The Philly Live 8 stage in front of the Museum of Art.

BK’s Live 8 Flickr Photo Set

A short movie of Will Smith’s intro in Philly

I must admit I didn’t last too long at Live 8. I was already heading away from the stage as opener Black Eyed Peas were wrapping up. However, I did enjoy the unofficial opening act, the Kaiser Chiefs. I had heard a lot about them, but hadn’t actually heard them. Good stuff from the Chiefs.

Anyway, I really went there to experience it…something I missed out on with the Live Aid show in Philly at ol’ JFK Stadium in 1985. I wasn’t all that impressed with the Philly lineup for Live 8 so it wasn’t like I missed out on something. If I really wanted to experience a great concert, I would have hopped on a plane and headed to London for the Hyde Park portion of Live 8.

But I wanted to see my adopted hometown of Philadelphia — the ultimate underdog of U.S. cities — shine with the entire world watching. And — unlike its sports teams (Phantoms excluded) — Philly came through like a champ. Philly has such a bad reputation, but it really is a great city and much of the criticism is unfair and unwarranted.

I saw this quote in a Philadelphia Inquirer story and thought it was telling…

“We could have done this in many places around America, but Philadelphia hit the cover off the ball,” said Live 8 executive producer Tim Sexton.

I am just so proud of Philadelphia for making its part of the Live 8 extravaganza a huge success.

And Philly will get a chance to shine again Monday night when Elton John headlines the Fourth of July concert in the very same location as Live 8. Hearing Elton John perform “Philadelphia Freedom” in Philadelphia on Independence Day was already going to be one of those special musical moments. But Live 8 has instilled in me a heightened sense of pride in Philly that is going to make it even more special.

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