Show Of Peace Concert Shapes Up

Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page spent a busy – yet, peaceful – day in Beijing on Wednesday as he helped officially announce Beijing’s first annual “Show Of Peace” concert and then accepted the Global Peace Award from the United Nations’ Pathway to Peace organization.

Page was joined in announcing the “Show of Peace” by Orianthi, Michael Jackson’s lead guitarist for his “This Is It” comeback concert tour, as well as Chinese pop stars Xiao ke and Ai Jing. Joe Perry was also involved in the press conference through a taped message.

Photo: AP Photo
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Public Auditorium, Cleveland, Ohio

“Show of Peace” is a free concert taking place April 17 on a special stage in front of Beijing’s National Stadium, which is often referred to as the Birds Nest and served as the site of the 2008 Olympics. It is being booked as the world’s biggest live music event, with organizers expecting 50,000 fans to attend the show in person and more than two billion people to tune in to the concert via television, radio and Internet.

The slogan for the concert, which marks the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, is “Peace = Green + No War + Water + Food + Health + Education.” The Web site for “Show of Peace” notes that the concert is “expected to be part of a year-long campaign to address the twin issues of world peace and environmental care.”

Photo: John Davisson
Freebird Live, Jacksonville, Fla.

A long list of artists including Beyoncé, Coldplay, Lady Gaga, The Black Eyed Peas, Green Day and Depeche Mode have been invited to perform at the concert. The concert’s Web site explains that Aerosmith will not be performing but “Joe Perry will be there taking part in the event.” In addition to Perry, the only other confirmed artist as of Jan. 15 is Page. The concert’s lineup will be announced in the next coming weeks.

According to Time magazine, bands and artists will donate their time with half of the proceeds going toward pro peace / pro environment global projects.

United Nations’ Pathways to Peace organization representative Michael Johnson presented the Global Peace Award to Page.

“I’m honored to receive this award and I want to truly thank Michael and the United Nations’ Pathways To Peace organization, which has done remarkable work over the last 28 years,” Page said.

“Although this award has my name on it, this is a tribute to the power of music and its positive affect. Music has been the most powerful language to reach the hearts of people around the world. During my career I’ve experienced the connection and harmony that music can bring. … One world, one dream, one voice.”

The Show of Peace concert is being directed by Hamish Hamilton, who has worked on specials with the The Rolling Stones, Justin Timberlake and Madonna, in addition to the Academy Awards, Super Bowl and the MTV Music Awards. The event is being hosted by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and executive produced by ZZYX Entertainment’s Rick Garson, Trudy Green, manager of Aerosmith, and Ian Steward, Hamilton’s production partner.

Click here for Show Of Peace’s Web site.