Now that the Dems are back in town, I finally have some hook ups here in Washington! This has resulted in an exciting few days leading in to the Inauguration.
Friday night I headed out with two girlfriends who will be working in the administration (this means no more pictures on the Catch Up Lady - guess I'm still not on par with the WaPo... go figure.) We attended the National Finance Committee Gala where I watched rich Dems try to break it down to a well known DJ who was apparently forced to spin the soundtrack from an early 90s bar mitzvah. (But seriously, we loved it. Who doesn't like getting down to Whitney Houston's I Want To Dance with Somebody?)
After that we headed to two more parties - rubbed shoulders with some minor (very, very minor) celebs. Then I left the girls and defaulted to Smith Point to meet up with some other friends.
Some how, these classy nights always end up at the shittiest bars. I'd post pictures, but I'm rocking a 40 in most of them - and it just goes to show that no matter how fancy you are dressed a 40 will totally ruin your look. Why is that I wonder? If I'd been holding a glass of wine, no one would think anything of it - but a Cobra 40 and suddenly I look like an extra in Britney & Kevin: Chaotic.
The next morning the Catch Up Man and I were up and out to head to the much hyped We Are One concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Our tickets were for standing preferred, which means we were up front and actually had a lot of room to move around and mingle - I was able to snap some shots of the "front row" for open standing. The gates for this area opened at 8:30 so these people up front were there for six hours - pretty amazing. Crowd estimates were in the hundreds of thousands.
The program itself (if you missed it on HBO) was a mix of A-list musical acts and actors giving dramatic readings of varying effectiveness.
The highlights in no particular order:
- Bruce Springsteen: Let's face it, he could have gotten up there and given us all the finger and walked off stage, and I'd still have been yelling "Bruuuuuuuce!" He 0pened up with "The Rising" backed by a full choir and ended with "This Land is Our Land" with Pete Seager - pretty epic.
- Garth Brooks: The highest energy performance of the day with American Pie and a group get-down to Shout. I never felt more American than at that moment - doing the "a little bit softer now..." with hundreds of thousands of your country men in the shadows of our monuments. America - Fuck Yeah!
- Stevie Wonder & Usher: Sang Higher Ground - watching Stevie jam out on a keyboard in front of Abe Lincoln was really something else.
- U2: And of course U2 was just freaking ridiculous. The closest I ever got to seeing these guys live was the 3D concert I attended at an iMax theater, so seeing Bono calling out the end of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream Speech" - Let freedom ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city - as he transitioned into The City of Blinding Light was truly a once in a life time experience.
The lowlights (there are only a few - I mean it was kind of hard to find something to complain about...)
- Kal Penn & Other Assorted D List Celebs: I'm sure all the celebs who were there were "in" because of early and strong support for Obama. But let's be honest - having Tom Hanks guide you through Abe Lincoln's biography had a little more gravitas than whatever it was Kal Penn spoke briefly about.
- AT&T Network FAIL: No shock here, AT&T came to a screeching halt the entire four hours I was down there, leaving me unable to text or place calls. I too had a dream - that I would be able to use my cell phone in large crowds to reach others and Tweet the experience to the world. Sadly, this privelege was reserved for Verizon customers. Hoping the same situation won't befall the swearing in tomorrow.
Getting home wasn't too bad - with major road closures we were able to hop on the Whitehurst Freeway and get home pretty quickly. (And by hop on, I mean on foot...yes that's me dressed like a North Face ninja...)
Stay tuned for more - tomorrow I'm attending the Swearing In and then the Eastern Ball!