Liveblogging the RNC: Tue 8/28/12

by Jason Lee Oakes

CN1:19 PM: The Oak Ridge Boys speak with the Wall Street Journal during their RNC Lunch Break. They will perform “Amazing Grace” tonight. They also performed the National Anthem on Fox & Friends this morning.

3:05 PM: “Eye of the Tiger” used as intro for speech by Andy Barr (US House Candidate, Kentucky). His speech focuses on Obama’s “War on Coal”. Why not Devo? Maybe because of this?

3:58 PM: GE Smith and the Boys play a bluesy version of the Beatles’ “Eight Days of the Week” How do Republicans feel about lovemaking that bends the laws of time?

4:02 PM: GE Smith and the Boys beg the delegates to beg Romney to accept the nomination by playing a somewhat tepid version of “I Want You To Want Me.” The horns do add something, though.

4:07 PM: The band covers Delbert McClinton’s “Standing on Shaky Ground.” A good choice for spotlighting the “harder times I haven’t seen in years…ever since you [Obama, duh] put me down.” Nice guitar and Hammond organ breakdown.

4:12PM: GE Smith’s mic goes out. C-Span compensates with lots of shots of RNC delegates shaking their stuff. Oh, the humanity!

4:13 PM: Chairman Priebus takes the stage. If this isn’t the name of a new math rock group it should be.

4:45 PM: Just returned from a food break to find GE Smith and band performing James Brown’s “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag.” Tampa gets funky.

4:48 PM: The funkiness continues with “Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu.”

4:52 PM: GE Smith calls out “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me).” On-mic discussion ensues over who’s going to sing, followed by the reassurance “We’ll get it!” Not so reassuring, but it’s nice to see how loose and on point the band is. Maybe the idea is to get Romney loosened up as well.

4:54 PM: Boehner should sing a number. He’s got a fascinating voice–sort of Tom Brokaw meets Scott Stapp with a hint of Elmer Fudd. And he can bring the emotion!

6:10 PM: Romney is now the official Republican nominee. The band plays “Shout.” The Isley Brothers, not Tears For Fears.

6:21 PM: GE Smith and the Boys groove on “634-5789 (Soulsville, U.S.A.).” It’s hard not to notice the wide gap between musical demographics and delegate demographics. Still, good song selection so far–largely free of obvious pandering and hammer-you-over-the-head “message songs.” Overall, the band is bringing more of a high school class reunion vibe.

7:05 PM: More classic soul with “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours.”

7:21 PM: Chairman Priebus walk-on music: “We Will Rock You” (on record, not live). Now we’re getting more obvious. They should have at least gone with a Jessie J vocal.

7:31 PM: Neil Boyd from America’s Got Talent is taking the stage to oversing some Lee Greenwood. This is starting to go down hill fast. Nice hat, though.

7:36 PM: Band launches into instrumental version of “I Want You To Want Me.” This is shaping up to be the 2012 RNC Theme Song. It’s a surprisingly frank choice. Nice.

7:38 PM: Before her speech, a video is screened on the life of Mia Love–the first black female mayor in Utah (Saratoga Springs) who is now running for Congress. She brags that as a child her parents told her that “you will not be a burden to society.” This background music sounds familiar but I can’t place it. The last line of her speech: “We are the last best hope on Earth.” This line really needed a musical sting.

7:45 PM: For those remaining Northern Exposure fans out there, former series star and “Christoga” creator (look it up) Janine Turner takes the stage to a brief bit of country music–finally! She like to go “woo-hoo!” a lot but seems unlikely to flash the devil horns.

7:52 PM: Now we’re on the C&W tip. Country music singer-songwriter Lane Turner sings a song about how he worked for and built everything he owns “with my own two working hands…with no help from Uncle Sam.” Anarchy now!

8:04 PM: The Oak Ridge Boys! In their intro they claim “there is an element [in this country] trying to push God out of our lives.” But from the look of things God is a member of the Oak Ridge Boys (second from the right, wearing shades). They sound amazing on “Amazing Grace.”

8:23 PM: Utah governor RE enters to the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” and even references the song in the first line of his speech. There’s nothing I can say here about the Black Eyed Peas that Triumph the Insult Comic Dog hasn’t said already.

9:04 PM: “Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome back Lane Turner!” He’s performing a song called “(The Constitution’s On Our Side If We Keep Believin’ In) Blood, Sweat and Freedom.” I love songs with long parenthetical phrases in the title, even when I add them myself.

9:19 PM: No entrance music for Rick Santorum. He should have gone with Megadeth.

9:47 PM: Former Alabama Rep. Artur Davis admits DNC ads have convinced him that Romney can’t sing, then draws a distinction between singing and leading, and criticizes Obama for acting cool. Interesting how lack of musical ability is equated with authenticity whereas skill, soul, or whatever you want to call it is treated with suspicion. This appears to be the party line.

10:32 PM: “My Girl” plays as Mitt comes out to greet his wife after her speech. Thanks to Ann Romney the Temptations’ song tally moves up to two for the day.

10:37 PM: In his speech Chris Christie recalls listening to Bruce Springsteen’s Darkness on the Edge of Town while hanging at the Jersey Shore in his youth. The New Jersey governor reportedly has quite the mancrush on The Boss.