The Fallen

February 5, 2007 by  
Filed under News

It’s been a long time since Boyz II Men ruled the R&B boy-band scene, and I don’t think the genre is ready to conquer the international stage once more.

If it was, the Boyz wouldn’t be playing to the Suncorp Piazza next Friday night, with a seating capacity of just over 2000.

Breakfast Television

February 5, 2007 by  
Filed under Broadcast, Media

Comments Off on Breakfast Television

The intended audiences, and cultures they’re trying to build, for the two main Australian network breakfast programmes were highlighted by their choice of live musical performances this morning.

Seven’s Sunrise: Scissor Sisters with I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’
Nine’s Today: Ten Tenors with I Still Call Australia Home

Poles apart.

U2 Vertigo Tour – Brisbane

November 8, 2006 by  
Filed under News

This morning was my 8am exam on Medieval Civilisation: The Foundations, last night was the long awaited return to Australia of the ageless U2. Hmmm, I don’t think this counts as reselling, using for advertising, promotion, competitions or other commercial purposes without the presenter’s prior written authorisation, plus I’ve watermarked it COPY ONLY – so hopefully this isn’t illegal. My ticket from the first U2 concert on Australian soil in eight years, and my first ever U2 concert.

Yes, the ticket says March 21, but the Australian leg of the tour was postponed until November because of the illness of someone in the family of one of the band members earlier this year.

Kate and I were in row UUU out of VVV, as shown in the ticket, only one row from the furthest back seats. When we first arrived there weren’t many people in the stadium, so we took a rest halfway up the stairs to our seats. We couldn’t quite see the stage from our ‘rest’ seats, so it actually worked out quite well when we got up the top, as the height gave us a better view of the stage than when we had first arrived.

Kanye West opened, and after his first song went off on some tangent about himself in the press. I don’t know which press he’s talking about, but I’m pretty sure 95% of the people there had no idea what he was talking about, given probably about 75% had probably never heard of him. Nonetheless, on and on he went about how we should all keep in mind the press makes a big issue out of little things…. dude, nobody knows or cares.

That said, having listened to Kanye on tripleJ for a long time, it was good hearing Gold Digger, Diamonds are Forever, Jesus Walks, and Touch the Sky.

The gates for the standing only section on the field should have been opened earlier, since after Kanye we had to wait another half hour or more for U2 to start as people were still shuffling through lines to get into the stadium. Some friends were lined up from 5am until the gates opened at 5.30pm to try and get into the standing section that surrounds the stage. I hope they succeeded.

When U2 came on they opened with City of Blinding Lights. Kate was fidgety, wanting to get into the music, but everybody in the stands stayed in their seats. There were about 500 empty seats just next to our section, and we were considering moving to it so we could stand or sit as we pleased when the second song Vertigo, began. Our decision was made, and we took off to express ourselves through interpretive dance as the music thumped across the stadium.

It was pretty amazing, and Bono was surprisingly political. Not that I didn’t expect him to be political but he went for a bit of shock value when, before Sunday Bloody Sunday, he called for David Hicks to be released from Guantanamo Bay and returned to Australia for a fair trial. It was hard to judge the crowd’s response, but as Kate said, it definitely seemed to change the mood in the stadium from ‘entertainment’ to something a little more sombre.

The first six Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were also scrolled on the giant screen, with a child’s voiceover reading the last several. At another point, the big screen was turned into a giant pokie machine, once stopping to display three John Howard heads and one of Peter Garrett. For those who didn’t watch the ARIAs two weeks ago, Midnight Oil were inducted into the Hall of Fame – with a video introduction from Bono before Silverchair played Don’t Wanna Be the One. At the end of the performance, and before Midnight Oil came on stage, Silverchair front man Daniel Johns spray painted PG4PM on a stage wall.

Back to the U2 concert last night. Throughout the concert it was amazing that at any one time, only about 20 people were standing in our entire section of the stadium. Apart from the people in the very back row, most of whom felt at ease standing up because there weren’t rows of people behind them refusing to follow suit, everyone looked straitjacketed in their seats. Kate and I broke free, clapping our hands in the air, stomping our feet and dancing with the stick figures on screen.

When the band first left the stage after playing One, people started leaving the stadium without waiting for an encore. That was a big mistake, since the band returned to play another six songs! Strangely, many people didn’t think an encore was worth staying for, walking out while the band played on.

The political aspect of the event was very good. Not because it was
anything I hadn’t heard or thought of before, but because it was all
the things I have heard and have thought of before.
It’s often the simple things we forget about, but more importantly I
think there are people who may never think about political issues, and
this simple nudge might possibly educate. Mind you, we also forget
quickly. During Sunday Bloody Sunday there was also a graphic on screen of Coexist, where the C was the Islamic crescent, the X the Jewish Star of David, and the T a Christian cross.

Overall, as my first ever U2 concert, I was thoroughly impressed. Despite being the furthest back from the stage we could possibly be, I wasn’t at all disappointed by that. I’m really glad we left our seats and stood up the back because, despite the fantastic music, I would have been disappointed if I had been seated for the entire concert. Not too mention incredibly uncomfortable. Weren’t those people bored, and wishing they could jump up and down?!

You can see a lot more information about the concert, including the full set list, at u2-vertigo-tour.com.

Last night one of my brothers and one of my sisters went to the Brisbane concert as well. My oldest brother has tickets for one of the Sydney concerts over this weekend, but at last report has lost them. I sincerely hope he finds them before the show!