Sunday, January 18, 2009

Star-Studded Inauguration Concert Update!

HBO had the whole entertainment ceremony and will run it again tonight. It was SO GOOD! I cried and really enjoyed it. So if you have HBO, watch it. I missed the beginning of it and am recording one of the later ones. I started watching when Samuel L. Jackson was speaking.

Now I'm writing about it while watching the rebroadcast. All kinds of entertainers are on: Denzel Washington, Forrest Whitaker, Tiger Woods, James Taylor("Shower the People You Love"), Marisa Tomei, Laura Linney, Martin Luther King III, Mary J. Blige ("Lean on Me"), John Mellencamp ("Ain't That America"), Bruce Springsteen ("The Rising"), Tom Hanks, Kal Pen, George Lopez, Herbie Hancock with Sheryl Crow and Will.I.Am ("One Love, One Life"), Renée Fleming with the US Naval Glee Club ("You'll Never Walk Alone"), Jack Black, Rosario Dawson, Garth Brooks ("American Pie" and "Shout" and "We Shall Be Free"), Ashley Judd, Usher & Stevie Wonder & Shakira ("Higher Ground"), and several choirs.

Jamie Fox did a brief impersonation of Obama when he quoted his acceptance speech in Chicago, which got a laugh from the Obamas and the Bidens. Queen Latifah introduced a tape of Marian Anderson's singing "America" and told how Eleanor Roosevelt insisted that she be allowed to sing at the inauguration against the protests from the Daughters of the American Revolution. Then Josh Grobin and Heather Headley sang it accompanied by a men's choir.

The duet by Jon Bon Jovi and Bettye LaVette of "A Change is Gonna Come" was moving! It will be on YouTube soon, I'm sure. Wow! That's a powerful song anyway, and they sang it well. I posted it a while back by Seal - awesome!

U2 sang their song about Dr. King ("Pride: In the Name of Love"), and Bono said on Tuesday that dream comes true. U2 also sang "Oh You Look So Beautiful Tonight" before President-elect Obama's speech. I can't watch one of his speeches without crying. Then Pete Seeger and his grandson Tao led the huge audience in singing "This Land is Your Land" with Bruce Springsteen and a choir. There they were at the Lincoln Memorial where Martin Luther King made his "I Have a Dream" speech at the March on Washington, and it made me think about how Pete Seeger and others who were there then must be feeling because I was definitely feeling it. Beyoncé sang "America the Beautiful" with all the others joining her on stage at the end of the concert.

What an ecumenical gathering! The concert embodies Obama's message and includes a diversity of people. I like feeling this good about people and want it to last for a while. I haven't felt this inspired since President Kennedy. His inaugural speech made us feel that we could make a difference. I was a senior in high school then and he changed my life.


Sylvia K said...

I think Kennedy changed a lot of lives and I think Obama has the potential to do the same. I don't usually regret not having TV because I've never been a big TV watcher anyway, but this is one time I wish we did.

Joy said...

I don't know what I'd do without TV. I'm addicted to it and the computer - often at the same time. :-) I know I'd probably get a lot more done but suspect I'd find something else to distract myself with. No, I would really miss TV. It's one of my guilty pleasures.

Bob said...

I sincerely do feel that a change is coming. We don't get HBO but I've seen bits-n-pieces online and on CNN et al.
Thanks for your reports, Joy!

June Saville said...

Enjoy your party Joy - wish I could be there! Pete Seeger would have really done it for me!
June in Oz

Berry Blog said...

I recognized a lot of people but couldn't think of their names. Thanks for taking the time to list brought it all back. Every darned performance moved me and choked me was incredibly beautiful. I was more moved than the opening ceremony of the Olympics this year. What a powerful period in time. I went to bed exhausted and happy. Like you Joy, it is wonderful to be able to feel that way about people.

Chris said...

I must say that I so infinitely hate Jamie Fox. That aside, and some rumours that Perez Hilton is putting out, I am so in awe of all that is going on right now.

Hope exists again.

Dan said...

Auntie Flame - It was so moving to be a part of that concert. Being in the crowd you couldn't help but feel that we were finally moving in a new direction. There was more than one time that both Luis and I just broke down in tears. it was so moving to be there.

Joy said...

I'm so glad you and Luis were there, Dan! I'm looking forward to your post and pictures but mostly am thrilled you got to experience history being made!

What rumors from Perez Hilton, Chris?

Chris said...

Joy - Perez seems to thin that Barack has been showing signs of shunning the gay population. Perez claims that Barack insisted that HBO not broadcast Gene Robinson's prayer - there was another thing he mentioned too which I can't recall.

I can't pass a judgement on this without really knowing the facts but I hate to believe that Obama's intent would be to shun the gay population.

Joy said...

I hope that's not true, but Perez often is.