On his "Change Rocks" tour for Barack Obama, Bruce Springsteen played for an hour yesterday to an outdoor crowd of thousands at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Springsteen was introduced by another American hero, US Senator John Glenn.
Stepping to the mic, Springsteen said, "You don't get introduced by John Glenn every day," and sang a verse of the Byrds' "Hey Mister Spaceman."
Otherwise he was focused on getting Barack Obama elected president on November 4. His theme is "The Promised Land" and he sang his song of that title and six others focused on the American condition with hope for better times ahead. He reminded the audience about the importance of Ohio in this presidential election, saying, "I was here four years ago -- and this time we're winning."
"I've spent most of my time measuring the distance between the American dream and the American reality," Springsteen said. "I believe that Senator Obama has taken the measure of that distance in his life and work. As president he will work to restore our citizens' faith in the meaning of that dream." Traveling the world on concert tours, Springsteen said he sees that even after the past eight years, people care about our country and they still believe in "the American house of dreams... One thousand George Bushes and one thousand Dick Cheneys can never tear that house down."
Leading the crowd in a rousing "Yes We Can" chant, he shouted, "I want my country back!" and we all sang "This Land is Your Land." He ended with a call to action between now and Election Day: "Let's build that house -- yes, we can do it."