Today I stood on the mall for probably about four and a half hours in 20 degree weather. All to witness and participate in the Inaugural Kickoff Concert. I have to say it was pretty amazing. I have been to some other cool events in my life, listening to the Pope's speech on Easter, the Queen's Jubilee in London, but this was different. This was in America and there was just so much excitement and a feeling of hope.
We arrived around noon even though we knew that the concert wouldn't start until 2:30. Lucky for us that meant a relatively short security line and being able to find some space to set down a blanket and relax for a little while. We even got to see the three US Helicopters fly in, we think returning the President to the White House. One actually landed the other two aimed for the White House but then diverted and flew off in different directions. Sneaky, very sneaky.
I can't begin to tell you just how awesome the entire concert was. I was shocked when the Obamas walked in as I thought it was a concert in his honor, I had no idea he would be in attendance. Bruce Springsteen started the show off on a high note, rocking away on his guitar. I thought that the best trio was seeing Usher, Little Richard and Shakira perform together, however James Taylor and Jennifer Nettles were pretty awesome too. The highlight of the show for me was the Garth Brooks interlude. He got the most songs out of all the performers and he sang upbeat songs that got everyone to move around and get the blood circulating again, like "Shout!" It was also pretty awesome when a group of people near us busted out the electric slide.
I am so lucky that I was able to experience this today. I guess I picked a good time to be living in DC. Below are some photos to show you a little bit more of the experience.
This was the view of the Lincoln Memorial (where the stage and performers were) from where we originally staked our spot next to the reflecting pool.
A view of the number of people behind us to the Washington Monument. This was early in the afternoon. By the time the concert started the area we were in was packed like sardines and there were people all the way around the Washington Monument. A sea of people of you will.
I swear the reflecting pool is in there somewhere amongst all the people.
M and his uncle went to get us some food and drinks to hopefully keep us warm. They returned with 6 hot dogs, 2 sausages, chips, roasted almonds, 2 cups of coffee and four cups of hot chocolate. Probably why I am not frozen solid and am able to post this blog.
After staking out a nice space next to the reflecting pool for 2 1/2 hours we decided to move to the side lawn, where there was space to move around, a hug jumbotron we could actually read the captions off of and beautiful sound. This is near the end when Obama was giving his inspirational speech. (Sorry O! Not the best picture of you.)
The sea of people we had to make our way through in order to get away from the mall and back to M's house. Kinda makes me scared for Tuesday.