Last night’s Concert for Valor, held on the National Mall, was as packed as it was star-studded, with crowds going as far back as the Washington Monument. Bruce Springsteen and Dave Grohl went acoustic and The Black Keys made the crowd sway, and many of the acts teamed up: Zac Brown and his band borrowed Springsteen and Grohl for a rousing cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son,” Eminem joined Rihanna for a song, Jennifer Hudson and Jessie J paired up and Carrie Underwood brought out the Air Force’s Singing Sergeants.
But it was Metallica who could have blown the scaffolding off the Capitol. Playing between the audience and dozens of veterans behind them, Metallica made everyone else look tame, and ruled the night.
And while the night offered fun, it was heartening to see that the message of soldiers’ issues in war and at home remained front and center. There were video stories of courageous service personnel, and individuals were introduced following their video, driving the point home.