Jan. 18th, 2009
From the NYT Caucus blog:
Reverend V. Gene Robinson, the openly gay bishop from New Hampshire who advised Mr. Obama on gay rights issues, gave the invocation. But his words were lost to hundreds of thousands gathered along the Reflecting Pool and those tuning in on HBO. A malfunction in at least one massive speaker tower on the south side of the memorial left tightly-packed crowds on pins and needles chanting thunderously, “We can’t hear. We can’t hear.”
In the impenetrable sea of people, concert goers near the tower traded ideas on how to draw attention to the problem. They would not miss history. On man called the Washington, D.C. Police Department, but got no where as he explained that there was no emergency.
Finally, Luke Taylor, 18, a student at American University from Charlottesville, Virginia scrawled a note on a poster in dark blue ink: “Speaker is off.”
He passed the SOS to the man in front of him, and watched as it made its way hundreds of yards toward the stage.
“We think it went all the way up, ” Luke said victoriously.
Also, my entire section started jabbing their pointer fingers up in the air, so that might have helped.
I'm exhausted, but that started with the party last night, and then standing and seeing basically nothing (if I was about 3 inches taller, it would have been fine, but of course the really tall dudes with hats were right in front of me.) at the concert. Garth Brooks stole the whole show. Wow.
They closed 19th street all the way up to K, and we walked around a lot before crashing at Sheena's, waiting for the Metro to free up.
I took a bunch of pictures, but they are mostly of other people's heads. Now that I'm seeing the crowd shots from the air. I'm surprised it wasn't more chaotic than it was. People just sort of filled out in all directions afterwards. It was crowded all the way up to Dupont for an hour, but not dangerously so.