Monday, January 19, 2009

We Are One: Concert at the Lincoln Memorial

Singing in 20 degree weather can't be easy. Yesterday musicians paid tribute to Barack Obama by performing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. It's a dramatic and inspiring backdrop. Many of the songs were performed with a choir. Springsteen with acoustic guitar and choir behind him delivered a poignant version of The Rising. John Mellencamp and choir belted out a rousing version of Pink Houses. The only full band performance came from U2. They paid tribute to Martin Luther King Jr with In The Name of Love and followed it up with City Of Blinding Lights.

The ladies really rocked the show. They out rocked the guys.
  1. Mary J Blige's cover of Lean On Me took on steam as the song progressed.
  2. Renee Fleming powerfully interpreted Roger's and Hammerstein's You'll Never Walk Alone.
  3. I was very exited to see Heather Headley perform with Josh Grobman. She has one of the best voices and she hadn't been on my radar lately. Their duet was a beautiful interpretation of My Country Tis of Thee.
  4. Bettye LaVette proves that she just keeps getting better. She blew me away with her rendition of Love Reign O’er Me at the Kennedy Center Honors last month and continued to do so yesterday with her performance of A Change Is Gonna Come. Jon Bon Jovi sang with her.
  5. Beyonce closed the show with America The Beautiful with the days performers joining her on stage for the last verse.
With the exception of U2, it was a celebration of the music of this country, although the lone jazz artist represented was Herbie Hancock. HBO is running it online, watch it. The performers were there because they wanted to be and the passion and pride were evident on every one of their faces. It's good to be an American.

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