Friday, December 16, 2005
All right, so I made it to the big U2 show last night at the Qwest Center. You probably cannot tell from the terrible picture I took with my cell phone, but we had pretty good seats. It was my first time in the new(ish) arena. As I stated in my comments to a posting made a few days ago, I think U2's best days are basically behind them. They make decent music now, but, to me, much of the passion and intensity of the early days is now gone.
Which is not at all to say that they don't put on an entertaining show. The sold out crowd of 17,000 people seemed to love it, and were all singing along rather loudly to nearly every song. Clearly these people do not attend a lot of concerts. They had way too much pent up excitement to release for such a mediocre rock show. Still, people were having a good time, so you can't really hold that against them. Better to get your rocks off with U2 than with some dipshit like Toby Keith or someone like that!
What was strange was that the band virtually ignored its 90s music. U2 got in all the singles from the last two albums - "Vertigo" "Beautiful Day" etc - and many of its 80s classics like "Pride (In the Name of)" "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" and "I Will Follow." Only the song "One" was played from the entire decade of the 1990s.
Opener Kanye West sucked. No other way to describe it. I think this guy is one of the most overrated artists in music today, and the show last night did nothing to dissuade me of that notion. The fucker didn't even acknowledge what city he was in (a must for arena shows), and left the stage without thanking the crowd. Later, loser.
My brother (who I went to the show with) and I bailed during U2's encores to beat the crowd. We stopped over at Sokol Underground and caught the set from The (International) Noise Conspiracy. INC was pretty weak, and is another example of an overrated, over-hyped band. I heard a song from this Swedish band a few years ago on a mix CD that a friend made and it was pretty good, raw garage rock. Then last week, I listened to the band's most recent album (produced by Rick Rubin) and it was so bland and boring that I wondered how it could be the same band.
The (International) Noise Conspiracy has one of those names like Rage Against the Machine, where you expect the band to be freakin' hard in order to live up to such a name. Not so with these guys. They have a schtick that they are communists/anarchists who are starting some sort of worldwide revolution with their songs. I doubt this will happen with these guys' music. If the band had been more intense or rocking or whatever, maybe I would have bought it. But they are just a mediocre garage rock sounding band. Nothing special. The singer of the band pissed me off when he began spouting some anti-Israeli bullshit from the stage. I'm sorry, but what does some Swedish, douchebag, communist "rock star" know about Israel? I doubt very much. I also doubt that the 120 or so people in attendance cared about what he was saying anyway. A lot of people were leaving during their set due to how boring they were.
After the show, the band's manager was running around looking for weed for the band to smoke. I told them to ask a Palestinian for some weed and to leave me alone. Idiot.