Bruce Springsteen made a surprise appearance at Carnegie Hall last night, joining Sting, Elton John, Lady Gaga and other musicians and celebrities for a spirited concert to raise nearly $3 million for the Rainforest Fund. Springsteen performed “Dancing In the Dark” and a cover of Bryan Adams’ “Cuts Like A Knife,” and joined the all star finale, a cover of Journey‘s “Don’t Stop Believin.'”
The benefit concert, organized by Sting and his wife Trudy Styler, celebrated the 21st birthday of the charitable organization founded by the couple.
PHOTOS: ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE AT THE RAINFOREST BENEFIT
The performances were loose and relaxed, with many of the artists performing cover versions and duets. Elton John and Lady Gaga reprised their Grammy Awards pairing with a dual-piano rendition of the “Your Song”/”Speechless” medley. John also played a pair of Madonna covers — “Like A Virgin” and “Material Girl” — as well as a searing version of The Lovin’ Spoonful‘s “Summer in the City” with John Sebastian on guitar. Sting and Elton John stayed on the side of the stage for most of the night, doing double duty as hosts and fans.
Other highlights of the nearly two-hour concert included Sting’s doing a solo version of the Fine Young Cannibals’ “She Drives Me Crazy” plus a duet with Mary J. Blige; Nile Rodgers performing Chic’s “Le Freak;” Blondie’s Debbie Harry singing “Call Me” and “The Tide Is High;” and Dame Shirley Bassey, whose voice remains ridiculously powerful, did “Hey Big Spender” and “Diamonds Are Forever,” inspiring Sting and Elton John to dance out on stage in drag.
The finale united Gaga, Harry, Bassey, Springsteen, John and Sting — as well as Styler, Kate Hudson, Goldie Hawn and the half-naked troupe Rasta Thomas’ Bad Boys of Dance – – for Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin.'”