USA Today did a decent job live-blogging the concert. Follow this link.
Problem is, they only told half the story. Or else I’m just another cranky complainer? Nah, they only told half the story.
a) Springsteen was terrible. Granted, my quick setup only allowed me to port the TV sound through the stereo, but OMG, he sounded awful. Bon Jovi came to his rescue, and we had an “all Jersey” Born To Run closer that wasn’t too bad.
b) Call it what you want, but this was the concert for middle aged white yuppies. And they packed Madison Square Garden in their tens of thousands to see the show. When the camera cut to shots of the audience, there was hardly a face under 35 to been seen, and the place was 100% Caucasian. Hey, who else is going to drop five thousand on a pair of tickets to relive the early 80s?
c) absolute absence of pot smoke. You could see it in the eyes of the middle age Twirl Girls in the audience, buzzed up on “I’m at a concert again!!” but still feeling something was missing. And how culturally sad is this ... concert goers aren’t even allowed to Flic Their Bics anymore ... pianist Alicia Keys inveighed the audience to “hold up their cell phones in tribute” to let the light shine, and 50,000 arms went up, all holding iPhones. White people, huh? We did real fire in my day; remember the first generation Bics with the flame adjuster you could crank over so hard that the lighter would shoot out little flaming balls of butane? Rock on!!
d) It was fun seeing the musical mummies, the dancing pharaohs from the Second Dynasty. Oh, sorry, I meant the Rolling Stones. OMG. Formaldehyde much? But they thundered, and rocked the Garden hard. Way to go. Now somebody force feed Mick a sandwich already please.
e) Eric Clapton has more musical talent than everyone else on the ticket, combined. Including Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, and surprise pianist Diana Krall.
f) The Who? No, The Two. Give it up guys, it’s time to retire. The signature roundhouse attacks on the guitar strings lose their appeal when we see your beer belly bouncing off the body of the guitar each time you do one. And when you have to go through 3 shirts to do 7 or 8 tunes because you sweat so much just standing there ... it’s time to put down the microphone. And in light of the reason for this concert - all the people who lost their lives, homes, livelihoods, etc - making your set some kind of memorial to Keith Moon, who died 25 years ago, was rather selfish and egotistical.
g) Hey everybody, let’s talk about Kanye West wearing his leather skirt ... and ignore totally that he’s a talentless, skill-free hack who was barely able to stand up, much less able to offer even slightly coherent lyrics. Don’t say a word that would hold his barnyard grunting in comparison to Clapton’s exquisite guitar work, Bon Jovi’s energy, or even (gak) Springsteen’s lyricism. Nothing to see (or hear) here, move along. You racist. And talk about bombing? With this audience? I was ROFLMAO watching him try to be all Thug and Ghetto and Shit while 60,000 white guys in their early 50s just stood there in motionless slightly embarrassed silence waiting politely for him to leave. LOO. ZER.
h) Adam Sandler. OK, nice try with the quick re-write of your Hallelujah send up. It was even half-way funny and politically biting. But you’re still an amiable doofuss, although you were much funnier than Colbert. And Billy Crystal. OMG, another mummy. Crivens!!
i) Roger Waters doing 4 Pink Floyd songs. OMG. Total 70s throwback. Trippin. I’ll accept Eddie Vedder doing the vocals, since it was way past Roger’s bedtime.
j) Paging Billy Joel. Paging Billy Joel. What the hell? Was he sleeping one off back stage? Or did he just helicopter in from his house in the Hamptons at the last minute, and get hung up by the New York Air Traffic Control. We waited forever for him. And waited. And waited. And waited. And finally turned off the show and went to bed, having already stayed up almost 2 hours later than we usually do. So we missed him by minutes. Oh well.
k) Alicia Keys. :eyeroll: Sure was great to be able to put a woman, any woman, on the ticket so that the concert wasn’t exclusively Old White Guys, Mostly Brits. But as popular as she may be, as good as she may be, as old as everyone else in the show is ... she was utterly outclassed. Nice try, leesha, but you don’t have the chops to go toe to toe with this bunch.
l) What up with HDTV? Or televised music in general? Hasn’t anyone yet figured out how to plug into the mixing board, instead of getting the sound feed from a couple of Kenner Close ‘n Play Karaoke microphones? HDTV is supposed to be all about the bandwidth, right, including some for the sound track? Yet TV sound continues to suck hind tit, showing almost no improvement since old Sir Paul first walked on stage at the Ed Sullivan Show.
Yeah, I probably missed the best part of the concert. But it really was a show for pre-retirement Baby Boomers, and frankly it just went on past my bedtime. Theirs too; I read that a big chunk of the audience went home around midnight. Hope they raised billions, although all I keep hearing about is the $30+ million raised from ticket sales. What about all those semi-celebrities manning the phone banks? How much scratch did they bring in? It’s not like nobody knows ... even Jerry Lewis’ telethons gave us minute by minute totals, and that was decades ago.
Springsteen by definition is terrible. Not been a fan of ‘The Boss’ since he came out in support of Clinton. Which just means that if you are in the entertainment business, you shouldn’t alienate half your audience by taking public stands on issues or candidates. But nowadays we have idiots who want to ‘change the world’ and really think their momentary celebrity status will do that. Obviously these are ignorant people that the phrase ‘those who don’t read history are doomed to repeat it’ was aimed at.
Me? I do what I can as Christ demonstrated: one soul at a time.
Gee, I was there back in the day but I tend to live in the NOW and ignore all this retro music crap because I saw it when it was fresh so why look now that its old and Haggard. Buy the album or DL the songs, the way they were meant to be heard,properly mixed without all the crowd noise.