One World: Together at Home not only lightened spirits in these troublesome times, but also gave the public a rare insight into the homes of beloved stars. Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, musicians everywhere have been trying to keep us entertained with livestreams and online concerts, yet Lady Gaga et al.’s collaborative effort to raise money and hopes has undoubtedly been the best so far.
Claudia Winkleman, Dermot O’Leary and Clara Amfo helped orchestrate the two-hour long BBC highlights of the original American eight-hour show. The BBC televised version also included more British content from Paul McCartney, Tom Jones and Little Mix, as well as spoken word poetry from Geroge the Poet and supportive messages from the likes of Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis. Its eclectic variety show nature, combined with DIY production value, helps make the show so comforting and necessary at this time. The show’s intriguing humble essence had been created on purpose, as Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans told Variety “We don’t want to make [it] more professional”. It is undeniable that Paul McCartney’s filming in portrait mode did bring a je ne sais quoi to the evening’s events.
The varying picture and sound quality did not take away from the sheer talent of some of the stars. Billie Eilish’s cover of Sunny by Bobby Hebb was mesmerising as she managed to project some much-needed happiness into through the screen. Additionally, Taylor Swift’s performance of Soon You’ll Get Better, which was originally written following her mother’s cancer diagnosis, strikes a chord with those with ill loved ones at this time. Nonetheless, the highlight of the evening must be Lady Gaga’s goose bump rendering collaboration with John Legend, Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli; something that may never have come to fruition without modern technology and grim circumstances.
Not all the acts were executed to the same standard, as Paul McCartney and Elton John’s questionable renditions fell short. Many were puzzled as to why Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts was self-isolating without a drumkit and was forced to give an experimental air drumming performance using his imaginary cymbals and a couple of boxes. However, the musical talent was not the most important feature of the evening. Each song was sandwiched between heartfelt tributes to the NHS and all other key workers from members of the public and the presenters. If One World: Together at Home can teach us anything, it is the beauty of people all over the globe coming together to show solidarity in turbulent times, something that will hopefully be preserved post Covid-19.
Image: proacguy1 via Flickr