Music

Washington rocked to the sounds of a star-studded gig as Bruce Springsteen and other famous supporters of the new president entertained a euphoric crowd
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The loudest cheer of the night went up when Barack Obama and his wife appeared on the steps of the historic Lincoln Memorial
Photo: Getty Images

Bruce and the stars hail the arrival of the new 'Boss'

19 JANUARY 2009
Hundreds of thousands of people, forming a crowd stretching as far as the eye could see, poured into Washington's National Mall for a free concert on Sunday marking celebrations for the start of Barack Obama's presidency.

The 'We Are One' party at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial was heavy on star power, featuring performances from Beyonce, Bono, Stevie Wonder and Usher.

But even as the hallowed seat of US democracy exploded with the sounds of soul, country, Latin and jazz, no one was doubting who everybody had really come to see. A deafening roar went up as the new president and his wife Michelle walked onto the stage, and again when he addressed the crowd.

Lifelong Democrat Bruce Springsteen kicked off the festivities singing The Rising backed by a gospel choir. Celebrities who didn't sing talked, with Denzel Washington, Queen Latifah and Martin Luther King III all reading historically significant passages.

Other highlights came when golf champion Tiger Woods praised the patriotism of US servicemen and women, and actor Samuel L Jackson paid tribute to the courage of civil rights activist Rosa Parks and other campaigners.


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