Special guests were hinted at even before Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear hit Washington, DC on Saturday, but I doubt anyone could have predicted the spectacle that ultimately resulted. Um, like how The Roots, in what was surely their biggest gig to date, served as the rally’s “house band.” Or that “battle” between musical icons Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Stevens) and Ozzy Osbourne, which heard “Peace Train” and “Crazy Train” mashed up for the first time ever.
Plus, Mavis Staples and Jeff Tweedy teamed up for a wonderful rendition of “You Are Not Alone”, with the Wilco frontman then appearing a bit later to play guitar for an original number written and sung by Stewart and Colbert. And let’s not also forget The O’Jays’ performance of “Love Train”, and uh, Kid Rock showed up too, backed by Sheryl Crow and a recorded T.I.
Both the music and the rally came to a fitting end with a singalong of “I’ll Take You There” featuring all of the aforementioned performers as well as the day’s other guests, like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and R2D2. So, yeah, “spectacle” is an accurate description.
Watch the highlights below. We’ll add more clips as they show up.
Yusuf + Ozzy + The O’Jays