First album, first chart-topping single, first national TV performance… Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino have experienced a slew of firsts since performing “Say Something” on “So You Think You Can Dance?” But the duo known collectively as A Great Big World will experienced a new first on a different level Tuesday: first concert benefit.
“It’s a beautiful thing,” Vaccarino said via telephone on “Ralphie Tonight” regarding the band’s involvement in “Pinoy Relief.” The star-studded concert aimed to “provide relief to victims of natural disasters in the Philippines – with the current focus being victims of Typhoon Haiyan.” “We do music, and to be able to make such a positive impact and give back, in any way, that can help is what it’s all about.”
“We feel so helpless watching the news, seeing images and video footage,” Axel added, speaking about the typhoon that left 11 million people homeless. “We feel like we can’t do anything, so being able to just play our music and make a difference here in New York… I mean, it’s the best feeling.”
Concert organizers approached A Great Big World about performing, and the duo happily obliged. The New York University alumni performed inside The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Other bill notables included The Plain White T’s, Pentatonix, and headliner Jennifer Hudson. There was also special appearances from Dr. Oz and Apl De Ap, a native Filipino and Black Eyed Peas emcee.