The Lincoln Memorial "We Are One" event was not just a star studded, celebrity laded event but memorable on various levels.
First, kudos must go to George Stevens, Jr. the executive producer of this show and HBO for allowing it to be viewed for free on its cable channel. Stevens is known for producing gala events, i.e., the Academy Awards shows, so I felt the staging and movement would flow and it did for a live event. Also Stevens pairing of the various singers, together was splendid and the song choices appropriate for the mood and tone of this country moving forward.
Several performances stood out to me, first Garth Brooks. I am not a heavy country western fan, I have a few that are in my rotation, but Garth Brooks showed last night "how to do it and do it right". I never expected that from him and it was a treat for me. Next was the duo of Usher and Shakira singing Stevie Wonder's masterful piece, "Higher Ground." Usher was a modern day Stevie Wonder on that stage and he did it with style. Shakira proved she is not a fluke and the girl got mad pipes, but the real feast was Stevie Wonder, himself. Stevie Wonder knows how to do it and he had everyone on their feet. Beyonce was stellar. Beyonce sang the national anthem and had everyone in tears. I was not always a Beyonce fan, but her vocals were STRONG yesterday. Mary J. Blige opened it up in her fantastic white outfit, wicked boots and the rendition of Lean on Me had the Obamas noddin' their heads with enjoyment, she was that good. Jamie Foxx and "Chi-Town Stand Up, 312", looking at Obama and then mimicking him, you had to see it to appreciate it. Finally, bringing Pete Seeger on the stage last night was priceless with Bruce Springsteen. Seeger is 89 years old and a known political activist and folk singer. The restoration of Woody Guthrie's classic anthem, "This Land is Your Land" was the next to last song sung from this fantastic program. The song alone spoke to millions of Americans that change is here.
This show will probably be in rotation again throughout the week, but below is a clip of "This Land is Your Land".
More information on the setup of the show, here and photos from the event here.