Change of president, change of attitude. After spending the past four years decrying Donald Trump, American stars embraced Joe Biden taking office on Wednesday night, attending in large numbers at Celebrating america, a concert aimed at “unifying the United States”.
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Broadcast simultaneously on NBC, CBS and ABC, this special, solemnly hosted by Tom Hanks, brought together several big names in the music industry. The latter had given themselves the same slogan: to offer songs of hope.
Bruce Springsteen kicked off the night live from Washington. Alone at the foot of the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, in front of a completely deserted National Mall, the 71-year-old rocker grabbed his guitar to deliver Land of Hope and Dreams (in French, A land of dreams and hope).
The tone was set.
From Foo Fighters to John Legend
The performers marched for 90 minutes from across the United States.
Originally from Seattle, the Foo Fighters certainly did well by offering a furious Times Like These, which Dave Grohl dedicated to teachers, who “continue to enlighten children” during this pandemic.
From Memphis, Tennessee, Justin Timberlake and Ant Clemons Memphis sang Better days, supported by a gospel choir.
In a pre-recorded video in Miami, Jon Bon Jovi took over Here Comes the Sun of the Beatles.
Back in Washington, John Legend untied his vocal cords on Feeling good, another piece with words rich in meaning on this historic day: “It’s a new dawn / It’s a new day / It’s a new Life …”
In Los Angeles, Demi Lovato brought some sunshine by revisiting Lovely Day by Bill Withers, accompanied (virtually) by nurses.
Katy Perry closed the evening with a bang Fireworks, while a horde of fireworks lit the Washington skyline.
Calls for unity came from all sides during the broadcast.
In his speech, Joe Biden spoke of the great challenges facing Americans: the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic crisis, the fight against climate change and the eradication of racism.
“There is nothing that we cannot do if we unite”, hammered the 46e President of the United States.
Vice-President Kamala Harris also called on her compatriots to join forces, as did Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, gathered for the occasion.
This show came to close an all-star day for Joe Biden. A few hours earlier, the inauguration ceremony had rallied Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and Garth Brooks.
180 degree turn
When Donald Trump took office in January 2017, the stars boycotted the inauguration ceremony and all the events surrounding it.
The organizing committee, which had scratched the funds to recruit participants, had finally fallen back on 3 Doors Down, a group which had its heyday 15 years earlier.