Monday, January 19, 2009

We Are One: The Concert

Hmm. Okay. I love Barack Obama and I love Stevie Wonder. I also love John Legend and Garth Brooks. But I found this concert to be a wee bit uneven. Bambina watched most of it with us (getting a special and rare late night dispensation because tomorrow is a holiday), and also pronounced it all "boring" except for Bettye LaVette singing A Change Is Gonna Come with (wait for it...) Jon Bon Jovi. Bambina summed it up when she said, "I like the song and I like her but I just don't like him singing it." Don't get me wrong; it had some really great music in parts, and a lot of meaning from many of the songs. Who doesn't love Mellencamp doing Pink Houses and Stevie doing Higher Ground with Usher? But, hello, I'm just gonna list the speakers and performers to whom I give the hairy eyeball without apology:

--Marisa Tomei
--Rosario Dawson
--Kal Penn
--Jamie Foxx
--Jack Black
--That old faithful who brings The Tiresome to every show he attends: Mr. Tom Hanks
--The world's most self-righteous band: U2

I'm not going to dis Bruce Springsteen because I recognize that such remarks might be branded heresy.

What I did love was Obama's niece (the little Asian girl in the pink jacket sitting behind him) totally sleeping through the whole thing. I also loved seeing Sasha with her digital camera taking pics of Mary J. Blige and Usher. I loved Garth Brooks, but will say that his pants may have been just a SMIDGEN too tight. I loved Joe Biden giving his remarks in that half-yelling hectoring voice we've come to know and enjoy. I loved Stevie Wonder. I loved Mary J. I loved that Obama gave a totally average speech. (I was telling the BBDD that Obama must live with the curse of M. Night Shyamalan [hey! why wasn't HE there?!]; as in, you make The Sixth Sense and all of a sudden everything else you do must exceed that insanely high standard. You give a seminal speech on race in Philly, where else can you go? Best go to your election night speech, yo. Where can you go from there? Best not wear out your mojo at a Sheryl Crow/Josh Groban concert; save that voodoo for Tuesday).

Anyway, big ups to HBO for airing the concert for free. Big razzies to them for cutting it off 8 minutes early in the middle of America The Beautiful. I'm all "..and amber waves of grai-" and we get the pointed Black Box of Death message across the screen: "YOU ARE NOT SUBSCRIBED TO HBO," as if I've been pirating the damn thing since 1981 just to watch Private Benjamin and Ordinary People for free. Way to kill my buzz, home box office. I curse you with the acceptance speeches of a thousand Tom Hankses!

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