Sunday, January 18, 2009
Free Concert Draws Hundreds of Thousands
(Hundreds of thousands turned out for the concert.)
Hundreds of thousands of excited revelers flocked to the National Mall today to watch a free inaugural concert presented by HBO. Of the star-studded cast, the real star was President-elect Barack Obama, who sat beaming on the front row with his wife, daughters, Vice-president Elect Joe Biden and Mrs Biden. Hundreds of thousands filled the wooded grounds around the Reflecting Pool and the slope of frozen yellow grass between the Washington Monument and the World War Two Memorial.
(All were invited. Many came.)
Among the highlights of the show were performances by Bruce Springsteen, Usher and Stevie Wonder, and a rousing rendition of This Land is Your Land led by Pete Seeger. Among numerous speakers, Jamie Foxx, Denzel Washington, and Samuel Jackson stood out, with Foxx playfully mocking Obama's oratorical style. Low points included a flaccid and long-winded speech by Tom Hanks, inconsequential appearances by several celebrities, two tethered bald eagles, and a set-ruining cameo by Jon Bon Jovi. Obama appeared at the end of the afternoon-long show, giving the last speech of his political career before assuming the office of president on Tuesday.