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The William J. Clinton Foundation celebrated its tenth anniversary with the "Decade of Difference" concert at the Hollywood Bowl Saturday night, featuring a lineup that included Stevie Wonder, Usher, Juanes, and Kenny Chesney among others. The night also served as a belated sixty-fifth birthday party for former President Clinton, who was joined by wife Hillary and daughter Chelsea (which makes one imagine what an amazing Super Sweet 16 party this would have made for her). The standout performances of the night, unsurprisingly, turned out to be those by U2's Bono and The Edge, and Lady Gaga.
Bono and The Edge played a stripped-down acoustic set, aided, at various points, by a MacBook Pro and a string section. The crowd was treated to seven U2 classics including "Desire," "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," "A Man and a Woman," "Sunday Bloody Sunday," "Staring at the Sun," "One," and closer, "Miss Sarajevo," in which Bono let out his inner Caruso, tackling the operatic part of the song originally sung by Pavarotti. Bono said that Clinton was "by far the most beloved American since JFK, for all of us Irish."
In her usual ostentatious manner, Lady Gaga emerged onstage at a piano in a treehouse, and, channeling Marilyn Monroe in a blonde wig, purred "Happy Birthday" to Clinton as if he were JFK, saying "I always wanted a Marilyn moment -- but didn't want it to involve pills and pearls." She then sang her hits, like "Born This Way," "The Edge of Glory," "Bad Romance," which she playfully changed to "Bill Romance," and "You and I." She stripped off her dress at one point to reveal a tan bodysuit underneath, and proceeded to dance on a narrow catwalk in front of the Clinton family, saying "It's a good thing I used to dance on bars, right?" Keeping it real, she also dropped an f-bomb at one point, along with the sexual innuendoes.
Usher's trouser malfunction we won't talk about.