Mall gig and next President have crowd dancing

It was a day that combined high-minded political rhetoric with the very best of pop culture. Tens of thousands of citizens braved frigid weather on Sunday to attend a historic concert celebrating the United States’ first Black President...

Written by LA Times Washington Post | Washington | Published: January 20, 2009 11:01 pm

It was a day that combined high-minded political rhetoric with the very best of pop culture. Tens of thousands of citizens braved frigid weather on Sunday to attend a historic concert celebrating the United States’ first Black President — held at the feet of the monument honouring Abraham Lincoln.

Barack Obama and his family had what looked like a rocking good time. They sat with Joe Biden and his wife in a glass-walled booth on one side of the stage. During the two-hour concert,they clapped,danced and sang along as they were feted by entertainment royalty — Denzel Washington,Tom Hanks,Jamie Foxx,Bruce Springsteen,Bono,Beyonce,Mary J Blige,Stevie Wonder,Usher,Will.i.am,John Legend,Sheryl Crow,Shakira,James Taylor and many more. Golf great Tiger Woods spoke of growing up in a military family. He introduced the Naval Academy’s glee club,which performed with soprano Renee Fleming.

Obama and Biden each spoke about the anxiety that has the country in its grip.

“Despite… the enormity of the task that lies ahead,I stand here today as hopeful as ever that the United States of America will endure,that the dream of our founders will live on in our time,” Obama said.

U2’s Bono injected the only seemingly unrehearsed political note to the day. Just after Michelle blew him a kiss,Bono said Obama’s election represented “Not just an American dream — also an Irish dream,a European dream,African dream,Israeli dream and also a Palestinian dream”.

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