What the Concert Cameras Missed

Rooftop snipers, the vice president sprinting, Denzel in action, and more
By Rebecca Smith Hurd,  Newser User
Posted Jan 19, 2009 12:43 PM CST

(Newser) – Yesterday’s all-star concert on the National Mall put the super in supergroup, but the HBO broadcast didn’t catch everything. Here’s some of what went down off-camera, as seen by Jada Yuan of New York:

  • Black-clad Secret Service snipers trolled the Lincoln Memorial’s rooftop, packing binocs and “really big machine guns.”
  • Audience members gasping at actor Denzel Washington’s presence, with one man exclaiming, “Damn, all the famous black people are here.” Denzel also “did a little dance” and “raised the roof” for singer Mary J. Blige.
  • President-elect Barack Obama obeying Jamie Foxx’s command that “Chi-Town, stand up!”

  • Soon-to-be veep Joe Biden “sprinting to the stage like a linebacker”—to give his shortest speech ever.
  • Barack and wife Michelle singing along as Garth Brooks covered “American Pie.” The new first lady tried in vain to get daughters Malia and Sasha to sing, too.
  • Will.I.Am busting out his videocam to record the crowd.
  • As celebrities emptied the stage after the final sing-along to “America the Beautiful,” Stevie Wonder stood alone, playing the harmonica.