Following the tragic and horrific events of September 11th, 2001, New York City quickly galvanized in a way I had never witnessed. Everyone was searching for answers that would never be found, and we all realized that we had to return to our normal lives in one way or another. The grieving would have to stop, and, in lieu of that void, a celebration of life began.I was lucky to witness New York Mets superstar Mike Piazza and his towering home run against the Atlanta Braves on September 21st in person. It seemed like the first moment of true celebration since the towers came down. My family went home that night and stayed up late watching the America: A Tribute To Heroes telethon, which was broadcast on all of the major networks. Musical performances were provided by Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Dave Matthews, Paul Simon, Willie Nelson and more to help raise $200 Million in aide and relief efforts. It was incredible, however this was just a warm-up for the outpouring of love and positivity that would come with the expertly executed Concert for New York City.The Concert for New York City was, by all means, the night that we as a city (and as a country) howled into the night in jubilation and celebration. The show featured a ridiculous lineup of rock icons mixed in which speeches by major politicians, skits by comedians, and short-films by New York filmmakers. Paul McCartney organized the event, and made sure to bring a ton of his musical friends from the U.K. as a sign of solidarity. Mick Jagger & Keith Richards, The Who, and Elton John all performed at the event, as did reclusive New York transplant David Bowie. McCartney made sure to include a ton of American talent as well, with James Taylor, Jay-Z, Destiny’s Child, Melissa Ethridge, Goo Goo Dolls, and Backstreet Boys all featured alongside the British icons. It was a truly impressive effort, and I remember being in complete awe of the lineup when it was announced. America had been attacked for our way of life, and our response was to showcase the brightest and most talented artists of our time. The event was slated to take place on October 20th at the mecca of American entertainment, NYC’s Madison Square Garden.While the show featured several standout performances, it was the night’s opener that immediately connected with the audience. David Bowie opened the night with a beautiful solo take on Simon and Garfunkel‘s “America”. Bowie followed up with a short speech: “Hi, friends. Hi, fellow New Yorkers. I’d particularly like to say hello to the folks from my local ladder, you know where you are. I must say, it’s an absolute privilege to play for you tonight.” Bowie then launched into a celebratory version of “Heroes”. It was at this point that the cameras showed the audience, filled with police officers, firefighters, first responders, and the families of those lost in the tragedy. An emotional reveal for sure, and a powerful moment for all in the room, as all of these heroes weren’t seen mourning; rather, they were smiling, cheering, and celebrating life with each other, waving American flags throughout the evening and going crazy for their favorite musicians.Watch David Bowie perform Simon & Garfunkel’s “America” and his own “Heroes” at the Concert For New York City below: The other set that sticks out is the powerful, earth-shattering performance by veteran rockers The Who. Actor John Cusack, clearly a huge fan of the band, went absolutely wild when introducing them as he was surrounded by a sea of equally excited first responders. The band kicked off their set with a super-charged “Who Are You”, with Pete Townshend showcasing his wild guitar windmills all the while. The next track, “Baba O’Riley”, saw the audience bursting with energy, drowning out Roger Daltrey‘s vocals as they screamed the song’s “teenage wasteland” refrain. “Behind Blue Eyes” provided an emotional moment, before “Won’t Get Fooled Again” brought the roars back to MSG. The crowd ate up The Who’s passionate performance, and it served as the night’s greatest highlight. “Won’t Get Fooled Again” served as a rallying cry that evening, and it became the theme of the night, as well as the theme of an entire generation of Americans.Watch the entire powerful performance by The Who at the Concert for New York City, courtesy of Daily Motion’s IvorTheEngineDriver. The night contained plenty of other standout performances, almost too many to count. Many of the entertainers had close ties to New York City in one way or another; Billy Crystal performed a comedy routine; New Jersey hero Bon Jovi performed hits like “Living on a Prayer” and “Wanted Dead Or Alive”; Brooklyn-boy Jay-Z performed “Izzo” (H.O.V.A.)”; Adam Sandler reprised his role as Operaman from Saturday Night Live for a raucous, Osama Bin Laden-themed comedy bit that had the crowd doubled over with laughter.Billy Joel took the stage to a huge ovation, and he returned the energy in kind with energetic performances of “Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)” and a show-stopping version of “New York State of Mind”. Elton John delivered a standout version of “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” before his brother in keys, Billy Joel, returned to the stage to perform an excellent duet performance of “Your Song”. And, of course, the evening’s organizer, Paul McCartney, performed the show’s finale. He delivered a six-song set that included emotional takes on “Yesterday” and “Let It Be”, as well as the debut of his song “Freedom”, which had been written as a response to the attacks. He encouraged the crowd to clap along with the song’s beat, providing a true moment of togetherness between the audience and quite possibly the world’s most legendary living musician. He performed the new number while surrounded by giddy first responders form the NYPD and NYFD.The benefit concert, which was aired live on MTV sister network VH1, raised $35 Million over the course of its broadcast. The concert would go on to be considered one of the most important nights in modern musical history, and in the long and winding history of New York City. For one night, the entire city and country was aligned in celebration, in mourning, and in togetherness. It set the tone for all of us to finally move forward, with the entire city buying into the “won’t get fooled again” mantra that The Who had provided. It was an unbelievable night indeed, and all who witnessed it at MSG or on television at home saw something special, unique, and perfect.The Concert for New York City is available for viewing on YouTube for a ridiculously low price of $3.99, which you can access by clicking here. The run-time is just under five hours, and contains all of the night’s performances and short-films. It may be fifteen years later, but the raw emotion and feelings of unity feel just as strong today as they did all those years ago. It made a huge impression on me as a teenager, the impact of which I can still feel to this day. Music provided the ultimate moment of peace, release, togetherness, and relief. It was a remarkable, inspirational night that showcased the awesome power of artistic expression.Peace and love to everyone affected by the attacks on September 11th, 2001. Thanks to all of the first responders for their heroics, and thanks to my beloved New York City for turning such a tragedy into so much positivity and togetherness.Listen to Paul McCartney’s 9/11-inspired anthem “Freedom”, performed live at the Concert for New York City, courtesy of YouTube user nowhereman113.
36SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Startups and new technologies are popping up constantly. Geographic limitations are being lifted as nearly everything becomes globally connected. The explosion of data — and the associated potential for analytics — has changed the playing field on which companies compete.All industries must continue to innovate and improve to keep up. Let’s embrace change, collaborate, and empower our more conventional industries to move forward.Behind-the-Scenes OpportunitiesRegardless of industry, resistance to change happens because the fear of change is greater than its perceived benefits.My field of healthcare, for example, is adopting new innovations all the time, but historically that process has been slow — one clinician at a time. Innovations don’t become standards of care until long after they’re introduced (17 years, on average). The focus is typically placed on the interaction between clinicians and patients. However, everything that goes on behind the scenes can play just as big a role in providing high-quality patient care as that direct relationship. As a result, less attention is given to revolutionizing indirect facets of the healthcare experience, meaning there’s low-hanging fruit waiting to be picked. continue reading »
Without equivocation, I was rooting for USC this past weekend. My Trojan roots run deep, and I still believe anything is possible this season.But there was a little — just a little — bit of me rooting for Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. There’s a small chance Whittingham becomes the next head coach of the USC team, and I was hoping his potential candidacy would remain valid with his continued success.Much like a lot of Laker fans who adopted a #TankForWiggins approach to fandom while the Lakers were struggling so mightily, I guess you could have called Saturday a chance to #TankForWhittingham. It’s not like losing would have positioned USC better in an amateur draft, but it was a chance to evaluate one of the candidates getting the most attention in coaching rumors.Regardless of Saturday’s loss, Whittingham probably won’t be making the jump to the Coliseum until the Utes’ next game here. But one could argue that Saturday’s game is just as indicative of the fact that Whittingham needs to make the jump to the Coliseum as it is that he isn’t ready for it.Whittingham is a great head coach. He’s emerged as one of the most impressive program heads in the country this season with the meteoric rise of the Utes this season.And no, meteoric is not an exaggeration. Yes, this was a very solid team last year, and I certainly haven’t forgotten about the two-minute drill the Utes used to get past the Trojans last year. But I don’t think anyone outside of Salt Lake City expected this year’s Utes team to be in the top half of the Pac-12 South division standings, let alone the top four as of last week.USC obviously came into the season with a lot of hype. Many people expected UCLA to be another top team with highly touted quarterback Josh Rosen leading the offense and potential NFL first round draft pick Myles Jack leading the defense. Even Arizona and Arizona State made the AP preseason top 25 and were expected to compete for the conference title. Utah did get some votes in the poll, and the Utes certainly had higher expectations than Colorado. But nonetheless, this was a team that was expected to finish fifth — second to last — in the conference, and even after its worst game of the year, is still in first place in the standings.In some ways, though, it shouldn’t be such a surprise that Utah has been playing so well this year because it has had some serious success in the last decade. The Utes have twice gone undefeated, in 2004 under Urban Meyer with Whittingham as the defensive coordinator and in 2008 under Whittingham as the head coach. Both perfect seasons included BCS bowl wins. Both of those seasons were before Utah switched into a Power 5 conference, but Whittingham and the Utes’ victory in the 2008 Sugar Bowl was over Alabama, who would win the national championship the following year.Whittingham does have a lot of similarities to Meyer. He’s proven he can do a lot with a little. Despite the recent history, Utah still doesn’t have resources comparable to major programs with much more tradition, like Florida, where Meyer moved after 2004, or USC.Meyer then proved that his success would translate against tougher competition and established himself as an elite college coach with two national championships. In fact, one of those national championships at Florida came in 2008, the same year Utah went undefeated but was left out of the BCS National Championship game — back in the day before we had the national playoff — while a one-loss Florida and Oklahoma both made it.Though Meyer is an obvious success story, making that kind of an offer is still a big risk. Just because someone can win with less doesn’t mean that success will translate against tougher competition, even with better recruiting or institutional resources.Whittingham is at an unclear middle ground in his career. Utah has made it to a major conference and turned a team with no major success prior to the turn of the century into a legitimate national title contender. Though it hasn’t included an innovation in offensive theory or uniform style like Oregon’s, the product on the field has been almost as impressive — especially when Utah smashed an underachieving Oregon team this year. What’s unclear is if Utah will be able to sustain it as much as Oregon has and come out with a Rose Bowl win or national championship appearance in the next couple of years.And this brings us back to Saturday’s result. It was not the finest performance by Utah’s players. Four interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, probably had more to do with execution of the game plan than the game plan itself. USC was certainly due for a big game, and the Utes were probably due for a regression to some degree.Nonetheless, it’s a major test Whittingham didn’t pass. The Utes still probably control their destiny to the top 4, assuming that one other conference winner from the SEC, ACC, Big Ten or Big 12 will have one loss. But the defeat to USC could prove to be as disappointing for Utes fans who watched two undefeated teams left out of the BCS title game as any loss this season for Trojan fans. In some ways, the win might even make Whittingham more interested in coming to USC if as far as he can go is a Rose Bowl.Ultimately, there are still too many games and too many potential candidates to really speculate about the next head coach. All we can say now is that interim head coach Clay Helton might be leading the field, but that field is still huge.So I’ll be rooting for UCLA or someone else from the conference to beat Utah one more time to open up a potential conference title for the Trojans. All USC needs is one more Utah loss to control its destiny toward the Rose Bowl.But if Whittingham goes undefeated the rest of the way, that might be good news too.Luke Holthouse is a junior majoring in policy, planning and development and broadcast and digital journalism. His column, “Holthouse Party,” runs Wednesdays.