WASHINGTON, D.C. — There haven’t been squeals like this in our nation’s capital since the passage of House Resolution 6354, which recognized One Direction as the hottest boy band in the whole entire world. On Saturday night (January 19), the tweens and teens of America showed up in full force (and full throat) at the Kids’ Inaugural Concert, a super-charged pop extravaganza packed with big-name stars.
Headlined by Katy Perry and featuring sets from Usher, Mindless Behavior and stars from “Glee” — not to mention dancers, T-shirt tossers and racing mascots — the Kids’ Inaugural was definitely a spectacle. But it also served a higher purpose: to show military families a good time.
Which is why, though both Michelle Obama and Jill Biden (and, of course, first daughters Sasha and Malia) were seated front-row, the focus was definitely on the men and women of our Armed Forces and their children. Each act took time out of their set to salute their sacrifice and service, though each also focused on their main objective: to entertain.
Usher found himself in the unusual position of opening act for the night, but that didn’t stop him from pulling out all the stops. He powered through hits like “Yeah!” “Without You” and “O.M.G.,” packing the stage with acrobatic dancers and displaying the kind of smooth moves that have become his calling card (said moves were replicated by several young attendees in the aisles, to adorable effect).
Far East Movement and Mindless Behavior both shook and slid through sets of electro-tinged pop and R&B — Mindless were ridiculously sharp with their matching suits and synchronized steps — and the action never let up for an instant, thanks to host Nick Cannon’s effervescent energy and a pair of stages, which insured there was always something to watch. And in the rare instance when there wasn’t, the in-house DJ kept things moving by blasting hits from Beyoncé, The Wanted, Justin Bieber and Pitbull.Eva Longoria and Chelsea Clinton kick off Inauguration Weekend in support of the National Day of Service.
And while everyone who took the stage received their fair share of squeals (the kids love Michelle Obama, BTW, and let her know when she delivered a speech that paid tribute to military families), they saved their biggest screams for Katy Perry, who took the stage in a red-white-and-blue romper (with matching jacket, which she’d eventually peel off) and strutted through a series of her smashes — “Teenage Dream,” “Part of Me,” “Wide Awake”. — each of which had the crowd singing along with aplomb.
Perry sprinted across both stages, shouted out four more years of the Obama administration and even managed a quick wardrobe change before closing the night with a rousing version of “Firework,” which nearly lifted the roof off the Washington Convention Center.
And then, the show was over, and though some of the younger attendees had to be carried out on their parents’ shoulders, there were still plenty who bounded out into the night with energy to spare. And why wouldn’t they? This was a party in their honor, and it was a pretty excellent one at that.
Stick with MTV News for Inauguration Weekend as we bring you all the latest from the D.C. presidential events, performances and parties right through the official swearing-in on Monday, January 21. And although the election’s over, you can still get involved and be heard by heading over to serve.mtv.com.