“One thing that I want to make clear: as with all the other members of this tour, I will be performing two or three songs a night and no more.” “I’m not making a political statement.
The Lampedusa tour helps displaced people heal, learn, and thrive by providing educational opportunities for refugees living in camps and urban settings in 45 countries.
“Lampedusa: Concerts for Refugees” is named for the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, the Italian island off the coast of Sicily which serves as a waypoint to Europe in refugees’ search for safety and security.
“When I first heard of this tragedy a few weeks ago, and realized that it happens all too frequently, it has constantly come back to me like a painful thorn in my heart.
So I felt that I had to come here today, to pray and to offer a sign of my closeness, but also to challenge our consciences lest this tragedy be repeated.” The artists taking part in the tour stress that it’s about humane treatment of people, and shouldn’t be considered a platform for politics.
It is also where Pope Francis visited refugees during his first official trip as Pope in July of 2013.
“Immigrants dying at sea, in boats which were vehicles of hope and became vehicles of death — that is how the headlines put it,” Pope Francis said in his homily there.After his 2007 collaboration with Alison Krauss garnered him six Grammy Awards (including Album of the Year and Record of the Year), Plant has created a new Band of Joy, which features fellow luminaries Buddy Miller and Patty Griffin.Their widely acclaimed album, , was nominated for Best Americana Album and Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance at the 2011 Grammy Awards.Originally built to honor the 3,400 Tennesseans who died in the First World War, Nashville’s War Memorial Auditorium was dedicated in 1925 and became the performance home of the Nashville Symphony (1925-1980) and the Grand Ole Opry (1939-1943).Upon completion, its architect, Edward Dougherty, was given the Gold Medal Award, the highest honor bestowed by the American Institute of Architecture.“These are real people with real needs and it’s not going to go away and we have to deal with these issues in a realistic way, and realism has to do with compassion.” For Plant, he could be doing a dozen other things right now, including giving endless interviews about the recently released Led Zeppelin set ‘The Complete BBC Sessions.’ Instead, his very presence on the tour — a surprise one at that — gives it some additional clout and will undoubtedly bring the intimate venues to sold out status if they weren’t already.