The Daily Beast dispatched a witness to Donald Trump’s Inauguration Welcome Concert last night. He wasn’t impressed.
Thursday’s inauguration weekend welcome concert did its job, in that it accurately and compellingly set the tone for the new administration and the new America. It didn’t run properly, didn’t reflect your tastes or interests, and you wouldn’t want to purchase a ticket to it—let alone desire to be present to witness the disaster.
Yet here we are. 3 Doors Down is here, too.
“Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration Concert” was the much-ballyhooed event that struggled to book major acts to perform.
Toby Keith, Lee Greenwood, the Piano Guys, and theaforementioned 3 Doors Down headlined. By comparison, President Obama’s We Are Oneconcert featured Mary J. Blige, James Taylor, Josh Groban, Sheryl Crow, will.i.am, John Legend, Jennifer Nettles, Garth Brooks, Stevie Wonder, Usher, Shakira, U2, and Bruce Springsteen.
Trump, on the other hand, a man who boasted his entire campaign about his ability to close deals, failed to book a Springsteen cover band for his festivities.
The poor CBSN host on the livestream I was watching was saddled with teasing, “Toby Keith is in the house!” while we waited for the concert to begin… 15 minutes late.
As he read the rest of the list of performers, each name was delivered more like a question—like a substitute teacher taking roll call trying to nail the names of foreign students. In other words, he had never heard of any these people. “Lee…Greenwood?” “DJ…Ravidrums? I hope I didn’t mess his name up.” Then old faithful: “And again, Toby Keith!”
Because of all that embarrassment, it’s as sheepish as any big opening—the grand opening to Trump’s entire administration, at that—could be. And with that, the Army Band, admittedly sounding great as ever, struck up its welcome as the president-elect’s family entered the stage in front of the Lincoln Memorial.