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Inauguration Watch Video: Springsteen Warms up the Crowd

He was barely visible on the stage in front of the Lincoln Memorial today, a distant image who was noticeable mostly for the bright red scarf he was wearing. But when he strummed the guitar and led a chorus through a rendition of “The Rising,” the several hundred people who had begun to gather knew from the the unmistakeable singing voice that it was Bruce Springsteen.

And so began Springsteen’s sound check for Sunday’s welcome concert that will formally kick off the inaugural festivities leading up to President-elect Barack Obama’s swearing-in Tuesday. Springsteen wasn’t the only A-list star to surprise the crowd, which braved 20-degree temperatures to have a listen. John Mellencamp and Mary J. Blige also warmed up their vocal cords.

The question is, however, what the estimated 500,000 who will attend Sunday’s show at 2:30 p.m. are able to see. There are bleachers blocking views from the sides of the stage, and in front are dozens of rows of seats for VIPs and special guests. Equipment for the HBO broadcast also block some of the view. The rest of the crowd likely will have a hard time getting a good view, and the one Jumbotron (on the left-hand side if one is facing the Memorial) will only go so far.

But the crowd today wasn’t too bummed. They hummed along in pleasant spirits and groaned a little when Springsteen quickly left the stage afterward.

By David A Nakamura  |  January 17, 2009; 5:37 PM ET  | Category:  Celebrities , Entertainment
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Is it me or is this inaugural watch starting to get a little tedious? Is there no other news? Yes the Messiah will be hailed by all the golden children of the left coast. He will exalt himself to sainthood by using the Lincoln bible to be sworn in. And he will ride the lifestyle of a white, upper middle class mother to the presidency despite being extolled as the next great Black hope.

This pomp and circumstance will hopefully lead to the historical presidency that Mr. Obama has been so pre-ceremoniously anointed with. Let's recognize that this man is not super human. That he is not even of presidential character And that he faces one of the most challenging set of circumstances a president has ever faced. Let's welcome him to the Oval Office but only with trepidation and scrutiny. He is just a mixed race Chicago politician with a poor track record and a lot to prove.

No, this man is not yet worthy of all this adulation. I hope this overwhelming idolatry will humble the man, but I doubt it.

Posted by: CuriousinCA | January 17, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Once again, the PIC has proven that some people are more equal than others.

Its likely that those with the comfortable seats and the luxury of arriving whenever they feel like, will also be attending balls, the ceremony and parade. For many of us, who aren't so lucky, this concert was a chance to witness part of history. However, we will need binoculars apparently. To say that I am disappointed is an understatement.

Posted by: ashie_no1 | January 17, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

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