Band reunites to pay tribute to Biden’s lost son

 

Rock group the New Radicals will reunite for a single day on Wednesday US time to perform after the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in a tribute to Biden's late son and in a nod to Harris's husband.

The short-lived Los Angeles group was together only from 1997 to 1999, but its single You Get What You Give reached top-40 status in the US, hit the top-5 in Britain and topped the charts in Canada and New Zealand.

During the bout with brain cancer that in 2015 claimed the life of Beau Biden, the family embraced the song as an uplifting anthem, Joe Biden wrote later in his autobiography Promise Me, Dad.

The song seems to address all those passing through hard times, offering a message of hope. It ends with a call for resisting oppression by the uncaring and powerful.

Its timeless words and music assured You Get What You Give a lasting influence.

Harris's husband, lawyer Doug Emhoff, chose it as his "walk-on" song for every public appearance during his wife's 2020 campaign.

 

The New Radicals agreed to reunite for the first time in more than 20 years at the request of the Biden-Harris team.

They will perform during Wednesday's "Parade Across America," a virtual celebration replacing the traditional inaugural parade because of the coronavirus pandemic and heightened security concerns, according to the organising committee.

"If there's one thing on Earth that would possibly make us get the band together, if only for a day, it is the hope that our song could be even the tiniest beacon of light in such a dark time," frontman and group founder Gregg Alexander told Rolling Stone magazine.

"America knows in its heart that things will get bright again with a new administration and a real plan for vaccines on the way. That's the message of the so … This world is gonna pull through."

Lady Gaga will sing the Star-Spangled Banner, the US national anthem, after the formal swearing-in of Biden and Harris.

Another event in the evening will feature Bruce Springsteen, the Foo Fighters, John Legend, Justin Timberlake, Demi Lovato and Bon Jovi.

The stars will perform at what will be a very different inauguration ceremony.

Biden's team warned for months that COVID restrictions would considerably scale-back public events.

After the storming of the US Capitol Building two weeks ago by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump and amid widespread fears of more extremist violence in the lead up to and on January 20, security measures will also be unprecedented.

With more National Guard troops now deployed in Washington DC than US soldiers currently serving in Afghanistan, the US Capitol will be ringfenced by a 20,000-strong force drawn from six different states.

Here's what you need to know about this week's transition of power:

 

WHEN IS IT?

Under the US Constitution, the current presidential term ends at midday on January 20 after an election, when the new president and Vice President are sworn in.

 

 

 

WHAT USUALLY HAPPENS IN WASHINGTON?

There are no set rules about the sequence of events apart from the swearing in of the new president, but tradition has been for a parade down the Washington Mall, lunch in the Capitol with members of Congress and a formal handover at the White House from the outgoing First Family.

 

 

 

WILL THIS CHANGE?

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn in, followed by an address to a small crowd from a platform on the West Front of the Capitol.

The stands that were overrun with rioters last week were in place for crowd seating ahead of the inauguration.

Despite new security concerns, Mr Biden has pledged to be sworn in as planned.

"I am not afraid to take the oath outside," he said on Monday.

They will then lay a wreath and conduct a review of troops at the Capitol before a presidential escort drawn from every branch of the military will take them to the White House.

There are no big public event or galas of any kind as the Biden administration is urging all Americans to stay home.

However celebrities including Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Timberlake, Demi Lovato, Jon Bon Jovi and Tom Hanks will also perform during the virtual events.

Americans will instead be encouraged to follow events remotely, much as they were at last year's Democratic National Convention.

 

This pair of photos shows a view of the crowd on the National Mall at the inaugurations of President Barack Obama, left, on January 20, 2009, and President Donald Trump, right, on January 20, 2017. Picture: AP
This pair of photos shows a view of the crowd on the National Mall at the inaugurations of President Barack Obama, left, on January 20, 2009, and President Donald Trump, right, on January 20, 2017. Picture: AP

 

WHEN WILL THE NEW FIRST FAMILY MOVE INTO THE WHITE HOUSE?

Joe Biden had initially planned to travel the two hours from his home in Wilmington, Delaware, on the Amtrak line he took every day of his 37 years as a Senator. However this was nixed amid new security concerns and he has been invited to spend the night before his inauguration at Blair House in Washington DC.

Traditionally the incoming president spends the night of the 20th at the White House but this isn't necessary and there has been speculation Mr Biden will head back to Wilmington to lessen the chaos if there is more trouble.

In the past, the White House staff has only a few hours to get all the new First Family's belongings into the private residence and to out the personal touches from the outgoing president.

 

 

 

WHO WILL ATTEND?

Former presidents Bill Clinton, George W Bush and Barack Obama will attend with their wives.

Outgoing Vice President Mike Pence has also indicated he will be at Mr Biden's swearing in, a conciliatory move welcomed by the new administration.

With its theme of "America United" there will also be a virtual, televised parade made up of representatives from every walk of life and intending to "celebrate America's heroes".

 

WILL TRUMP ATTEND? DOES HE HAVE TO?

There is no formal requirement of a meeting between them and it is likely Mr Trump will be in Washington DC after confirming last week he won't be at the inauguration.

 

 

 

WILL THERE BE A BALL AFTERWARDS?

There won't be any traditional galas or balls. Even before the chaos of January 6, team Biden was urging everyone to stay home and not gather in any way because of the pandemic.

"We know that inaugural balls and public parades are part of the inaugural tradition," said the Biden Inauguration Committee in a statement.

"However, given the current public health situation across the country, inaugural activities will have a limited footprint and events like the parade will be reimagined. While the inauguration will look different amid the pandemic, all activities will honour and resemble American inaugural traditions and engage Americans across the country while keeping everybody healthy and safe."

 

 

 

CAN PEOPLE GET TICKETS?

Members of the public have not been able to buy tickets and are discouraged from travelling to DC.

This guidance has been in place for months due to COVID but Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser again urged people to stay away after last week's violence.

Despite this, members of Congress have bundles of tickets and key donors have some and the Harris/Biden campaign has been sending out fundraising requests attached to a ticket lottery.

 

Joe Biden’s daughter Naomi shared this moment of the family coming in for a hug after his election victory. Picture: Twitter
Joe Biden’s daughter Naomi shared this moment of the family coming in for a hug after his election victory. Picture: Twitter

 

HOW CAN AUSTRALIANS SEE IT?

Most networks will cover at least some of the inauguration events.

 

HOW CAN THEY FOLLOW IT ON SOCIAL MEDIA?

@BidenInaugural on Twitter and your local News Corp Australia sites.

Originally published as Band reunites to pay tribute to Biden's lost son



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