Monday, September 28, 2009

The Letter "U" and the Numeral "2"

Caught U2 at the soon to be demolished Giants Stadium on Wednesday. Good show, by and large, although this particular well-intentioned birthday tribute to Bruce Springsteen kind of sucked.

That said, I had a perhaps amusing difference of opinion about the concert with a certain Shady Dame.

Her (having seen U2 seven times previously):
"You know, Bono really is kind of an asshole."

Me (seeing U2 for the first time):
"You know, Bono really isn't as big an asshole as I expected."


steves said...

I'm with the Shady Dame on this one.

Even my 10-year-old daughter saw it on SNL yesterday: "He's not *that* bad a singer, but he overacts a lot."

Anonymous said...

Isn't that a bit like saying Joey Ramone
was tall?

Anonymous said...

Just like the Doublemint Twins: "two assholes in one".


TJWood said...

I've seen U2 seven times myself and this wasn't close to the worst cover I've seen them do. That would be "Southern Man" from a show at UMass in 1982. I saw one of the shows the week before in Toronto, and I have to say Bono was relatively restrained by Bono standards. My own opinion: no less of an asshole than I've witnessed Springsteen being at the three shows of his I've seen.

Anonymous said...

The asshole comment was just a cheap joke that was hard to resist. I enjoy the music of both U2 and Bruce very much.

I believe it is very difficult to have such public and lengthy careers without at least occasionally falling into self parody and over emoting/acting when most of your shows are in stadiums as U2 and Bruce have performed for decades. The Stones often run into the same criticism.

In many ways performers like Richard Thompson, Lucinda Williams, Los Lobos or Peter Himmelman are lucky in that while they have to play much smaller shows (and make much less money), they are able to stay connected to their audiences much more easily then when your fans are up to 1000 feet away from you and only see you on giant video screens.

I feel a performers connection to fans and being able to have a less distanced relationship to your fans helps a performer to remain truer to their musical vision. It's remains a performance not the Nurenburg Rally.


Wendy said...

Well, let's just say that after we see Bruce at the same stadium this coming Friday, the largest venue I will ever go to again is The Garden.

Anonymous said...

Even the Garden is too big for R & R.

3000 seaters should be the max. Unrealistic but the right size anyway.

I love seeing shows in 800 seat theaters like the Tarrytown Music Hall, the Bardivan Opera House or Town Hall. That's ideal for rock.


steve simels said...

BG and I saw an interesting band at the Blender Theater over the weekend.

A small old Manhattan movie house; they ripped out the seats on the floor for standing room, but left the rest.

Probably holds no more than 900 people, but it's incredibly comfortable, with great sightlines and sound. Just about the ideal venue for a band, I think.

Wendy said...

Smaller clubs are always better, but considering the size of the NY market, they will never be feasible for major acts.

And The Garden can be surprisingly intimate.

Anonymous said...

Re: The Garden being intimate: Yeh, if you're in the first 15 rows or if you were so stoned at a Dead show the cosmos was your living room. Otherwise....nah!