ABC News“Ho, ho, ho! This is your Jersey Santa Claus!” With those words, Bruce Springsteen hit the stage at New York City’s Carnegie Hall Wednesday night and turned Sting’s biennial benefit concert into a rockin’ Christmas party.
The holiday-themed concert, hosted by Sting and his wife Trudie Styler to raise money for their Rainforest Fund, also featured James Taylor, Idina Menzel, sixties girl group legends Ronnie Spector and Darlene Love, country star Jennifer Nettles,opera singer Vittorio Grigolo, and trumpeter Chris Botti. But the event was a relatively sedate affair until The Boss arrived: he entered Carnegie Hall from the back of the auditorium, climbed onstage, strapped on a guitar and launched into “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” much to the audience’s delight.
Springsteen followed that up with his version of the R&B classic “Merry Christmas Baby,” which Bruce sang in the audience while posing for numerous selfies with excited fans. Having run out of actual Christmas songs, he continued with a classic that fit the night’s theme of “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” sort of: he sang “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” with famed backup singer Lisa Fischer.
Prior to Bruce’s arrival, James and Idina had already treated the audience to songs like “Winter Wonderland and “Let It Go,” as well as a duet on “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” Sting, who wore a long, black pleated kilt for part of the show, sang English folk carols, plus “Empty Chair,” from the documentary Jim: The James Foley Story. He also did some upbeat tunes: Wham!‘s “Last Christmas” and Wizzard‘s “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day,” which he described as “the stupidest song you’ll hear tonight.”
The night ended with everyone involved singing “Joy to the World.”
Since 1989, the Rainforest Fund has raised $45 million to help protect and support indigenous people in helping to preserve their environments.
Here’s the set list for this year’s concert:
James Taylor and Chris Botti: “Winter Wonderland”
Sting: “Soul Cake”
Idina Menzel: “Let It Go”
James Taylor: “River”
Sting: “Cherry Tree Carol”
Vittorio Grigolo: A number from the opera Pagliacci
Sting” “Empty Chair”
Vittorio Grigolo: A number from Romeo and Juliet
Ronnie Spector: “Frosty the Snowman” and “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”
Sting: “Last Christmas”
Darlene Love: “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”
James Taylor & Idina Menzel: “Baby It’s Cold Outside”
Darlene Love: “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”
Sting: “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day”
Bruce Springsteen: “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” “Merry Christmas Baby,” “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out”
Jennifer Nettles, Idina Menzel, Company: “Do You Hear What I Hear”
Company: “Joy to the World”
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