America had much to celebrate last night, however, due to COVID-19, instead of the customary ball, this year we are celebrating the inauguration of our 46th president of the United States, Joe Biden, with a star studded concert hosted by Tom Hanks, Eva Longoria and Kerry Washington.
The Boss, himself, Bruce Springsteen kicked off the inauguration celebration with his iconic raspy, Born in the USA voice singing Land of Hope and Dreams. The New Jersey native wore denim blue jeans reminiscent of his previously mentioned album cover and joked about the chilly weather.
After his emotional performance, Tom Hanks addressed the nation from the Lincoln Memorial and proceeded to introduce a montage of inspirational quotes from previous presidents.
From one performance by a New Jersey native right into another, in a pre-recorded performance, Jon Bon Jovi and band performed the Beatles’ hit Here Comes the Sun from a beautiful pier overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in sunny Miami, Florida as the sun rose over the mirror-like water as a new day dawns for this nation.
Eva Longoria joined in from Los Angeles to help Tom Hanks in hosting and gave us a detailed recap of the previous 3 days. She explained our nation is reaffirming our commitment to community, empathy and democracy. Eva Longoria went on to show us how Americans stepped up on our National Day of Service on Martin Luther King Day.
She also mentioned a ceremony that was held at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool to honor those who have passed away during the pandemic, hosted by the Presidential Inaugural committee. She then introduced a montage of clips highlighting key moments of the Inauguration.
After Jon Bon Jovi’s performance, from a breathtaking view of the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, Tom Hanks had the pleasure to introduce the 46th president of the United States, Joe Biden, before the US Army Herald Trumpets played Hail to the Chief. President Biden then addressed America and spent a few minutes to dedicate the evening’s celebration to American citizens.
Broadcasting from Memphis, Tennessee, Justin Timberlake was joined by Ant Clemons, who is also originally from New Jersey and they sang their song, Better Days and promised that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that better days are coming. They belted out the inspiring lyrics, supported by a large chorus of talented singers from a deserted street.
After Tom Hanks celebrated America’s educators, Dave Grohl took a few moments to recognize and thank America’s teachers before performing Times Like These along with the rest of Seattle’s Foo Fighters who rocked the performance from a stage set with a backdrop draped in velvet.
In keeping with the theme of the inauguration, Tom Hanks proceeded to celebrate Americans who have helped keep their fellow Americans fed during the pandemic. He then introduced Lin-Manuel Miranda who recited The Cure of Troy, by Seamus Heaney, which is a poem that President Biden has also notably quoted.
The US Navy Band Brass Ensemble then played for the first female woman of color who as ever held the office of Vice President, California’s Kamala Harris, who then addressed America prior to John Legend’s incredible performance of Feelin’ Good, written by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse for the musical The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd and originally made famous by the impeccable Nina Simone.
John Legend performed live from Washington DC, at the bottom of the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
Tom Hanks went on to recognize and thank America’s healthcare workers, including ICU nurse Sandra Lindsay, the first American who officially received the Covid-19 vaccine who then introduced Tyler Hubbard and Tim McGraw who were performing in Nashville, Tennessee.
Tyler Hubbard went on to explain after his challenges defeating covid-19, he wrote the song titled Undivided and sent it to Tim McGraw, who loved the message of unity. The two performed with a nice sized band with an awe-inspiring view of Nashville behind them.
Tom Hanks was almost giddy to introduce former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, who, in a previously recorded message, spoke words of inspiration and unity and wished President Joe Biden good luck in his presidency.
Demi Lovato then took to the stage in Los Angeles California to sing Bill Withers’ Lovely Day from a sound stage, accompanied by Americans via zoom or pre-recorded videos for the uplifting chorus, as we witnessed President Joe Biden dancing along while watching her performance on a screen with his family.
From Los Angeles, right back to Washington DC, Katy Perry took over to close the celebration at the base of the Lincoln Memorial steps to sing her mega-hit Firework as the DC sky was illuminated by an epic and spectacular firework display.
Celebrating America was a fantastic alternative to the usual Inaugural Ball where there was the overwhelming theme of hope and unity as each performer seemed to genuinely believe this is the dawning of a new day in America.
Today’s inauguration was a historic day for America and we wish President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris good luck during their term and we can’t wait to see what the two of them have in store for this amazing country.
Joia DaVida reports on the entertainment industry in both Chicago and Los Angeles.