Live Earth Concert Kicks Off Saturday

The much-anticipated Live Earth global concert kicks off Saturday. It will take place for 24 hours on seven continents and will feature more than 100 musicians. The goal: to launch awareness about climate change.

Will.i.am of the hip-hop group The Black Eyed Peas was inspired by former Vice President Al Gore's movie An Inconvenient Truth and wrote a song he will perform at the event. He previews "Change the World (SOS)" and gives the story behind writing it.

Satellite radio stations, the NBC family of networks and MSN.com will carry the concert.

Live in the Antarctic, It's Nunatak

Nunatak rehearses for its Live Earth performance. i i

Nunatak rehearses for its Live Earth performance scheduled for July 7. The band consists of researchers with the British Antarctic Survey and is based at the Rothera Research Station in Antarctica. Alistair Simpson/British Antarctic Survey hide caption

itoggle caption Alistair Simpson/British Antarctic Survey
Nunatak rehearses for its Live Earth performance.

Nunatak rehearses for its Live Earth performance scheduled for July 7. The band consists of researchers with the British Antarctic Survey and is based at the Rothera Research Station in Antarctica.

Alistair Simpson/British Antarctic Survey
Tristan Thorne i i

Tristan Thorne is Nunatak's fiddler. The 28-year-old from the Orkney island of Sanday also manages satellite technology and IT at Rothera. Alistair Simpson/British Antarctic Survey hide caption

itoggle caption Alistair Simpson/British Antarctic Survey
Tristan Thorne

Tristan Thorne is Nunatak's fiddler. The 28-year-old from the Orkney island of Sanday also manages satellite technology and IT at Rothera.

Alistair Simpson/British Antarctic Survey

The upcoming Live Earth concert will feature musicians performing on all seven continents. The worldwide concerts are intended to focus attention on climate change.

Among the nearly 100 acts are Melissa Etheridge, Shakira, Duran Duran, the Police — and a band that is huge in Antarctica: Nunatak.

The five-person band consists of scientists with the British Antarctic Survey. The group takes its name from a Greenlandic word for mountain peaks that protrude through overlaying ice sheets.

By day, the band members research evolutionary biology and climate change. By night, they are the house band at Rothera Research Station on Adelaide Island, located near the middle of the Antarctic peninsula that stretches toward Chile.

Tristan Thorne is a communications engineer at the research station — and Nunatak's ace fiddler.

The original idea was for a headlining act at Live Earth to use Rothera station as a venue on that "elusive seventh continent," Thorne says.

But it's nearly impossible to get an aircraft or ship into the area on the proposed date of the concert. So officials with the British Antarctic Survey suggested using the existing Rothera band.

"You've got to remember, although we've got a very big following within the British Antarctic Survey — and in particular, Rothera station — we may not have the worldwide renown that some of the other acts have," Thorne tells Melissa Block.

The concert will kick off outdoors — in temperatures expected to be about 10 degrees below zero Celsius — on a stage at Rothera station's airstrip. Then, the band will move to what Thorne describes as a "very popular venue known as the 'sledge stall.'"

Thorne is rather sanguine about the event: "We're playing to a sellout audience of 17 people, which is the entire complement of the Rothera base, so it's as much of a success on Adelaide Island as it possibly can be. Intimacy is, and always has been, one of the band's main attractions."

Because of the difficulties of broadcasting from Antarctica, only those 17 devoted fans will be able to watch Nunatak's live show.

However, video of the band from an earlier show will be available at Live Earth on MSN.

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