Huge crowd gathers for pre-inauguration concert


Published: Sunday, January 18, 2009 at 3:29 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 18, 2009 at 3:29 p.m.

WASHINGTON A concert is under way on the National Mall in Washington, marking the start of four days of inaugural celebrations.

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Crowds gather along the Reflection Pool on the National Mall as they wait for the start of "We Are One: Opening Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial" in Washington, Sunday, Jan. 18, 2009.

Carolyn Kaster/The Associated Press

The crowd gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial erupted in cheers when President-elect Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, arrived, walking down the steps of the memorial.

Performers including U2, Beyonce and Bruce Springsteen are on the bill. Obama is expected to offer welcoming remarks.

The crowd, expected to reach perhaps a half-million, gathered in temperatures above the freezing mark. It was a welcome relief from the frigid weather that had gripped the nation's capital.

The spectators filled the area in front of the Lincoln Memorial, and extended along the mall on both sides of the reflecting pool.

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