be named.
Metallica will head a hard rock showcase for example, while Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder will lead a soul/R&B revue with Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra serving as the house band. Crosby Stills & Nash will spearhead a set featuring the music of California based artists.
One can only speculate on the possibilities. But given the tight-knit community that is the Rock Hall, it would not be a stretch to imagine Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page dropping in to jam with Metallica, or Neil Young showing up to join his pals in Crosby Stills & Nash for example.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band and U2 are both currently on tour in Europe, with a fall North American leg scheduled for each of them. Although Springsteen and U2 will headline separate nights of the Rock Hall bash, one has to also wonder if the two arguably biggest acts on the planet might consider making some music together at these shows.
Each of the two shows are being curated by a blue ribbon directors board that includes Wenner, Robbie Robertson, actor Tom Hanks, and screenwriter Cameron Crowe. The concerts will also be filmed for an HBO special. Proceeds from the show will go towards the creation of a permanent endowment for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation and Museum.
Here is the lineup for each of the two concerts:
Paul Simon/Simon and Garfunkel
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Friends