Yes We Scan: Obamapalooza Primer

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Hey, remember when we all got together to watch the concert at Bush’s inauguration weekend? Yeah, me neither. But leave it to Barack Obama to have the hippest, most star-studded pre-inaugural concert starring performers you actually like, like Beyonce and the Boss. So I’m doing my Obamaservice today by running down yesterday’s megalovefest on the Mall.

1. Ok, first, Bruce Springsteen kicks things off with a rousing rendition of “The Rising,” his song about hope in the face 9/11 which was played at like a gazillion Obama rallies. The song is super catchy, so the day’s theme of unity and togetherness is established as we all sing along, together with the enormous choir.

2. Denzel Washington (who will clearly play Obama in the biopic, unless it’s an action blockbuster, in which case the role will go to Will Smith), tells us somberly that “we are all in this together,” and that’s why the concert is called “We Are One.”

3. Will.i.am, Herbie Hancock and Sheryl Crow cover Bob Marley’s “One Love.” You know, the song you used to get high to. Will.i.am has this weird, sappy, mainstream talent for making things which seem like they should suck be not lame, like in that inescapable “Yes We Can” video (if you take away zombie-fied off-tune Scarlett Johansson).

4. Garth Brooks brings the house down with his covers of “American Pie” and “Shout!” No, really. The crowd goes wild. Dance, Joe Biden, dance!

5. Cross-generational, musical post-partisanship: Stevie Wonder gets wonderful with Shakira and Usher, inspiring us to keep on tryin’ til we reach our “Higher Ground.” The Obamas dance like they mean it. Malia takes pictures. The First Family-Elect, they’re just like us!

6. Bono and the Edge kill on “In The Name of Love.” And they’re not even American. See now EVERYONE LOVES US AGAIN! Woo!! Barack Obama for King of the World!

7. Some guys bring out a bald eagle named Challenger. That thing is huge. Seems like it’s maybe too heavy to fly? Awkward.

8. OOOOOOBAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMAAAAAAAA! The crowd goes INSANE. He references Lincoln and King, how they made this moment possible. But what really made this moment possible is…ME! I mean, US! WE did it! WE are what gives him hope! “The true character of our nation is revealed not during times of comfort and ease,” he said. “But by the right we do when the moment is hard. I ask you to help reveal that character once more, and together, we can carry forward as one nation, and one people.” We ARE one! I am totally bawling, just like that blond lady on the screen and all 399,999 people around her.

9. Ok, dry your eyes people, because Bruce is back, now with Pete Seeger. And all the other famous people. They sing “This Land Is Your Land.” Yes, yes it is my land. And Jack Black’s land, and Marisa Tomei’s, and Mary J. Blige’s, and Josh Groban’s, and…

10. …Beyonce! She tells God to Bless America (and all the single ladies?) and then tells everyone to get up and sing with her, and they do, and fierce little Sasha is dancing along with Sasha Fierce, and I’m freaking crying again and so is Tom Hanks. Group hug, America! This is gonna be awesome!

See it for yourself here:
HBO video of the event

The New York Times found the concert “somberly uplifting and devout”

MTV knows it’s about the quantity (of celebs) not the quality (of music)

Word Up: Challenger, the name of the bald eagle which didn’t fly during the We Are One concert on the Mall.

Number: 400,000 – the number of Obamaniacs who froze their butts off to rock for Barack

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