By Robyn Collins
President-elect Donald Trump held an inaugural concert Thursday night (Jan. 19). The “Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration” at the Lincoln Memorial included Toby Keith, 3 Doors Down and Lee Greenwood, among others. In case you missed it, you didn’t miss Beyonce, Katy Perry, U2… because they notably weren’t there, along with many artists who reportedly declined to perform, reports the Washington Post.
Florida drummer, DJ Ravidrums, who has played for Mariah Carey and Paula Abdul, received flack for participating in the inauguration, but explained on Facebook, “As a first generation Indian American, I view my participation in the inauguration as a unique opportunity to bring visibility to others like me.”
Soul singer Sam Moore (from Sam & Dave) delivered heartfelt rendition of “America the Beautiful.”
The Frontmen of Country, a trio, made up of singers from three ’90s hitmaker country bands—Tim Rushlow of Little Texas, Larry Stewart of Restless Heart, and Richie McDonald of Lonestar—performed a medley of their greatest hits, including “The Bluest Eyes in Texas” and “Why Does It Have to Be” from Restless Heart. Rushlow sang Little Texas’ “Amy’s Back in Austin” and “God Blessed Texas,” while McDonald took lead on “Walking in Memphis” and “I’m Already There.”
“It’s an honor for us to be here representing music from Nashville, Tennessee” Stewart said.
Lee Greenwood, who wrote “God Bless the USA,” the song that served as Trump’s walk-out music during the election, performed the highly patriotic tune. Afterward, the crowd chanted “USA! USA!”
Pop-rock band 3 Doors Down kicked things off with “Broken,” a song with lyrics that could relate to the Trump voters that feel forgotten by the Obama administration: “This is the call to the broken, stand up and take back your world today.” Then the group played their biggest hits “When I’m Gone,” “Kryptonite” and “Here Without You.”
The Piano Guys, “four musical dads from Utah,” who have one of the most-viewed YouTube channels ever, (CNN’s Jake Tapper pondered whether they were the first YouTube sensation to play a presidential inaugural concert), spoke and sang about unity, “Okay, America, it’s time to put all our differences aside,” one of the Guys declared. “It’s time to unite our hearts, our minds and our voices as one. Because when we do, it’s gonna be okay.” They played a song called “Okay.” The tune’s main message, “It’s gonna be okay.”
Country superstar Toby Keith, closed out the concert with a military tribute with his songs “American Soldier” and “Made in America.”
“On behalf of my family, my band and all my fans, I want to salute the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and the Coast Guard,” Keith said during his set. “Thanks to Barack Obama for your service. And thanks for the 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump. I salute you.”
As he launched into “Beer For My Horses” (recorded as a duet with Willie Nelson), Keith raised a “Red Solo Cup,” (another of his hits) into the sky, and tweaked the lyrics from “we’ll all meet back at the local saloon” to “we’ll all get smashed at the inaugural celebration.”
Keith finished out the set with his best-known Patriotic song, the post-9/11 anthem “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American),” which he dedicated to his father. The singer belted the song’s famous line, “We’ll put a boot in your ass, it’s the American way.”
Watch the whole event here: