May 22, 2017: Musician Reactions to Manchester Bombing

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Grande, pictured in an undated photo, with 18-year-old Georgina Bethany Callander, identified as the first victim

The bombing on May 22, 2017, outside of the Manchester (U.K.) Arena, just as a concert by Ariana Grande was ending, sparked an outpouring of grief from the artist community who were justifiably outraged by the cowardly act which targeted its innocent victims.

Twenty-two souls were lost that day. Many of the concertgoers included children, perhaps attending their first live concert of their young lives and it’s difficult to imagine the horror and emotional scars that they will carry.

Though Grande announced the cancellation of the rest of her tour, she returned to Manchester on June 4 for a magnificent #OneLoveManchester benefit concert. The event also included live performances by native son Liam Gallagher, plus Coldplay, Pharrell Williams and Miley Cyrus, among others.

On May 22, 2018, the first anniversary of the bombing, bells rang in Manchester for a full minute at precisely 10:30 p.m. to mark the exact moment of the attack.

In the hours and days following the tragedy, numerous classic rock stars and other entertainers, expressed their feelings via social media.

The Rolling Stones, via Facebook: The Rolling Stones are deeply shocked to hear about the appalling events in Manchester and send their condolences to everyone affected by this tragedy.

Manchester native Liam Gallagher of Oasis…

Beatles reissues producer Giles Martin…

James Corden on CBS’ The Late Late Show: “When I think of Manchester, the place that I know, I think of the spirit of the people there, and I’m telling you a more tight-knit group of people you would be hard-pressed to find. Strong, proud, caring people, a community at its core. And if it was even possible, the spirit of the people of Manchester will grow even stronger.”

Meat Loaf (via Facebook): “My heart cries today, my love and prayers go out for the victims and their families, who lost loved ones at the Manchester Arena last evening. There are really no words I can every write, that will ever sooth the heartache of the families. To those who where at the Manchester Arena your lives have changed forever and not for the better. My Love to all of Manchester.”

From Blondie, who postponed their concert scheduled for the next evening (May 23) in London…

And on the 5th anniversary of the bombing…

On June 4, 2017, Grande returned to Manchester, along with many other pop icons to perform at a benefit concert. When Coldplay’s Chris Martin took the stage with Grande, he said, “Ariana, we all want to say thank you for being so strong and so wonderful. You’ve been singing a lot for us so we in Britain want to sing for you.” He then performed an acoustic version of Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back in Anger.”

Plenty of artists that couldn’t attend had pre-taped comments of support expressing “I Stand With Manchester,” including Paul McCartney, Bastille, Kings of Leon and Twenty One Pilots.

We’ve all attended hundreds—thousands—of public events, typically without fear. Don’t stop going to concerts, ballgames, movies, etc.! But please be vigilant. Here are listings of hundreds of classic rock tours taking place this year.

Best Classic Bands Staff

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