Current Events

10 Artists Who Should Be Playing the Inauguration Concert

Couldn't you kinda see Kid Rock playing the Presidential Inauguration concert?
Couldn't you kinda see Kid Rock playing the Presidential Inauguration concert? Courtesy of Cliff via Flickr Commons
Well, it’s happening. The whirlwind that was the 2016 Presidential race officially comes to a close on Friday, Inauguration Day, when President-Elect Donald Trump becomes President Donald Trump. Regardless of your opinion of our nation’s incoming leader, and they certainly are all over the map, the inauguration should be an interesting affair.

Typically, the concert event that takes place on Inauguration Eve is chock-full of A-list headliners eager to support the incoming president. As you’ve no doubt heard, that isn’t exactly the case this year. Name-brand headliners like Elton John, Garth Brooks and Andrea Bocelli all declined invitations from the organizers of Thursday's public concert, dubbed the "Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration." Hell, even a Bruce Springsteen tribute band bowed out in a show of support for the Boss, a noted liberal and Barack Obama supporter.

As it stands, the most noteworthy acts on the bill are Toby Keith and 3 Doors Down. No disrespect to either artist, each of which has certainly experienced commercial success and had quite a nice little run in the sun, but the event that celebrates our nation’s highest office can do better than the band behind “Kryptonite” and the dude who hasn’t put out a relevant country hit in five years.

That said, not all of the musicians below support Donald Trump. In fact, many of them have gone on record in their stance against him. But an inauguration concert doesn’t have to be politically aligned to be good; it simply has to be entertaining. These are ten artists (in alphabetical order) who should have been considered for Thursday’s inauguration concert.

It’s been said on many an occasion that a little tension can sometimes yield musical magic – for proof, see albums like Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours and Oasis’ first two records. Well, that notion would certainly be put to the test on Inauguration Eve, when one of the world’s most famous entertainers takes the stage to “celebrate” our incoming President. After all, Cher basically used her Twitter page to roast Trump throughout campaign season. She even called him a "sociopathic narcissist,” one who she wished would “fall off the face of the Earth” during a fundraiser for Trump foe Hillary Clinton.

Miley Cyrus is a viable entertainer, one who even put out a major hit titled “Party in the U.S.A.” years ago. So at least she’d have a built-in track to play for Trump’s inauguration concert. Of course, she also called Trump “a fucking nightmare” on her Instagram page recently, so if anything, a Miley Cyrus inauguration performance would continue the trend set forth by pretty much every other Miley Cyrus performance – namely, making everyone feel a little bit weird and uncomfortable.

Alice Cooper’s stage show presents the man as somewhat deranged and a little bit scary (Cooper was basically Marilyn Manson before Marilyn Manson). In reality, Cooper is an incredibly rational and measured fellow, one who is conservative but doesn't really offer up much political insight. His reasoning is sound: “Why do you think rock stars would know any more than you do? We're rock stars; we're dumber than you,” he told Rolling Stone in August. Plus, his performance would give everyone a chance to hear his classic “Elected,” which makes Cooper a solid fit for inauguration.

Politics aside, it would just be an interesting study in contrast for Axl, Slash and crew to sing "Paradise City" to the Trump supporters in attendance, while consoling anti-Trump types with a little tune called "Don't Cry."

This one actually makes sense. Kid Rock is a popular entertainer with a number of popular hits, many of which can safely be described as patriotic. Kid Rock is, gulp, actually pretty good live. Most importantly, Kid Rock is a Trump supporter, so he might actually consider the gig.

Mac Miller released a track titled “Donald Trump” in 2011, well before the businessman/celebrity threw his hat in the political ring. The track basically charts Miller’s rise from nobody to celebrity, when he’s gonna be on his “Donald Trump shit.” Of course, Miller has since gone on record in reference to Trump: “I’mma be here every day telling the world how much I hate you, how much of a clown you are, and how we as a nation are better than you will ever be.” So it’s possible a somewhat less complimentary “Donald Trump Part 2” is coming shortly.

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Clint Hale enjoys music and writing, so that kinda works out. He likes small dogs and the Dallas Cowboys, as you can probably tell. Clint has been writing for the Houston Press since April 2016.
Contact: Clint Hale