President-elect Donald Trump was modest at his official inaugural concert on Thursday evening, telling the crowd gathered at the Lincoln Memorial that they had made his election possible: "I had something to do with it, but you had much more to do with it than I did." He said that he and his supporters "all got tired of seeing what was happening and we wanted change, but we wanted real change," adding: "It's a movement like we've never seen anywhere in the world, they say."
The headliners for the concert were Toby Keith, Lee Greenwood, and the band 3 Doors Down, and Trump was seen dancing and fidgeting through the performances. Several big performers had publicly said they turned down invitations to perform, including Elton John, Kiss, and Celine Dion, and Broadway star Jennifer Holliday backed out amid an uproar from her fans. But Trump was upbeat. "This started out tonight being a small, little concert, and then we had the idea, maybe we'll do it in front of the Lincoln Memorial — I don't know if it's ever been done before, but if it has, very seldom," he said. "And the people came by the thousands and thousands, and here we are tonight, all the way back."
Preinaugural concerts at the Lincoln Memorial are actually pretty common for incoming presidents — Presidents Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton all had them — and the crowds at Obama's 2009 Lincoln Memorial concert were notably much bigger. Here's the view from Obama's box in 2009:
And you can see the same view from Trump's box on Thursday, after he walked out to greet the crowd to the music of The Rolling Stones' "Heart of Stone" (which begins: "There's been so many girls that I have known / I've made so many cry, and still I wonder why / Here comes a little girl, I see her walking down the street / She's all by herself, I try to knock her off her feet").
That's not necessarily a knock on Trump. Obama's Lincoln Memorial inaugural concert, after all, included Bruce Springsteen, Beyoncé, Garth Brooks, Jon Bon Jovi, Stevie Wonder, U2, John Mellencamp, Sheryl Crow, James Taylor, and other stars, plus a slew of actors including Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington. Trump had some celebrity help, too. "This is some day, dear friends," said actor Jon Voight, who went on to tell the crowd that Trump's victory was a sign of divine intervention after "a parade of propaganda that left us all breathless with anticipation, not knowing if God could reverse all the negative lies against Mr. Trump."