Musicians vote for change

By Lauren Reilly
September 23, 2004

In accordance with the November election, artists have forged together to support presidential candidate John Kerry by holding over 30 concerts in nine of the swing states in efforts to motivate Americans to “Vote for Change.”

“A vote for change is a vote for a stronger, safer, healthier America. A vote for Bush is a vote for a divided, unstable, paranoid America. It is our duty to this beautiful land to let our voices be heard. That’s the reason for the tour. That’s why I’m doing it,” Dave Matthews, an artist that regularly involves himself with politics, said on

The philosophy behind “Vote for Change” boils down to one simplistic notion-the desire to change the current direction of our nation. The musicians involved hope that by committing their time and effort, they will inspire their fellow Americans to become involved and ultimately move our country towards a “compassionate and humane direction.”

One of the more popular participants, Bruce Springsteen, openly expresses the reasoning behind his contribution to the tour. “It’s a matter of preservation and protection of democracy, of having an open and transparent leadership and sustaining the trust of your citizenry. If you’ve blown that, you’ve blown it all. I believe that’s what happened with this administration,” Springsteen said, in an interview with “Rolling Stone.”

Beginning Oct. 1, more than twenty artists, including Dave Matthews, Bruce Springsteen, Eddie Vedder, Bonnie Raitt and the Dixie Chicks, will take the stage, starting in Pennsylvania and ending in Florida one week later

Just as musicians during the Vietnam War, the artists are using their fame to their advantage, and although some believe this to be exploitative, others, such as graduate Pete Kulick, currently the assistant to the executive Vice President of the American College, believe it to be appropriate. “The concerts are a way to stimulate new swing state voters and encourage current ones to get to the polls. Like something out of the 1960s’, these concerts, performed by passionate musicians who care about important issues rather than the size of their rims, are taking their unique responsibility to inspire a change in this once in a lifetime election,” Kulick said, “I think the musicians are not trying to change minds by promising an unattainable outcome, rather they are hoping for the best while doing whatever is in their power to make a difference in what they truly believe is right.”

Vote for Change has no official or financial connections to the Kerry Campaign or the Democratic National Committee. The shows are actually presented by MoveOn PAC (Political Action Committee), a division of the progressive-activists group According the MoveOn PAC’s mission statement, the contributions of this campaign provide financial espousal for congressional candidates that support “moderate to progressive principles of government.”

By law, direct contributions from businesses and organizations to candidates are prohibited, but due to the federally regulated PAC, they may do so. The proceeds from the concerts, an estimated $10 million, will therefore be given to PAC, which will, in turn, support the Kerry campaign.

Lauren Taque, a freshman English major, believes that the artists intended goal will be relatively successful for increasing voter turn-outs as well as for the Kerry campaign. “I think it will bring in the younger and liberal voters and give Kerry street credibility-it’s like the whole Clinton-saxophone thing,” Taque said.

Although in agreement with Taque’s belief that the concerts will effect the amount of Americans at the polls, Loan Nguyen, a freshman business and administration major, thinks that the shows may not be as beneficial to Kerry as he hopes; she says that despite their efforts, having a predetermined candidate in mind won’t change the overall outcome. “It will motivate people to vote, but the shows will end a month before the election and most people have made their decision already,” Nguyen said.

“The concerts will affect the election. In record numbers? Probably not, but the concerts have sparked a small movement, which will hopefully change the outcome of the election,” Kulick said.

Concert Schedule

Pearl Jam/Death Cab for Cutie

10-1 Reading, PA

10-2 Toledo, OH

10-3 Grand Rapids, MI

10-5 St. Louis, MO

10-6 Asheville, NC

10-8 Kissimmee, FL

Dixie Chicks/James Taylor

10-1 Pittsburgh, PA

10-2 Cleveland, OH

10-3 Detroit, MI

10-5 Iowa City, IA

10-6 St. Louis, MO

10-8 Tampa Bay, FL

John Mellencamp/Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds

10-1 Wilkes-Barre, PA

10-2 Cincinnati, OH

10-3 Kalamazoo, MI

10-5 Milwaukee,WI

10-8 Miami, FL

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band/R.E.M./John Fogerty/Bright Eyes

10-1 Philadelphia, PA

10-2 Cleveland, OH

10-3 Ann Arbor, MI

10-5 St. Paul, MN

10-8 Orlando, FL

Dave Matthews Band/Jurassic 5/My Morning Jacket

10-1 State College, PA

10-2 Dayton, OH

10-3 Detroit,MI

10-5 Madison, WI

10-6 Ames, IA

10-8 Gainsville, FL

Jackson Browne/Bonnie Raitt/Keb ‘ Mo’

10-1 Williamsport, PA

10-2 TBA

10-3 Grand Rapids, MI

10-5 Kansas City, MO

10-6 Des Moines, IA

10-8 Jacksonville, FL

Posted to the Web by Lori Iannella

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Lauren Reilly

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Special Project

Title IX Redefined Website

Produced by Cabrini Communication
Class of 2024

Listen Up

Season 2, Episode 3: Celebrating Cabrini and Digging into its Past


Scroll to Top
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap