The People’s Concert

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(Source: PIC)

The star-studded concert kicking off four days of official inaugural celebrations brought out tens of thousands to the National Mall in Washington.

When President-elect Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, arrived, the crowd gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial erupted in cheers. The crowd is expected to reach bout 500,000 people, who have been waiting in frigid temperatures for hours.

The event dubbed “We are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial.” People started arriving at 8 a.m., despite the very cold temperature, to celebrate the ascension of Barack Obama and party to the tunes of Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Bono, Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow, Renee Fleming, Josh Groban, Herbie Hancock, Heather Headley, John Legend, Jennifer Nettles, John Mellencamp, Usher, Shakira, Bruce Springsteen, and Stevie Wonder among others.

Jamie Foxx did a dead on impression of the president-elect that had the audience and Obama laughing. Martin Luther King III, Queen Latifah, and Denzel Washington are scheduled to read historical passages and Obama will address the massive crowd.

After taking extremely crowded public transportation, concertgoers stood in long security lines to get into the mall.

People came from all over the Washington region and from South Carolina, California and Atlanta; from Maine and Massachusetts, and even Alaska, writes the washington Post.

Earlier today, the Obama worshipped in the 19th Street Baptist Church, which is the oldest and among the most historic African American churches in the District of Columbia. Prior to the church service, Obama and Biden laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery across the Potomac River from Washington.

  • Peggy Wolfe

    I was one of the thousands of people who trekked to Washington yesterday for the “Peoples Concert.” Yes, it was frigid outside, and we arrived at 9:30 a.m. hoping to get a good place to view the concert. What a feeling of disappointment we felt when we realized that there was no good vantage point for ordinary people to view the concert. The scaffolding they set up for the VIP’s blocked the entire front of the stage, so only those in the VIP seats could really see the entertainment. I had heard that the VIP seating was reserved for those who had donated $50,000.00 or more to the Obama campaign, and also political figures and other “elite” guests. The rest of us, those that also helped elect President-elect Obama had to stand for hours in the cold, wait in unthinkably long lines to get something to eat, and also try to make our way through the crowds to get to the portable toilets! My 18 year old daughter who is a college student in Washington got there at 8:00 a.m. to get a good viewing area. They got to the top of the reflecting pool to the left of the stage, and could only see the black tarp that lined the back of the scaffolding for the VIP seating. She had to go the restroom and made it to the toilets…and it took her over two hours to try to make her way through the crowd back to her friends. She never did make it as the crowd would not let her through. My husband and I finally gave up at 12:30 p.m. We were freezing cold, in spite of taking all the layering advice, and went home. We figured we could just as well watch the concert at home on our television than stand there in the cold and watch it on a big teleprompter. I felt it was more a concert for those that had, not a concert for “The People.”