The powerful storm left parts of New York City underwater and left millions of people in several states without heat or electricity for weeks. It’s blamed for at least 125 deaths, including 104 in New York and New Jersey, and it destroyed or damaged 305,000 housing units in New York alone.
Other concert performers were to include Long Islander Billy Joel ("New York State of Mind.") Even Liverpool’s Paul McCartney has a New York office, Hamptons home and a wife, Nancy Shevell, who spent a decade on the board of the agency that runs New York’s public transit system.
Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi said his family his still affected by the storm.
‘‘I had to hold back the tears really,’’ he said about visiting the devastation in New Jersey. ‘‘My mom’s house (in Point Pleasant, N.J.) got trashed. They had to evacuate her. She’s living with me until we fix it up.’’
E Street Band guitarist Steve Van Zandt said backstage that musicians are often quick to help when they can.
‘‘Yes, it’s more personal because literally the Jersey shore is where we grew up,’’ he said. ‘‘But we'd be here anyway.’’
The concert came a day after the death of sitar master Ravi Shankar, a performer at the 1971 ‘‘Concert for Bangladesh’’ considered the grandfather of music benefits. That concert also was in Madison Square Garden.
AP Music Writer Mesfin Fekadu in New York contributed to this report.