On Thursday night, New York City’s Beacon Theatre hosted The Bob Woodruff Foundation’s sixth annual “Stand Up For Heroes” event. As part of the yearly New York Comedy Festival the event features comedians and musicians performing to raise funds for the organization, which works to provide resources and support to injured service members, veterans and their families.
Bruce Springsteen plays Stand Up For Heroes every year, whether or not he’s on tour. Last year, he played backed by The Max Weinberg Orchestra, but this year opted for the solo acoustic approach (The Max Weinberg Orchestra opened the show on their own). He opened with a stripped down version of his anthemic “We Take Care Of Our Own” from his latest album Wrecking Ball, which at first didn’t seem familiar to much of the audience, but the chorus got a loud response.
John Mayer also performed. Due to recent vocal surgery, he can’t sing or even talk preventing him from doing a standup set. He’d actually made appearances at comedy clubs in the past, but tonight he was all about the music.
A skilled guitarist, his playing is as expressive as most singers’ voices are, and his cover of The Beatles’ “A Day In The Life” was another highlight of the night.
(Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
While Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, who also performed along with comedians Jon Stewart, Robin Williams and Ricky Gervais, told the audience “you don’t want to hear me try to tell a joke” (which got some laughs), every year Springsteen tries his hand at standup. His first joke, about a golfer who suffered an unfortunate injury a week before his wedding went over quite well.
Whether or not he wrote it, the man can deliver a punch line. He followed that with the Born In The U.S.A. anthem “Workin’ On The Highway,” after which he noted that he’s “in the doghouse this week,” and so he had to invite wife/bandmate Patti Scialfa onstage.
They sang “Tougher Than The Rest” from Tunnel Of Love. A song about the difficulties of relationships, it also took on added gravitas, given the soldiers and their spouses in the audience. Another joke (this one about a woman who got a bit too much plastic surgery) went over well, and Bruce finished his set with “Land Of Hope And Dreams,” a song he’s played for over a decade, but which just came out on Wrecking Ball.
To contribute to The Bob Woodruff fund, you can text “BWF” to 50555, or go to the organization’s website.
– Brian Ives, CBS Local