In the final days of Barack Obama’s South Carolina “40 Days of Faith & Family” campaign, the '08 presidential candidate’s “Embrace the Change” concert tour made a Saturday night stop at the Greenwood Civic Center.
The concert tour focused on getting people to the polls, informing voters about the candidate and engaging in gospel music.
Greenwood County Council member Edith Childs got the proceedings going using her own special methods.
“Are we fired up?” she asked in a shout. “We’re going to get the place rocking.”
Rock it did. The concert was more like a powerful church service. Attendees stomped their feet, clapped their hands and lifted their voices in unison.
The MLK Mass Choir took the stage, setting up the night for the other performers -- Byron Cage, Vanessa Bell Armstrong and gospel quartet Mighty Clouds of Joy.
Those artists, and others, are on tour in South Carolina, also hitting Columbia and Charleston.
In a press release, Joshua DuBois, the campaign’s national religious affairs director, said the concert shows how Obama’s campaign is unique in its own way.
“This is another example of how Barack Obama is defying conventional wisdom about how politics is done and giving new meaning to meeting people at the grassroots level,” he said. “This concert tour is going to bring new people into the political process and engage people of faith in an unprecedented way.”
“Bringing together artists of this caliber, on one stage, in support of one man, speaks volumes about the purpose of that man,” Carter said. “And collectively, we embrace this change.”
Amaya Smith, press secretary for the campaign, said the night was “specifically to reach out to voters of faith, people of faith to talk about Senator Obama’s faith and how to actually act based on your faith, and how that affects your policy, and how to use your faith in real life.
“This is a great opportunity to hear from really great artists as well and learn a little bit about Senator Obama. If they’re on the fence, and if they’re not, they can still participate in a really great event.”
Andy Sykora, of Custom Audio and Lighting in Hodges, said his company set up audio and visual equipment for the night. He said he is really impressed with Obama’s campaign crew as well as the event itself.
“This is total Southern gospel music,” he said. “This is like a R&B band but with a Christian, religious influence. They come with a high energy, for sure. People really support their music.”