The 2017 Pathway to Paris concert was held at Carnegie Hall last Sunday, bringing together an array of musicians and activists with the goal of turning the Paris Climate Change Agreement to action. The initiative exists in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme and 350.org and was founded by Rebecca Foon and Jesse Paris Smith in 2014. Since then, the initiative has put on concerts in New York and Paris, and released an album in 2016.
This year’s event featured mini-sets from a diverse group of performers. Michael Stipe, accompanied by a guitarist, covered songs by Nat King Cole, Ringo Starr and the Velvet Underground. Joan Baez covered Antony and the Johnsons and John Lennon, before being caught dancing side-stage during Talib Kweli’s performance of “Get By” featuring Flea on bass and the Risky Boys as the backing band.
Cat Power, Tanya Tagaq, and Tenzin Choegyal each offered moving performances. Cat Power sat at a piano, barely lit, for quiet renditions of her songs. Tanya Tagaq was accompanied by a cellist while she howled through an animalistic performance that stilled the room. Tenzin Choegyal welcomed Tibetan and Himalayan elders to the stage to joyously sing of compassion for our planet.
Patti Smith held a special place of honor throughout the night. As the mother of founder Jesse Paris Smith, Patti Smith opened the evening with a reading of Emily Dickenson’s “Nature Is What We See,” made special appearances as both host and musical guest throughout the night, and closed the show with her anthem, “People Have the Power.”
For more information about the Pathway to Paris initiative, its actions to combat climate change, and how you can help, visit www.pathwaytoparis.com.
Rebecca Foon and Jesse Paris Smith open the show.
Patti Smith performs.
Michael Stipe addresses the audience.
Michael Stipe dances while performing “Sunday Morning” by The Velvet Underground.
Tanya Tagaq performs.
Flea performs a solo instrumental piece.
Flea improvises while Patti Smith recites “Mother’s Prayer.”
Tenzin Choegyal performs accompanied by Rebecca Foon on cello.
Tenzin Choegyal and Rebecca Foon are joined by Tibetan and Himalayan elders.
Artist Olafur Eliasson leads the audience in creating a video using solar-powered suns. The suns were then donated to the people of Puerto Rico.
Cat Power performs.
Cat Power performs.
Joan Baez covers Antony and the Johnsons.
Talib Kweli performs “Get By” with Flea and the Risky Boys.
Talib Kweli welcomes a dancing Joan Baez to the stage.
Rebecca Foon and Jesse Paris Smith close the evening in thanks.
Michael Stipe listens for the audience joining in on “People Have the Power.”
Michael Stipe joins Patti Smith in singing “People Have the Power.”
Patti Smith leads the performers in “People Have the Power.”
Patti Smith closes Pathway to Paris.
“Nature Is What We See” – Emily Dickenson
Mother Nature’s Son – The Beatles
Where Do the Children Play – Cat Stevens
Peaceable Kingdom / People Have the Power
Nature Boy – Nat King Cole
It Don’t Come Easy (partial) – Ringo Starr
Photograph – Ringo Starr
Sunday Morning – The Velvet Underground
Mother’s Prayer (with Patti Smith)
Elemental Prayer (with Jesse Paris Smith and Rebecca Foon)
Heart Strings (with Jesse Paris Smith, Rebecca Foon, and Tibetan and Himalayan Elders)
Another World – Antony and the Johnsons
The President Sang Amazing Grace – Zoe Mulford
Imagine – John Lennon
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot – Wallace Willis
Get By (with Flea and the Risky Boys)
After the Gold Rush – Neil Young
People Have the Power (with all)