Sunday, November 2, 2008
Concert for Change
Less than twelve hours after the Decemberists show, it was time to get ready for another concert. Not just a concert, but an Obama campaign event featuring Senator Russ Feingold, Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, and half of Wilco. And this event was nice enough to take place right in Madison.
My most specific Russ Feingold memories involve him speaking at Law Day when I was in junior high. It was nice to see him again on Saturday, watching him speak in support of Barack Obama and introduce Pat Sansone, John Stirratt, and Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. I'd never seen this particular incarnation of Wilco perform, and I was impressed at what they could do with acoustic guitars, bass, and keyboards. Jeff did a nice job of tying the set together with a thread (sometimes tenuous) of political and voting references. And of course, it was a treat to hear "Wilco the Song" in person. Debuted just a couple of days ago on the Colbert Report, I'm not sure if anyone knows the ultimate fate of the song ... but I do know that the chorus has been going through my head all day.
Tammy Baldwin wrapped things up with a call to the polls, leading a group of concert attendees to vote early after the event. With election day within striking distance at last, there was a palpable sense of excitement around the Union on Saturday - and, dare I say, optimism. I was lucky enough to find myself in the middle of the action, and my respect has grown enormously for those who combine their talent, time, and organizational skills to make things like this happen. And they're happening all over the country right now. Here's hoping that it culminates in the biggest party yet - on Tuesday, just a couple of hours south in Grant Park.