U2ube – 1/6

Suggested listening – U2 on YouTube

U2 on YouTube: 10 million live streams
U2 on YouTube: 2.5 million live streams

If you visited YouTube last Sunday, you might’ve noticed the screaming banners all over everything, proclaiming U2’s live free-stream concert in L.A.  It started at 12:30 a.m. our time.  Didn’t watch it?  Huh.  Can you be blamed?

Music is in the shitter.  No one goes to concerts anymore.  The bands scalp their own tickets.  Ticketmaster and LiveNation auction the best seats right out from under the biggest fans.  No one buys CDs, but somehow record labels still think the charts mean something.  Would you rather the Beatles’ box set or an iPhone?  Would you rather see a local band or dance at Nicky Zees?

But it’s not our fault.

I wrote a play-by-play as I watched U2 on YouTube.  Yeah, it’s in six parts.  Sorry.  It’s only been edited for spelling:

Breathe – Nice way to start.  A good tune, and Bono gets to tell his story in the first verse.  My friend Jason said they opened with this tune their first night in Boston.

Band during Get On Your Boots
During "Get On Your Boots"

Get on your Boots – Edge’s Telecaster spanks on its bridge pickup.  Then, for no reason displayed onstage, it turns to mud.  I couldn’t see him switch over to the neck, though perhaps he did, but why?

Magnificent – The song that should’ve been the single.  Clayton fucks up the bass line.  His TV yellow Thunderbird bass looks nice, though, and the song sounds nice, too.

Mysterious Ways – The youth is gone.  Bono can’t hit the falsetto.  The harmonies are cold and too practiced.  All the life is in the visual.  The music might as well be on hard drive.  Edge plays his Rickenbacker and works the fuck out of his wah wah, but for what?

Beautiful Day – Sound fucks up.  Drops out, the vocals drop, then feedback.  Who cares?  It’s the visual that counts, and half this song’s just jukeboxed anyway.  The song sounds as usual and familiar as Edge’s Firebird.  Bono’s impromptu tunes (Desert sky, God only knows the way I feel about you; not a stranger in your eyes) just add to the jukebox reminiscence.  Are they making fun of themselves?

Part 2

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