Upon hearing my professor call the “Celebrating America” inaugural concert a “Boomer-fest” during one of my classes, I decided that it was my job to truly determine whether or not this event was catered to the older generation of Americans.
An aspect that enhanced the Boomer-nature of the concert that was alluded to, was the fact that it was streamed on Twitch. Since Twitch is mainly used by Gen-Z for video game streaming, airing part of the inauguration on the platform sort of felt like the older generation’s way of staying up to date with teenagers and young adults.
The event started out with Jon Bon Jovi singing the Beatles’ classic hit “Here Comes the Sun,” which I could see all of the Boomer women just fainting over.
I will give it to Bon Jovi though, it was a beautiful performance, and the symbolism of having the sun rise over America was actually pretty creative. I am going to applaud Bon Jovi and Biden for being able to do what Michael Kelso could not, and that is controlling the weather.
Also, can we please talk about Lin Manuel-Miranda’s performance of “The Cure of Troy?” Whoever scheduled Manuel-Miranda knew that he was popular this summer, but did not really seem to catch onto the fact that he was a meme. His performance gave me the same energy as a parent trying to use the “lingo” of their teenage children but being unaware of the meaning behind what they were saying, and I was here for it.
The “Pass the Mic” Inaugural Edition with DJ Cassidy, in all honesty, gave me the exact same vibe as the virtual magic show during this year’s WOW. I can imagine Boomer fathers everywhere trying to book DJ Cassidy for their son’s Bar Mitzvah in order to show him that they know what the kids liked. Whoever planned this part of the concert, I rate them a 10/10 for giving us true “socks with sandals/barbecue dad” realness.
Toward the end of the event, I truly felt like I was shipped right back to 2009. Whoever invited Demi Lovato and Katy Perry to perform the finale of Biden’s inauguration – thank you. I just know that this person has children in their twenties and is still reliving the days of having to hear Lovato and Perry on Radio Disney while driving them to school.
One problem that coincides with “Celebrating America” being a boomerfest is that performers wore masks, remained socially distanced and relied on virtual assistance to reach their audience. In 2021 can we say that an event took place in true Boomer fashion, if it was not a super spreader?
Also, the segment when former presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama passed the torch to Biden and threw shade at Donald Trump for not showing up did not have Boomer energy, either. The three politicians teaming up against Trump had the same energy as Gen-Z and Millennial influencers getting together to create diss tracks, but I am not complaining about that.
Despite these two discrepancies, overall, this entire event had the energy of a parent trying to impress their child. However, I really do think that this concert had something that everyone could enjoy. Artists of multiple genres – whether that be hip hop, Broadway, country, or rock – performed and Americans in multitudes of services – such as teachers, medical workers and philanthropists – were acknowledged. At the end of the day, “Celebrating America” was about unifying the country across all demographics, and I believe that that message was effectively delivered.