“Good evening America, proud to be here in cold Washington DC,” Bruce Springsteen said tonight as he launched the Celebrate America climax of today’s unprecedented inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
If you had questions about what tone the special concert was going to aim for, the Boss’s choice of an acoustic rendition of his Land of Hope and Dreams-themed song should have provided the answer. The event produced by Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss was more of a regular commemoration than a celebration for a wounded nation and body politic.
You can put all the Black Puma, Tim McGraw and Tyler Hubbard, DJ Cassidy, Ozuna and Luis Fonsi, Katy Perry, Foo Fighters, Justin Timberlake pre-recorded, Ant Clemons and Demi Lovato you love on screen, but the heart of this evening has always been to be found in Springsteen’s words about “faith will be rewarded”.
Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman tops Amazon’s bestseller list after spectacular DC appearance
Perhaps the words we need to put on the coin in 2021, as well as the face of Harriet Tubman.
Hosted by Tom Hanks, the man maybe everyone in America loves, the semi-live special was perhaps the most traditional part of an unconventional day, save for the oaths that the new POTUS and VPOTUS lent earlier on the steps of the Capitol. Yet, as much as Celebrate America was like many starry inaugural shindigs from past administrations, it was also very different.
Even with a Jersey Shore, Jon Bon Jovi stars the Beatles’ “Here Comes The Sun” and extraordinary “everyday heroes”, ordinary Americans in the spotlight, Celebrate America was also a solemn and restrained affair for a nation hampered by the Covid-19 pandemic and the shocking violence of MAGA’s coup attempt just two weeks ago.
“Over the past few weeks, years, we have witnessed deep divisions and troubling resentment in our country,” said the Oscar winner and Doggy style The star Hanks himself said surrounded by a DC protected by the National Guard which is more of a fortress than a city tonight. “But tonight we meditate on the United States of America, the practice of our democracy, the foundations of our republic, the integrity of our Constitution, the hope and dreams we all share for a more perfect union. “, he added, as a veteran of these presidential events can credibly.
Showing up in the first half hour of the 90-minute special, the new president himself was even more blunt, with no trace of the Uncle Fluffy character he sometimes brings to such occasions. “As I said earlier, we have learned again that democracy is precious, and thanks to you, democracy has prevailed,” Biden said in the temple of the Great Emancipator.
“There are times in our history when we are asked more as Americans… we are in one of those times now,” President Biden said at the Celebrating America concert. “The question is, are we up to the task? Are we going to meet the moment as our ancestors did?” pic.twitter.com/podvk4h4Gn
– NBC News (@NBCNews) January 21, 2021
The first herself, Vice President Harris was also on point. The first woman and first person of color to be Veep, the former California senator echoed the president’s sentiment in her own remarks in front of the lights in memory of the more than 400,000 Americans who have died from the coronavirus to date.
“In many ways, this moment embodies our character as a nation. It shows who we are, even in dark times. We don’t just dream, we do. We don’t just see what has been, we see what can be. – Vice President Harris # Inauguration2021 pic.twitter.com/oKSV5t45JH
– Biden Inaugural Committee (@BidenInaugural) January 21, 2021
Democracy may have prevailed over Donald Trump’s pre-fascism as a transfer of power to the 46th POTUS and 49th VPOTUS. Yet with a crisis on all fronts facing the new administration, tonight was aptly the low-key finale of the Rise Of Biden franchise.
A trilogy that began with the hugely successful semi-virtual unconventional Democratic National Convention last summer and continued through Election Day and its aftermath centered in Wilmington, Delaware. Celebrate America was full of those Zoom cross country chants that spawned at the four night DNC and distant testimonials from our best angels.
In fact, the stage had a lot of the same players from before, from the man at the top, his right hand to the boss. Celebrate America even saw Eva Longoria and Kerry Washington reprise their roles as host of part of DNC’s Four Nights and the Return of Lin Manuel Miranda.
The concert also showed off the beaten track thinking.
There was the Hamilton creator and star reciting a poem by Seamus Heaney and asking Biden to digitally join him to complete the last line. There were selections from the inaugural words of Abraham Lincoln, FDR, JFK and Ronald Reagan, as they were delivered with added eloquence by Kareen Abdul-Jabber, Dolores Huerta, the ever-warm Brayden Harrington and the CEO. by Miami Marlins Kim Ng. There was John Legend singing Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good” at night with an empty Lincoln Memorial as a backdrop, a touching scene in some ways reminiscent of when the EGOT winner performed the singer / songwriter’s legendary songs at Sundance there. a few years ago.
Other, Celebrate America successfully capped a groundbreaking day that began with boor (to say the least) sad out of town Trump, then saw one made for a historic moment on television after another full of symbols and substance galore. Because if this subdued search for greater unity in a fractured union had a defining moment, it wasn’t rockstars or songwriters, closing fireworks, or even colossal tasks that Biden and Harris are faced.
These are the three tribal elders untied across party lines and generations eager to see America recover from the damage and destruction of Trump’s tenure and the forces are unleashed once again.
“The fact that the three of us are here talking about a peaceful transfer of power is testament to the institutional integrity of our country,” said George W. Bush in language analyzed with his predecessor Bill Clinton and his successor Barack Obama by his side in a city that has not been so peaceful in recent weeks.
It’s not the first time the three amigos have been side by side, but today, at the WWII Memorial, was perhaps the most important moment they met.
WATCH: Former Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama reflect on what inauguration day means to them. pic.twitter.com/OtNDf7uF34
– NBC News (@NBCNews) January 21, 2021
“Mr. President, I shoot for your success. Your success is the success of our country and God bless you,” the Republican said to Biden with words similar to the letter he left Obama in 2009. “ You spoke for us today. Now you will lead for us. And we are ready to match you, “said Clinton.” Joe, I’m proud of you, “Obama said of his former vice president .
It was a public service announcement for the United States, and perhaps the calming drug for a message we and the world needed to hear.
Or to quote Amanda Gorman’s beautiful poem from earlier today and also said by the vice president: we will rise.