Country music superstar and “The Voice” coach Blake Shelton quickly put together an hour-long, star-studded benefit concert for those devastated by tornadoes in Oklahoma, especially the hard-hit town of Moore, last week.
It’s almost become an entertainment and music industry cliché to have a benefit concert after a horrible tragedy these days. A quickly thrown together benefit show for New York and New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy was aired on NBC last fall and a bigger, better organized benefit show was held just a month later. Recently, it was also announced that there will be a benefit show for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing last month that will feature big Boston based acts like Aerosmith and James Taylor. While benefit concerts have become a cliché, it’s obviously great that artists give their time to these events to garner much needed monetary aide for the victims of the devastation.
As one could have guessed, most of the performances from Wednesday, May 29 night’s “Healing in the Heartland” concert were slow and somber. Shelton kicked off his show with a performance from his 2011 number one single “God Gave Me You” and was followed by Darius Rucker with a similarly themed “True Believers,” from his most recent album of the same name.
One of the highlights of the night came when Shelton’s wife and award-winning country songstress Miranda Lambert took the stage to perform “The House That Built Me,” which she struggled to complete through tears, obviously shaken up by the thought of so many memories torn apart by the powerful tornadoes.
The best and certainly one of the most powerful, performances of the benefit show was Vince Gill’s touching “Threaten Me with Heaven,” which he dedicated to the 24 people who lost their lives during the Moore tornado. The song, which was released two years ago, should’ve been a country music hit, but received almost non-existent airplay on country music radio.
Other performances during the short concert included Rascal Flatt’s “Stand,” Reba McEntire’s “Everyday People,” OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder singing “Counting Stars” and Luke Bryan’s “Crash My Party.”
The show ended with Shelton and his fellow “The Voice” coach Usher crooning “Home,” which Shelton covered as Michael Buble’s hit, and made a country hit with in 2008. The performance fit the pair well vocally and was one of the better showings of the night.
For those who would like to help out with the Oklahoma tornado recovery efforts you can do so by texting “Rebuild” to 52000 to make a $10 donation.