Assuming a Move to Invesco Field for Obama's Acceptance Speech
If Sen. Barack Obama moves his acceptance speech from the Pepsi Center to Invesco field, he'll need 76,000 people to fill the seats.
Only 50,000 are expected in town for the convention. Many in Denver will be doing their best to avoid downtown that week. I think they need a concert. Remember the 75,000 crowd in Portland, OR? They had Obama follow a free outdoor concert by the Decembrists which was planned in advance with his campaign.
Question: Who will it be? For reasons explained below, Bruce Springsteen, Sheryl Crow, Bonnie Raitt, Melissa Etheridge and Stevie Wonder come to mind. Will it be one huge band or a few smaller and diverse groups? [More...]
One consideration: Even if the groups waive a performing fee, it will still be expensive, given the cost of moving and setting up equipment, travel, etc. The Obama campaign would have to foot the bill for that -- as well, I suspect, as some of the extra security costs. I think groups already in town would have an advantage.
The Jazz Aspen-Snowmass Labor Day festival is overlapping with the convention this year, headlined by Bob Dylan. Dylan is pretty unpolitical when it comes to supporting candidates -- politics isn't his thing -- but he has said encouraging things about Obama. Some of the other groups: Widespread Panic, John Fogerty, Ziggy Marley, Yonder Mountain String Band and Dwight Yoakam.
Mellencamp played at the DNC in Boston in 2004. In 2008, he campaigned for Edwards in Iowa. (Here are my videos of his performing Pink Houses and Our Country in Des Moines and of Elizabeth Edwards thanking him.) After Edwards dropped out, he didn't choose between Hillary and Obama before the primary was decided -- his did one show for each of them. The Goo Goo Dolls also played for both candidates.
Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne also supported and played for Edwards. Raitt will be in Denver that week for another think tank event, Symposia of the Rockies. She'd be a good choice.
It's been reported Sheryl Crow will be in Denver performing at a closed delegate party:
I have it on good authority that singer Sheryl Crow has been booked for a Red Rocks show exclusively for DNC delegates on Aug. 24, the Sunday before the convention begins.
Stevie Wonder played in Denver this week. It was his first Colorado performance in 13 years. He's a huge Obama supporter and Obama has said he's one of his favorite artists.
Melissa Etheridge will be playing a Win the Vote Concert at the Fillmore in Denver on Aug. 26.
What about Bruce? He's on tour with a concert in nearby Kansas City on August 24 and then nothing until his final concert in Milwaukee on Aug. 28. Easy fit.
Personally, I'd love to see Bon Jovi or Tom Petty (they sure use his songs enough, between American Girl and Won't Back Down.) They can fill a stadium that size easily on multiple nights. One night should be a breeze.
As to Bon Jovi, he's ending a long European and U.S. tour in a few weeks. While he did campaign events for Kerry in 2004 and Gore in 2000, he's a longtime Hillary supporter, not that it should matter with the unity theme.
Tom Petty is playing in Texas that week. Crosby, Stills and Nash look free, and they were clearly looking forward to an Obama presidency when I saw them in concert last week. Dave Matthews will be on tour in other cities.
Who would you suggest for the musical acts that could pre-fill the stadium and be a great, rousing warm-up for Obama?
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