Tuesday, August 29, 2006

U2: When They Didn't Suck




A lot of people hate U2, and for good reason: they kinda stink now. Bono has become a hypocritical conservative watch-mouth who, while still being far and away my hero, has put a clank on his mouth, constantly guarding himself from saying anything that could make his old nememsis George Bush Sr. purse her lips. Their music has been dulled purposefully, not going to the full way they used to, making sure their tunes slide gently into the Juicy Fruit Top 20 Countdown on VH1 (hey, secretaties in Valporaiso, IN, need to rock (and, boy, do they rock) and cry, too! (and, boy, do they cry). Same for City of Blinding Lights and maybe Vertigo, their last record is a depressing look on a band still bubbling with potential, a band I still firmly believe and love, putting in the hairplugs and schmaltzy overproduction (gleefully supplied by everybody's favorite nuturing producer, the Flood!). Live, they're more a spectator's sport rather than the U2 experience that they just were during the Elevation tour. Hell, during their Godzilla romp through Manhattan during the fall of 2004, where took over streets and bridges on the back of truck and blew skulls out on Saturday Night Live, gaining the prestigious title of being the only thing really worth mentioning about the show since Will Ferrel left. They're dangerously sliding into become a Vegas act, a routine "Here comes Where The Streets Have No Name, second to last song of the first set" opera of predictable buildup and crashdowns, using the same template they themselves designed with Zoo TV, only now Bono's got a stinky looking big butt, stupid hair plugs, and long winded rehearsed speeches (on the Chicago DVD, you can see the notes on a teletron in front of him) that make Rattle & Hum appear to be the Gettysburg Adress, making sure they stray away from any type of surprise or reformatting, playing the same songs in the same fashion in the same order thay they have for years so they we all feel safe in declaring no more war while enjoying the brewski and nachos I got during Miracle Drug while Bono continues to say how we can get involved with Africa while giving us absolutely no way to do anything of what he's saying (Note to Bono: Nobody's going to buy your shitty sunglasses, or any of the other expensive crap you're shelling out as the Red campaign because we can't afford it or want it. Try to get people who make pencils and milk in the program and then you're really talking. Also, us calling Senators on our cellphones doesn't mean shit to them. You should know that by now). Oh yeah, and make sure that the only people who attend your shows are mid 30-to early 40ish rockers with 401K plans, since they're the only ones who can come. Might as well charge to use their website, too. I wonder if theres a way for Bono to avoid paying the taxes he created to be used for helping Africa...

So I see what you mean when you say U2 blows. But, alas, once, a time when flannel and scrunchies roamed the pages of Vogue, U2 were one of the Earth shatterers, giants in shades launching bombs from atop their Blade Runner-esque stage for all of us to view on that new renegade channel, Fox. The Zoo TV period of U2 is one of the biggest reasons I keep coming back to the band, an amazing few years in which the band put out two albums and a tour that rank among the best of all time. They were sexualized (in an actual sexual way, more chesmire cat than jus the dog humping your leg type of sex we hear so much of nowadays) untouchables burning all comers to the title of Greatest Band on Earth, something they pretty much have taken a copyright out for nowadays. Bono unleashed the smeared with grease leather demigod we all knew was in him in the 80s, gleefully prancing around his apocolyptic orgy of ironic technology that was the Zoo TV stage, delivering a progression of songs whose pace had never been experienced before, a thrilling throwdown of merciless intensity and a constant delivery of surprises, making technology into something that could lift the show, rather than just douse the whole thing in techno gobbly gook. If you haven't, get Acthung Baby via whatever means you can find. As for the Zoo, U2 has graciously decided to deliver a rather eloquent smorgasboard of goods for us to purchase this fall, one of which being the incredible Zoo Tv Live from Sydney show. For those looking for a taste, here's a whole lotta interference (no tomatoes, please).

U2 Special: Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Desire
New Year's Day (Sydney)
Love is Blindness
With or Without You
Zoo Station (Sydney)
Pride
MTV Until The End Of The World
Larry Mullen Singing Badly
Bad
The Fly (Sydney)
Where The Street...
One
Ultraviolet
Even Better...w/Garth
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Trying To Throw Your Arms... (Sydney)
Whose Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
Running To Stand Still
Love is Blindness
Angel of Harlem
Stay
Mysterious Ways Sydney
Satellite of Love
Where The Streets: Sydney
Zoo Station, St. Patrick's Day
I Still Haven't Found...Acoustic
Lemon/With or Without You
Mysterious Ways
Ben Stiller: Lucky Clovers, Early Years

Videos: Even Better (Remix), Wild Horses, The Fly, Mysterious Ways, One Ver. 1, One Ver. 2, Love Is Blindness, Until The End of The World, Even Better

Websites: Interfernce, U2 Tabs, U2 Torrents

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