Thursday, July 14, 2005

how was your live 8?

It's a bit after the fact, but I figured I'd express some of my thoughts on the Live 8 concerts two Saturdays ago...

...The coverage - MTV and VH1 really did a shitty job, to tell you the truth. They had an opportunity to use their separate channels to show different artists and expand the coverage you received. Nope, all day the channels had the exact same feed. Therefore, if Bon Jovi was playing Phili on MTV, a quick glance at VH1 showed the same damn thing. They missed a golden opportunity to give you a choice. Show Bon Jovi on MTV and show Maroon 5 on VH1, or whoever. Having two channels with the exact same coverage of over 5 different concerts is the stupidest production decision I can fathom. So if you were suffering through 40 minutes of the Black Eyed Peas and VJ babble on MTV, VH1 gave you no relief.

...VJ's - Why did the VJ's have to talk so much? The ratio of VJ commentary and airtime to actual performances must have been something to the effect of 2:3.

...The Who - Ehhh ... please retire or something. Roger Daltery performed with his fucking reading glasses on. Two members are dead, and the other two wont quit.

...Collaborations - Having Richard Ashcroft perform with Coldplay was a nice surprise. Same with U2 and Paul McCartney doing 'Sgt Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band'. But Elton John dragging an obviously wasted Pete Doherty on stage for 'Children of the Revolution' was kind of gross. Why did Rob Thomas get to sing with Stevie Wonder? Why was Rob Thomas even slotted near the headliners? Nice guy, but the only thing worse than Matchbox Twenty's 'Push' is the slow, solo piano/voice version he played at Live 8. And what was the point of having George Michael come on to sing 'Drive My Car' with Paul McCartney? I didn't even notice he was there until Paul waved him off the stage.

...Africa - I applaud MTV/VH1 for showing some of the 'ethnic' groups at the foreign concert locations. But why only brief clips? I know Orchestra Baobab never make it onto TRL, but these guys are legends in their neck of the woods and deserve more airtime.

...AOL - It's the first time in my life that I didn't hate the company. For those of us with fast connections and filled with MTV hate, AOL MUSIC streamed continuous video from each concert location. Therefore, you could watch whoever you wanted to, while it was happening. Three cheers for AOL ... huzzah!

...Freddie Mercury - It is generally agreed that Queen stole the show back in 1985, when Live Aid was just a 'humble' two concert event. One of Freddie's crowd pleasing trademarks was how he'd getthe crowd to follow him through various vocal riffs (Like, I sing day-ooo, then you sing day-ooo). I could swaer I caught some perfomers trying to do the exact same thing at Live 8. Billy Joe Armstrong of Green Day and Scott Weiland of Velvet Revolver come quickly to mind. A tribute? My imagination? Who knows...

...Pink Floyd - Their fine performance, smart set list, and news making reunion probably stole the show at Live 8. Roger Waters was grinning from ear to ear the entire time. Like The Who, most of the band was looking pretty battle worn. But unlike The Who, they don't pretend to still be virile rockers. It was really nice to see Roger and Dave sing together again. And their curtain call was touching.

...Paul McCartney - I'm a bit sick of seeing Paul perform EVERYWHERE, and the Live 8 group performance of 'Hey Jude' was predictable and too long ... but hearing 'Helter Skelter' was a nice surprise.


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