In the time that it took for this web page to load in your browser, a child in Africa died of extreme poverty. And in the time that it took us TV Guide guys, Damian Holbrook and Joseph Hudak, to make it through the Live 8 concert held in our Philadelphia hometown last Saturday, millions of us learned that this grim statistic not only had a face, but also — thanks to a stable of musicians — a distinctive rhythm. Hopefully, the G8 leaders confabbing in Scotland heard it. We sure did, so here's our exclusive mash-up, straight from the street.
7:00 am/ET The City of Brotherly Love's wakeup call to the world comes mighty early. And sounds oddly like... "soft pretzels!" Ahh, god bless street vendors.
10:00 The walk down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to the Museum of Art begins. Can we say "carnival midway"? It's a little early for fried fish and turkey legs, but water's only $3! Wow, it's getting hot out. Joe?
10:40 No doubt, Damian. I half expect a "G8 Is All Wet" dunk tank. There's even a guy giving free hugs with every purchase. Can't I just get a water, dude?
11:30 After navigating the mob of cooler-toting tourists and surprisingly relaxed locals, a media staffer waves us into the VIP area in front of the stage. Oddly, our hotel issued its guests green wristbands, which is just what you need to enter the VIP seating! Happily, no one notices that ours have "Embassy Suites" stamped on them.
11:45 Show time! The Kaiser Chiefs, ill-dressed for the 85-degree heat in too-small jackets and ascots, open with an unaired performance of "I Predict a Riot." With all these people jamming behind me, I sure hope they're wrong.
Noon Things officially get under way with two Philly icons: Will Smith and the Declaration of Independence. Slick Willie leads the sweating masses in a snap-along to symbolize the rate at which we lose little souls in Africa and, suddenly, it begins to feel like this whole event makes sense.
12:10 pm Wow. The Black-Eyed Peas' Fergie looks like she could stamp out poverty all by herself. After getting it started with that way-played hit, Rita and Stephen Marley join in for Bob's "Get Up, Stand Up." One love, Philly, one love!
12:35 pm Hey, there's Philadelphia Mayor John Street posing for pics. We have better seats. Ha ha!
12:40 It's a Bon Jovi world and we're just living on a prayer in it. As an '80s hair-metal child, it's all good, though I have the feeling someone is waiting for a certain trio, right, D?
1:00 Awww, yeah. Now here's the hotness: Destiny's Child working it like they need the cash and Beyonce's skirt turning the day all TV-MA. You say my name, Miss Knowles.
1:15 Could this thing be running any smoother? Kanye West is tearing it up big time. "Jesus Walks"? Please, he's bustin' a damn groove! And I'm about to bust the pack of girls behind us who have no idea who Simon LeBon is. Note to self: Mount Duran Duran Awareness Concert for stupid teens.
1:35 I gotta throw Will Smith his props. Backed by the Rocky score, the crowd slips into a Tom-meets-Oprah frenzy. "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It" and "Switch" are swell, but the big fun here is the mass chorus of The Fresh Prince theme. And the fact that DJ Jazzy Jeff finally got to share the spotlight. Hey, we are the city that loves you back, right?
1:48 Hee-hee. I just text-messaged Pepito the Wonder Chihuahua's name in to get it scrolled on the big screen over the stage. What are you doin', Jose?
2:05 D.Ho., you know country music runs through my blood like cholesterol with a twang, so I'm psyched for Toby Keith. Too bad his poor band has to wait for 15 minutes in the sun while Madonna's London performance is beamed onto the Jumbotrons.
2:20 Finally, Toby's intro'd by the Philadelphia Eagles (go, Birds!) and I'm groovin' to "Beer for My Horses." The only one. Hmmm.
3:00 Am I crazy from the heat or is Dave Matthews slurring his words? Maybe he's stroking out. Damn, it's hot... I hope Bob Geldof's next benefit is MelanomAid. Still, DMB delivers one of the day's best sets, culminating with an intense version of "Too Much." While I reapply the SPF, I'll toss it to Damian.
3:12 OK, so I'm diggin' on Alicia Keys, but what the hell is she talking about? Mumbling something about something, all I wanna hear is "Karma." But no, we get "For All We Know." Which is a fine standard, but sort of dull. At least she mentions Luther Vandross. Now move on, hon, it's time for...
3:20 ...Tim McGraw from Berlin? Again, zzzzzzz.
3:25 Jennifer Connolly almost makes up for her crazy eyes by introducing the Linkin Park/Jay-Z combo set. Forget my second sunburn. These guys are smokin' and I'll fight anyone to the death who says otherwise. Can we get an encore? Do ya want more? Hells yeah, Hova! Back to you, Joe.
4:00 I'm still reeling from Jay-Z's set; I don't even want to talk about it. We love ya, Hova.
4:15 Def Leppard's Joe Elliott says he's just received word that there are more than one million people on the Parkway. And if Joe Elliott says so, it's good enough for me. For god's sake, the guy wants a woman to pour sugar on him. Who am I to argue?
4:25 Rumors of drinks and cheesesteaks at an elusive press tent send us off to the backstage area, but not before I come face-to-face with West Chester wild child and Viva La Bam namesake Bam Margera.
4:43 Backstage... an oasis. And, surprisingly, no one questions our presence. However, I'm questioning why Fisher Stevens is here.
4:45 Over at the MTV tent, VJ Sway's chatting up presenter Jimmy Smits until some dude next to me screams out, "We love you, Jimmy"! His girl quickly slaps him, and I quickly remember why people make fun of Philly.
4:55 Isn't that the guy from Amistad? Sadly, before we can get to him, we're evicted by apparently the only security guard doing his job. No need to be rude about it. Oh well, D., it's all you.
5:30 Check it out... it's Green Day from Berlin. "American Idiot" and eyeliner. Pretty.
5:35 Speaking of pretty, did Keith Urban make a deal with the Devil? Jeesh. And why are there so many American flags are being waved for a country crooner from Down Under?
5:39 OK, some joker just text-messaged Heywood U. Blowmy's name in to be scrolled above the stage. Now I'm realizing why folks rip on Philly.
5:55 Well, hello, Rob Thomas. Keep doing that stripped-down version of Matchbox 20's "3 A.M." and you won't be lonely anymore, trust me. And thank you for having the guts to have a slight gut. Now go give those Maroon 5 boys something to eat.
6:30 The show hits a screeching close with Stevie Wonder banging out "Higher Ground" with Rob Thomas, "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" with Maroon 5's Adam Levine and not even a hint of the all-star finale we've been expecting. No Usher. No Prince. Just some golden funk and Wonder in what we fear may be one of Bea Arthur's old muumuus. Of course, it's not about that, really. It's about making poverty history. And from the looks of the refuse-strewn Parkway as the crowd disperses, it becomes clear that any country that can leave so much behind can surely afford to help those surviving on so little.