20 Years of Music at the DNC and RNC

CHARLOTTE, NC- SEPTEMBER 6 2012: Confetti flies after President Obama spoke at the Democratic National Convention 2012 at Time Warner Cable Arena September 6 2012 in Charlotte. (Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)
CHARLOTTE, NC- SEPTEMBER 6 2012: Confetti flies after President Obama spoke at the Democratic National Convention 2012 at Time Warner Cable Arena September 6 2012 in Charlotte. (Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

This month we’ve seen the Republican National Convention take place, where Donald Trump was officially announced as the nominee for the Republican Party. Today, Hillary Clinton was officially announced the candidate for the Democratic Party at the Democratic National Convention.

Sure, the announcements of the candidates are big news, but we’re more interested in the music they played. Let’s take a look at the last 20 years of music at the DNC and RNC.

Democratic National Convention

Going way back to 1996, there was the famous performance of ‘Seasons of Love’ by the cast of Rent from Broadway, which signalled the end of the convention. Far more memorable than that, however, was Al Gore dancing to the Macarena while he stood still.

Then in the year 2000, things got heavier with a live performance by Rage Against the Machine who played ‘Bulls on Parade’.

Skipping straight to 2012, the year that Obama won his second term, Tom Petty remembers getting chills when the DNC played his song ‘Won’t Back Down’ as part of a soundtrack that included James Taylor and even Bruce Springsteen!

Republican National Convention

Back in 1996, music wasn’t a big part of the convention, but the event was ended by a speech from the President of the Log Cabin Republicans, Stephen Fong, who became the first openly gay speaker at the RNC. Fast forward to 2004, when George W. Bush became the nominee, there were musical acts by Brooks & Dunn, Sara Evans and Darryl Worley.

Moving to 2008, the year that John McCain ran with the notorious Tea Partier Sarah Palin, the song ‘Barracuda’ by rock group Heart as a result of Palin’s nickname, Sarah Barracuda.

And now, in 2016, we saw something pretty epic with Trump. At the very end of the convention, as confetti and balloons fell from the ceiling, the Rolling Stones song ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ played, which seemed like the perfect dig at Senator Ted Cruz, who lost out to Trump and faced criticism for not endorsing him.

So, what musical performance will see off the DNC this year? I guess we’ll have to wait until later this week!

[Image Credit: Los Angeles Times]

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