Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I was going to do a post about a certain beautiful AIDS activist, whom I'll get to soon. But tonight I had a date with another beautiful AIDS activist; Annie Lennox.

Oh, yeah, she had a great concert at the Masonic Hall tonight. New songs, favorites like "Little Bird," bluesy piano redos of classics like "Here Comes the Rain," through the hour and a half of songs. I missed a few, like "Missionary Man" and "Into the West" from Lord of the Rings, but got chills from hearing "Cold" live.

But what really had an impact was the anthem "Sing," about women with HIV/AIDS in Africa. Yep, Ms. Lennox is using her new album, Songs of Mass Destruction, to take on global themes. That combination, with her haunting vocals, show her enduring maturity, and willingness to use her fame and talent for a cause.

Instead of the usual big finale, after the rousing closing songs, Lennox performed the "Sing" anthem (the studio version features dozens of famous women singers) as graphics of AIDS statistics were shown on a large screen. Where previously nice images from her long history of glamorous music videos amused, they really weren't necessary, as just watching Annie perform was enough.

But the impact of seeing an already captivated audience absorb the message she so sincerely wants to share ...well, it was quite something.

As she wrote in her blog of their opening tour concert last night in San Diego, "I love the feeling of collective involvement through the music. I saw an expression of total focus and entrancement on people's faces. That's what we aim to do. That's the emotional shift we're aiming to achieve. It was very warm..powerful..and I hope..inspiring."

I hope tonight's show inspired her, too. It did for us. (Special thanks to Johnny for inviting me, and zooming me there and back on his motorcycle!)

To find out more about the "Sing" project, visit

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