TOKYO — Having celebrated its 10th anniversary last year, this year’s edition of the Dream Power John Lennon Super Live marked a new beginning, taking place once again on the anniversary of his passing, Dec. 8, at the Nippon Budokan.
The former Beatle was shot to death on that day in 1980 in New York.
The concert was initiated at his widow’s behest to provide funds to build schools throughout the world. Proceeds of this year’s edition will go to two schools in the Philippines, and one school each in Cambodia, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam, Ecuador, Guatemala, Ghana, and Senegal.
Twenty of Japan’s top musicians, actors, and creative professionals responded to Yoko Ono’s call to participate this year. In addition, Lennon made a virtual appearance using the latest technology, performing on stage backed by Tamio Okuda, Kazuya Yoshii, and Kazuyoshi Saito.
Other performers included Keisuke Kuwata, Bonnie Pink, Love Psychedelico, Sunny Day Service, Roy (from the Bawdies), and Overground Acoustic Underground.
“This has been a very tough year for Japan,” Ono said in a message posted prior to the concert. “Many people are still suffering. But I also know that many people are working hard to overcome their difficulties. And the world believes that Japan will get back on its feet again and show a new face to the world.
“This is another reason why we should raise our ‘Dream Power’ flag even higher this year. We have worked hard on this together, but there are still so many children around the world who need our support. This will be our 11th concert. We need to bring new life both to this concert, and to Japan.
“This year’s concert will allow us to build 10 more schools for underprivileged children around the world. That means that with all the other concerts over the last 10 years, we will have built 117 schools in 28 countries.
“You should all be proud of being part of our ‘Dream Power’ circle, which has provided such hope and encouragement to the children of Asia, Africa and Latin America. The dreams of each one of you have come together, spread out, and are gradually changing the world.
“A dream you dream alone is only a dream.
“A dream you dream together is reality.
“Let’s use John’s music to spread the ‘Dream Power’ circle even wider this year. The love you send out goes round the world, and comes back to Japan and to you.”