The inauguration music: Biden trumps Trump with singers you actually know

2 years ago 32

Donald Trump couldn’t secure a Springsteen tribute band for his inauguration, whereas Biden had Springsteen himself – plus Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and even a Republican in Garth Brooks

Whoever was in charge of booking the talent for President Biden’s inauguration clearly had an easier task than their counterpart in 2017. Donald Trump’s transition team promised the world a performance by Elton John. Instead, performers at various inauguration events included Tony Orlando, of Knock Three Times and Tie a Yellow Ribbon fame; a fading post-grunge band called 3 Doors Down; country singer Toby Keith; and a woman who came second on America’s Got Talent. Elton John, it transpired, hadn’t confirmed and evidently had no intention of playing: here was a lesson for unscrupulous gig promoters everywhere about announcing an act before they sign up.

In fairness, they managed to grub up one actual musical legend – Sam Moore, one half of 60s soul duo Sam & Dave, who performed at a pre-inauguration event called Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration. But the swearing-in ceremony itself featured only a choir and military band – a climbdown from his predecessor Barack Obama, who had Aretha Franklin sing at his 2009 ceremony followed by Beyoncé in 2013. An excruciating nadir was reached when a Bruce Springsteen tribute act called the B Street Band withdrew from an inauguration eve gig. When the tribute bands start telling you to do one, you’re in trouble.

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