Got this report in from a reader along with some great photos. Here is what the PB reader who attended the show had to say about the event:
Before the show Obama staffers and Volunteers were walking up and down the ticket line making sure everyone was registered to vote and asking everyone to volunteer (the mission of the event).
The show was opened by Chairman Redfern and the congressional candidates (Kilroy, Robinson). Then John Glenn spoke. He was brief and inspirational as always, stressing the importance of the election, honoring Bruce and expressing regret that he wouldn’t get to introduce the man. Glenn then turned it over to the winners of the “Reg the Vote” contest who were to introduce Bruce. The winning team was from Dayton and had knocked on thousands of doors. They told their stories and then lead the crowd in a “yes we can” chant.
Something happened in between (I suspect that Bruce made a request) and John Glenn came back on stage to introduce Bruce. Bruce came on stage laughing and shook hands with the Senator. “It’s not every day you get introduced by John Glenn!” He announced, and launched into the chorus of the Byrd’s Mr. Spaceman. He then did a blazing rapid fire set, going from Promised Land on to Ghost of Tom Joad. Clearly all the songs were pointed and political and he spoke many times during the show about the importance of the election and America’s Promise.
There are a lot of details in his speech but the gist of it was that America is the land of great promise and Bush and the Republicans have sold us down the river for political gain. But the great house of America could not be brought down by 1000 Bushes or 1000 Cheneys. “But it’s up to you to rebuild it!”
“I did this about four years ago” Bruce said, “Let’s get it done this time” He also mentioned the importance of early voting and Ohio in general a number of times.
Bruce seemed to be having a good time, and many times encouraged the audience to sing along. During the chorus of Thunder Road he turned it over to the crowd, “You guys are pretty good!” In the middle of No Surrender he looked to his right and shouted “Take it Stevie!” Looking for Little Stevie (Van Sandt) to take his traditional solo.
There were things for both long time fans and people who were unfamiliar with his work. A friend who had never seen a show and was not a fan mentioned how much fun it was, “he was like a folk rock hero” putting on a high energy show.
A great show all around, and a nice kick in the pants for Ohioans. Now let’s hope it’s turned into action.
Ghost of Tom Joad
(He also threw in a new “Yes We Can” song he’d invented).
This Land is Your Land