Last night (August 21), Lightning stopped a huge multi-act concert in Central Park, the New York Times reported. We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert was cut around 7:30 pm in the middle of a set by Barry Manilow. The organizers waited three hours before officially canceling the event at 10.30 p.m. Many of the planned headliners, including Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith, Elvis Costello and Paul Simon, didn’t get on stage. Read the full Times report here.
The concert was hosted as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s efforts to celebrate the city’s comeback after months of no live music amid the pandemic. Before last night’s storm, LL Cool J, the New York Philharmonic, Jennifer Hudson, Earth, Wind and Fire, Carlos Santana and others played in front of a huge crowd camped on the Central Park lawn.
Lightning struck as Manilow performed “Can’t Smile Without You,” and an announcer quickly instructed viewers to “take shelter for your safety,” as seen in the clip below. The moment was captured during the live broadcast of the event on CNN. Thunderstorms, including heavy rains, continued late into the night.