Wow, what a beginning. The band then transitioned into a segment of "Free Fallin' as lead singer Brandon Flowers urged the crowd of 10,000 to "get on your feet for the eternal Tom Petty".
Bon Jovi was the first band to take the stage in Cleveland's Public Auditorium. Bon Jovi were nominated previously in 2011. The very few boys who took me on dates in those days were instantaneously upstaged if "Nights in White Satin" or "Dawn Is a Feeling" came on the auto radio.
The Democratic governor hailed the band as "one of the most famous, enduring rock bands of all time". "It took a lot of people to get us here tonight".
Bassist John Illsley acknowledged the awkwardness of Knopfler not being present and then took a subtle swipe at his bandmate and close friend by saying, "it's more than one person, a collective". He literally recounted the band's biography, seemingly straight from the group's Wikipedia page. He said he had been writing the speech for years.
They performed crowd favorites like "You Give Love a Bad Name" and "It's My Life".
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Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler was not in attendance, and the band did not perform. His fellow bandmates, keyboardists Alan Clark and Guy Fletcher, followed with short and charming speeches of their own, but not before Illsley tried to clear the air about Mark's absence - which he previously said boiled down to Mark just not feeling like attending.
"I Have been composing this address as I have strummed a broom and sang on very top of the staircase in my youth property", he stated, as stated by the paper. Some days, I write the "Thank you" speech. Illsley inducted the band himself. He peppered his remarks with his typically lewd comments about threesomes and other sexual acts while acknowledging that "hell must have frozen over" because he left his home to come to Cleveland, something he has complained vociferously about ever since he found out the Inductions were taking place this year in Cleveland and not NY.
The ceremony ended with legendary rock band Moody Blues' induction and performance. Although it rained during the ceremony, not even a single fan left the arena.
Alabama Shake's Brittany Howard paid tribute to Sister Rosetta Tharpe with a powerful performance of "That's All" and "Strange Things Happening Every Day". The band did not perform after speaking. I think you'll have to ask him'. Ric Ocasek, the singer of The Cars, discussed some of his early Cleveland shows. "It feels unusual to be up here without him", Ocasek said, who noted he lived in Cleveland for a while. Later, Ann Wilson and Jerry Cantrell honored Chris Cornell with "Black Hole Sun". The E Street Band guitarist said, "Welcome to Cleveland, baby".
"We did it mom!", he said, earning cheers from the audience. "That's why Nina is so important and means so much to me". He didn't address the gathering unlike the previous ceremonies where he opened the ceremonies with his speech. It could be a "Champagne Supernova" kind of evening.
The induction of the late Nina Simone was marked with a performance of some of her songs by Lauryn Hill, Andra Day and the Roots; her trophy was accepted by her brother, Joe Wayman.