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.