9/11 Concert Tributes: Nine Unforgettable Performances

New York City's World Trade Center Twin Towers
Peter J. Eckel/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images

Ground view looking up at the World Trade Center's Twin Towers in New York City in 1976.

In the days and weeks following the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, many Americans turned to music to soothe, pacify, heal, rouse and distract. It was a time when people were faced with unprecedented surges of emotion and looked, in part, to songwriters to help make sense of the changing landscape. Two landmark events -- The Concert for New York City and America: A Tribute to Heroes -- were organized after the attacks, spurring artists to write inspired new material and re-appropriate classic rock tracks to fit the current milieu.

Compared to more concrete measures, the role of music in the aftermath of 9/11 may seem trite, but these two benefits helped rally a city and a country to put aside differences -- temporarily, at least -- and focus on rebuilding something as important as any physical structure: the national psyche. Here are 10 unforgettable moments from those two programs.

AMERICA: A TRIBUTE TO HEROES

In the wake of the attacks, Tom Petty's first single from 1989's Full Moon Fever re-emerged as an American radio staple and mantra for many Americans. Ironically, then-candidate George W. Bush used the song at campaign rallies in 2000 until Petty forced the candidate to discontinue its usage.

NEXT PAGE: THE CONCERT FOR NEW YORK CITY

THE CONCERT FOR NEW YORK CITY