Thursday marked the three year anniversary of Sandy devastating the tri-state area. Many people were affected in a number of different ways; some are still experiencing the aftermath. We remember.
Archives For Hurricane Sandy
It isn’t hard to remember where I was when Sandy hit our area a year ago. Only a few weeks in to my new gig at 95.5 PLJ, I broadcasted my show that Monday night as the storm ravaged New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. I’ll never forget looking out our studio windows throughout the course of the evening to see Manhattan become darker and darker as parts of the borough lost power. The sound of the wind hitting the building and metal scraps and trash bouncing off the concrete below are still very clear in my mind.
The weeks after were chaotic. Families trying to not only figure out what they lost, but how they would get it back. Communities figuring out what was appropriate in the aftermath of the devastation and what could wait – whether it be a marathon, Halloween, a sporting event, or other activity. Government leaders placing politics aside and actually unifying for once to help the people that they were elected to serve in the first place.
From a music perspective, the first thing that always comes to mind is the band fun. The trio is based in New York; Jack Antonoff and his family were living in New Jersey at the time. I caught up with them after an unforgettable rendition of “Carry On” on “Saturday Night Live” and asked them about not just the performance, but the feat of returning to New York for the gig.
“We flew to Atlanta, where our bus happened to be driving through to pick us up for tour anyways,” recalled lead singer Nate Ruess on “The Ralphie Show” last year. “We spent 19 hours on the road, and by the time we got in to New York, ‘Sandy’ had happened that night, so we kind of saw the devastation thereafter.”
On Tuesday night, as we marked the one-year anniversary of the storm on-air, a nurse called in while driving to work. Exactly one year ago, she was at that same job helping patients evacuate from NYU Langone Medical Center.
So many have already given so much to help these areas rebuild, yet there is still more to be done. Find out how you can assist in the recovery here.
They did not face the destruction, or the heartbreak, that many in the tri-state area dealt with. But, it has still been an eventful week and a half by almost anyone’s standards for the band fun. The group spent a day in the UK, and was supposed to land back in New York the night Sandy wrecked the Northeast. That flight was shelved, and as airlines began to cancel thousands of flights, fun. began to wonder how it would return back to the States in time to rehearse and perform on “Saturday Night Live.”
“We flew to Atlanta, where our bus happened to be driving through to pick us up for tour anyways,” recalled lead singer Nate Ruess on “The Ralphie Show.” The band sat down for an interview on Wednesday night, as it prepared to perform an event in New York for Google Wallet while yet another storm hit the Empire State. “We spent 19 hours on the road, and by the time we got in to New York, ‘Sandy’ had happened that night, so we kind of saw the devastation thereafter.”
The trio lives in the tri-state area, and while Ruess and keyboardist Andrew Dost escaped any harm, guitarist and New Jersey resident Jack Antonoff hasn’t been able to return to his place yet – although he said there was no damage due to the hurricane.
“I just can’t get my crap, which I think in the scheme of things is probably the least people were affected,” Antonoff said. “All of us know people who have had really crazy stuff happen in the storm.”
Antonoff admitted that he didn’t think “Sandy” would wreak as much havoc as it did, due in part to the lack of potency surrounding last year’s “Irene” storm.
“’Irene’ last year was like, a tree kind of dinged my house, and that was the worst thing that happened in our neighborhood,” said Antonoff. “I think (underestimating ‘Sandy’ due to ‘Irene’) is exactly what happened.”
Dost noted that the entire “SNL” crew was super-accommodating as the unorthodox week unfolded. Then Saturday, fun. performed the title track from Some Nights and “Carry On” during the show. You couldn’t have picked a more appropriate song off the band’s latest album – and certainly the fact that it’s LP’s next single and the music video was filmed in Manhattan doesn’t hurt the notion.
“It was something I didn’t think about too much until someone brought it up,” Ruess acknowledged of the song’s relevancy to the events of the week. “I don’t want to say that it’s fortuitous that we have a single coming out that’s called, ‘Carry On.’ Yunno, I think it made the song more special for us… it was the right time and it was a very emotional moment for us on ‘Saturday Night Live’ performing that song.”
The singer confessed that his nerves ratcheted up a bit for the performance – to the point where he threw back a cocktail to calm down – but was careful not to drink too much.
“The crazy thing about this year is that we started out – the first thing that we did was the day Some Nights came out we had done Conan O’Brien,” Ruess said. “That was the first big TV we had done, and I just remember being a mess.”
Just eight months later, fun. has performed on pretty much every TV show that welcomes a band on to play a song.
“It’s crazy how much more you get desensitized to it,” Ruess said. “With ‘SNL,’ even for a second it was like, ‘Oh my God this is live, I could like trip and fall.’”
Interestingly enough, the entire band not-so-secretly carries this insecurity – as if to be careful not to become an Internet meme or punch line with a single misstep. Listening to Antonoff confirm Ruess’ fear, and Dost recall a time in high school where he was picked on, you would never think these three men have toured the globe, conquered late-night TV, and delivered one of the biggest anthems of 2012 to the masses.
Then you realize fun. did all of that, and then some, in only eight months. It’s pretty crazy, by almost anyone’s standards.
If you have ever listened to The Script, you know the Irish rockers know a thing or two about heartbreak. Perhaps this serves as an explanation as to why the band moved up a December date on Long Island to this Thursday. The concert at Huntington’s Paramount Theater will now serve as a benefit for Hurricane Sandy victims.
“I believe that a lot of these songs are going to take on a very, very special and a very unique meaning when we get to sing them in front of the audience there,” said Script lead singer Danny O’Donoghue on “The Ralphie Show.” The show’s flagship station, 95.5 PLJ, is one of the radio sponsors of the benefit show. “One song that comes to mind is ‘For the First Time.’”
O’Donoghue is well-aware that for many on Long Island and down the shore, life is imitating the lyrics of his art.
“People are having dinner by candlelight, yunno they might have an old, cheap bottle of wine there and they’re really back to basics,” the singer said. “That song, I mean on that night is gonna… I’m getting hairs on the back of my neck standing up now imaging the crowd singing it.”
There will be tears of joy as well – The Script’s latest hit single came about because O’Donoghue and his fellow coach on UK’s “The Voice” Will.I.Am both enjoy finding “positivity through music.”
“I guess we’re both individually strange and unique as the next one,” the Irishman said of his friendship with the Black Eyed Peas emcee. “God, I forgot about that song. I’m going to play that song too… that’s going to be amazing.”
The concert begins at 8 PM on Thursday. All proceeds benefit Long Island Cares and the Long Island chapter of the American Red Cross.
Our creative director Dan Kelly along with Monk from “The Big Show” produced the audio, and I edited the video together to the audio. Our hearts go out to all those affected by Hurricane Sandy. You can text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross’ relief efforts.
Life & Style Weekly reports that despite breaking up from Conor Kennedy, Taylor Swift will still buy that $4.5 million home by the Kennedy compound in Cape Cod. Senior News Editor Jordi Lippe also talked about Britney Spears’ new digs and the affect that Sandy has had on different celebrities living in the tri-state area.
Hurricane Sandy brought havoc up and down the east coast – ravaging New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. The worst devastation was seen in towns along the water: the boardwalk in Seaside Heights, NJ gone, Governor Daniel Malloy calling for a “Katrina-like” evacuation in parts of Connecticut, and homes in Staten Island, Long Beach, and other coastal parts of New York vanishing in to the Atlantic Ocean.
In Long Island, some areas were evacuated while others just lost power. Thankfully for my publicist, Mark Goldman, his house fell in to the latter category. I chatted with Mark about the night that Sandy hit and what he is doing to get through the week on my show.