Paris Concert for Amnesty International (1998)
This production, mounted December 10, 1998, commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone underscored with between-songs informational segments that succinctly promote the beneficiary's themes of tolerance and social responsibility. Filmed and live cameos mix celebrities with sage comments from the Dalai Lama (whose impish "thumbs up" to the crowd elevates the entire affair) and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. An underlying fervor also sparks much of the music, particularly from Peter Gabriel, Youssou N'Dour, Tracy Chapman, and a solo Bruce Springsteen, whose songs all allude to the human rights agenda. Alanis Morissette's brief set likewise takes on a spiritual glow consistent with both her second solo album and the context at hand, while jubilant sets from Kassav and the Asian Dub Foundation serve as potent multicultural celebrations.
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