Monday, January 19, 2009

I dvr'd the Obama We Are One Inaugral Celebration . . . . and it rocks!

  • National anthem performed by a military man opens the party.

  • Denzel Washington opens up the festivities invoking the memory of Lincoln, Washington and Jefferson (I saw him once in the Forum Club, he's a very handsome man).

  • The Boss, backed by a kick ass choir, rips through the Rising. Malia Obama snaps photos from the side of the stage.

  • Laura Linney and MLK III talk about FDR and JFK.

  • Mary J. Blige tears the roof off the place (ok, they are outside already) with Lean on Me

  • Jamie Foxx and Steve Carell, an odd coupling, talk about change, including Foxx's impersonation of Obama

  • Soul singer Bettye LaVette duets with Jon Bon Jovi. Bettye has an incredible voice, but Jon holds his own. (note to self - download some of her tunes off of iTunes)

  • Tom Hanks reads a very serious speech from Lincoln, accompanied by sort of overwraught music. Or he read a speech in a very serious, overwraught manner. Lighten up, guys! It's a party!

  • Marisa Tomei is quoting Ronald Reagan (?)

  • James Taylor is singing Shower the People you Love with Love, and wearing a Russian peasant hat. But here comes John Legend and Jennifer Nettles (note to self, google Jennifer Nettles). There are also two unidentified back up singers. Everyone is in fine voice. I just noticed how handsome John Legend is.

  • Joe Biden speaks about the dignity of work. I don't disagree, but I'd still like to win the lottery.

  • John Mellencamp sings Pink Houses, which is my favorite Mellencamp song.

  • Queen Latifah better not be wearing real fur on that collar. (PETA?) But her story about Marian Anderson and Eleanor Roosevelt and racism is a good one.

  • Josh Groban - the guy who made my new favorite Xmas album - sings My Country Tis of Thee - accompanied by Heather Hadley and the Gay Men's Chorus.

  • George Lopez and Kal Penn (Harold and Kumar go to White Castle - wtf?). Kal is a good speaker, or maybe I'm still remembering Tom Hanks. Obama's niece is sound asleep.

  • Herbie Hancock, and Sheryl Crow doing One Love. Little Sasha Obama does not appear to have developed an appreciation (yet) for the great Bob Marley. Sheryl Crow is well into her 40s and looks phenomenal.
  • Tiger Woods? I thought he was a republican? He talks about the military. Someone should have told Tiger this was a Nike commercial so that he'd unstiff a bit. He introduces the US Naval Academy Glee Club, singing with somebody Fleming, who apparently is an opera singer. She could be singing without a mike and we still wouldn't be able to hear the glee club.
  • Jack Black - amazingly dressed up, along with Rosario Dawson, talking about various presidents saving parts of the country for national parks - Lincoln, who saved Yosemite, and Teddy Roosevelt expanding Yellowstone and doubling the number of National Parks. Too bad Bush just signed an executive order that could desecrate the Grand Canyon.
  • Garth Brooks! American Pie! Obama sings along. Garth needs to move on to relaxed fit jeans. Garth sings Shout! An odd choice, but he pulls it off. I'm always pleasantly surprised when a country singer is a liberal.
  • Ashley Judd and Forrest Whitaker. Both are moving and emotional. I love Ashley for proudly marching in pro-choice gatherings wearing a t-shirt that says "This is what a feminist looks like."
  • Usher, Shakira and Stevie Wonder doing Higher Ground. Usher exhorts the crowd to stand up, oddly enough since no one besides the Obama and Biden families have seats, and they are already standing and rocking out, except the niece who is still asleep. Here's hoping Shakira belly dances a bit.
  • Samuel L. Jackson - who knows what he's going to say, but who's going to disagree. He pays tribute to Rosa Parks and MLK Jr.
  • U2!!!!!!! Knitters for Obama were all aflutter because Bono is wearing fingerless gloves. I've never seen the boys so happy. I think the Edge is wearing a new watch cap to celebrate the occasion. Bono does an Israeli/Palestinian shout out he probably didn't clear with the handlers first. The niece is awake! Bono is one of the few performers to address Obama (or O'Bama) and Biden directly. Seriously, I've been following U2 for 30 years, and have seen them live probably 10 times, and never seen them so giddy.
  • Barack Obama!!!! Ok, I love this dude, but he's kind of being a downer. Bono, Edge, Larry and Adam are in the back slitting their wrists. Wait! He's getting to the uplifing part. He leaves the stage and Malia tells him "it was good."
  • The legendary Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen do Woody Guthrie's This Land Is My Land, along with Pete's grandson. Pete is playing the banjo, and wearing a knitted cap that has the knitting community all aflutter.
  • Beyonce is wearing ridiculous shoes, but sings the hell out of America the Beautiful. Malia takes photos.
  • Malia gets a kiss from Denzel. I hope she's not planning to wash that cheek.

Sigh . . .


Blogger sage said...

Interesting line up, sounds like there was something for everyone (Sheryl Crow!). I enjoyed your comments. Are you going to offer to finish Bono's gloves after you win the lottery? :)

Oh yeah, the Steeler's did it!

3:49 AM  
Blogger LA said...

Malia Obama and her ubiquitous camera crack me up every time. She probably has a flickr page where those up-close inaugural oath pix can be seen. She probably twitters, too. Those two girls are awesome.

Fun fact - My sister was almost named Malia in keeping with the Hawaiian theme of my name, but my dad insisted on Italian.

12:23 PM  
Blogger LA said...

p.s. Marisa Tomei is quoting Ronald Reagan (?)


12:26 PM  
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