REBECCA ROBERTS, host:
(Soundbite of choir singing)
Mr. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN (Singer): Beautiful. That's good. I can use more of that choir in my mind(ph). I want them to sound so loud, so big...
That's Bruce Springsteen, rehearsing today for the first massive inaugural event: tomorrow's concert at the Lincoln Memorial. The lineup is packed with the biggest names in music: Bruce and Beyonce, Stevie Wonder and Bono, Shakira and James Taylor. I talked with James Taylor earlier and asked what this event means to him.
Mr. JAMES TAYLOR (Singer): Well, it's a celebration. I'm not used to feeling in step with everybody, but I feel as one with everybody in Washington today. It's just an amazing buzz, an amazing sense of excitement.
ROBERTS: What do you mean when you say you are not used to feeling in step with everyone?
Mr. TAYLOR: Maybe what I mean is that I've felt alienated, somewhat, for about a decade now, and became set in a certain feeling about my country and the government and where were headed. And I didn't realize how powerful that was until it was relieved, I think.
ROBERTS: It's not the first time you've sung at an Obama event. You gave some free concerts in North Carolina. What were the audiences for those like? Are they different from your traditional concert audiences?
Mr. TAYLOR: No, I don't think so. I think they were like my usual audience, it seemed to me. You know, I grew up in North Carolina and have maintained a strong feeling of attachment for the state, and they sent me down to do a series of six rallies in North Carolina. And my wife and - Kim - and I felt so fortunate to play an active part in the movement, and to meet the people involved, and to feel this thing happening in the country, this change taking place.
ROBERTS: Unlike a lot of star-studded concerts, this one has a theme, "We Are One." And I understand you were each asked to choose a song that fits that theme?
Mr. TAYLOR: Yes. I offered a song called "Shower the People," which is sort of anthemic and was the one they chose, and I think it's a good choice.
ROBERTS: James Taylor, thank you so much for joining us.
Mr. TAYLOR: Rebecca, thank you.
ROBERTS: There is only one place to hear tomorrow's concert on the radio: here at NPR. Our live broadcast kicks off at 2 o'clock Eastern time. The actual concert starts a half-hour later. Listen on your local station, or to our live stream at npr.org.
(Soundbite of song "Shower the People")
Mr. JAMES TAYLOR (Singing)
Shower the people you love with love Show them the way that you feel Shower the people you love with love