UPDATE After a two-hour-plus rain and lightning interruption, the “We Love NYC Homecoming Concert” staged in Central Park and airing on CNN has officially been canceled.
Despite the best intentions of CNN host Anderson Cooper vamping for time and phone interviewing Barry Manilow, The Killers (both of whom performed impromptu backstage musical numbers), Steven Colbert and Patti Smith, the outdoor stage performance fell victim to ongoing bad weather related to the incoming Hurricane Henri.
New York’s months-in-planning post-Covid-shutdown “Homecoming” concert in Central Park, airing live on CNN, was abruptly halted mid-show this evening – mid-song, in fact – after lightning and rain broke out in the area.
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Grammy winner Manilow was on stage performing the song “Can’t Smile Without You” when an announcement was made, telling those on the scene to exit the venue and seek shelter.
While artists including Andrea Bocelli,, LL Cool J, Jennifer Hudson, Journey, Carlos Santana and Rob Thomas, the New York Philharmonic, Jon Batiste, Earth, Wind and Fire and Wyclef Jean,had already gotten their stage time before the concert shutdown, other headliners including Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith, Paul Simon and Elvis Costello had not yet performed.
Cooper passed time on the phone with Manilow to possibly wait out the weather in hopes producer and mogul Clive Davis would decide to present the remainder of the performances – including Springsteen, Simon, Smith and Costello, among others – tonight around 10 pm ET if the threat of lightning diminishes. The audience had already been cleared but began reassembling shortly before 10; finally, around 10:20 the small crowd was told to leave the park.
Gayle King, Don Lemon, Davis, and Steven Colbert had appeared on stage to address the audience between the performances.
The concert, created and produced by Davis, was being broadcast on CNN, leaving anchor Cooper unclear on whether the show would resume, would not resume, or perhaps resume without an audience.
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