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Published December 12 2012

Music, comic royalty rock NYC to fight back from Superstorm Sandy destruction

NEW YORK — Music and comedy royalty struck a defiant tone in a benefit concert for Superstorm Sandy victims on Wednesday, asking for help to rebuild a New York metropolitan area most of them know well.

The sold-out Madison Square Garden show was televised, streamed online and aired on radio all over the world. Producers said up to 2 billion people could experience the concert live.

“When are you going to learn,” comic and New Jersey native Jon Stewart said. “You can throw anything at us — terrorists, hurricanes. You can take away our giant sodas. It doesn't matter. We're coming back stronger every time.”

Jersey shore hero Bruce Springsteen set a roaring tone, opening the concert with “Land of Hope and Dreams” and “Wrecking Ball.” He addressed the rebuilding process in introducing his song “My City of Ruins,” noting it was written about the decline of Asbury Park, N.J. before that city's renaissance over the past decade. What made the Jersey shore special was its inclusiveness, a place where people of all incomes and backgrounds could find a place, he said.

“I pray that that characteristic remains along the Jersey shore because that's what makes it special,” Springsteen said.