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BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: This Land Is Your Land

Let’s take it back. Click HERE to register to vote. Monday is the deadline to register in Pennsylvania.

UPDATE: The Obama campaign registered some 21,000 new voters on Saturday. Democrats now hold a million-plus new voter advantage over Republicans in Pennsylvania.

ROLLING STONE: On Saturday, Bruce Springsteen kicked off three days of Vote For Change concerts on behalf of Barack Obama with a powerful acoustic set that drew estimated 50,000 to the Ben Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia.  Cutting a distinctly Woody Guthriesque profile in rolled up flannel, denim and a halo of tousled hair, The Boss stood atop a 30-foot high stage emblazoned with the word CHANGE and belted out a seven-song, 45 minute acoustic set as a gift for Obama volunteers and an inducement for the disengaged to register to vote. Some 21,000 new voters were registered on Saturday, according to the Obama campaign.

Following impressive opening performances by two hometown acts — bluesy folknik Amos Lee and alt-rapstress springsteenobama1bronze_1_1.jpgNora Whitaker¬† — and a rabble-rousing intro from Governor Ed Rendell, Springsteen ambled onstage and apologized. “I’m not Barack Obama, but I’ll do my best,” said Springsteen, before wheezing his harmonica like an angry freight train and launching into a tense, jingle-jangle reading of “The Promised Land,” his 1978 affirmation of faith in the American Idea in a time of dwindling opportunity and diminished expectations.

Four songs later — including a like-minded “The Ghost Of Tom Joad,” the obligatory “Thunder Road” and the rarely-heard “Does This Bus Stop At 82nd Street” — The Boss laid out a convincing case for change. “I’ve spent most of my creative life measuring the distance between that American promise and American reality…The distance between that promise and that reality has never been greater or more painful. I believe Senator Obama has taken the measure of that distance in his own life and in his work…I believe as president, he would work to restore that promise to so many of our fellow citizens who have justifiably lost faith in its meaning.”

With a mournful, flag-at-half-mast rendition of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land,” The Boss sent the people back out onto the streets with marching orders to take their country back from “those who who would sell it down the river for a quick buck.” –JONATHAN VALANIA MORE

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