Monday, October 04, 2004

Vote for Change concerts lure everyone from Granholm to a few Republicans

When rocker Jackson Browne first heard about the Vote for Change concerts, he said, "Well, this is a great opportunity to find out how many political songs people can take in a row."
Apparently a lot.

Enthusiastic crowds packed six major concert venues Sunday, cheering big-name musicians who descended on Michigan to raise money for America Coming Together, a political-action committee mobilizing voters against President Bush.

The unprecedented bonding of performers and politics is estimated to have grossed more than $2 million in Michigan alone. Costs for staging the concerts will be taken out, but musicians ranging from everyman rocker Bruce Springsteen to blueswoman Bonnie Raitt donated their time.

The 37-show concert tour will appear in 11 battleground states between Sept. 26 and Oct. 11. Tickets, mostly in the $50 range, count as federal political contributions.

The evening held some celebrity surprises. Rocker Neil Young, sporting a T-shirt emblazoned with "Canadians for Kerry," made unexpected appearances at the Dave Matthews Band concert at the Palace at Auburn Hills and at the Dixie Chicks/James Taylor concert at the Fox Theatre in Detroit. Actor-musician Tim Robbins ("Mystic River," "Shawshank Redemption") helped register voters and opened the Pearl Jam/Death Cab for Cutie show with his band, Gob Roberts in Grand Rapids. And the Dixie Chicks scurried from their Fox Theatre gig to Cobo Hall to join Springsteen and REM for the evening's final song, "People Have the Power."
Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm was at Cobo Arena to see the show.

By Meegan Holland
Booth Newspapers


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