U2 in review

2001 05 29 - 17:49

Finally, after many years of waiting (too many, I think), I got to see U2.

That was the main reason for going to Montreal; seeing the city came barely a close second! (That's sarcasm.)

I say too many years for a couple of reasons; one because it's not fun to wait for anything, and two because Bono's voice isn't what it used to be. I'm guessing his vocal cords will be shot by the end of the week.

Apparently he can't do arena shows anymore, so that's why this tour is smaller stadiums. His voice can't take the straing, and it's showing, unfortunately.

Don't get me wrong, it was a wonderful show, and I'm very happy I finally got to see them live.

The thing that made me happiest is that they did my favourite song, Bad; and apparently he's been botching it a bit during other parts of the tour. He didn't that night. It was wonderful.

The show was a mix of the new album and some old songs, but not many songs pre-Achtung Baby; though they did do Sunday Bloody Sunday which surprised a lot of people.

The show itself starts off with the song Elevation with full house lights on. That's a very very unusual thing. I don't think I've ever heard of a band doing that before.

The stage has a heart-shaped catwalk extending from it, and some of the lucky folks who had general admission floors, were allowed inside the the heart shape.

We had decent seats for being behind the band; at the centre of the heart but in the 200 level. It was a very nice view of the whole heart.

The heart had lights surrounding it on the inner and outer edges. Bono and The Edge would walk around it occasionally.

The evening started off in fear, truth be told, because the sound at the back during PJ Harvey's set was horrible. We were afraid it would be that way all night. As it turns out, part of the problem was sound bouncing off the back walls and reverbing, and the lack of people. Once the place filled up it was better. The other problem, as it turns out, was that PJ's amp was shot. It blew out half way through her set. Once the place was full and U2 took the stage, things were good.

Below is a crappily drawn picture of the stage. The band was set up in the black area inside the heart, and in the black area above the heart were an arced row of pixel boards that came up occasionally during the show either showing psychedelic colour patterns, or a James Bond style girl sihouette that Bono would dance with. They were used for other displays also, but very minimally. That was the whole tour in a nutshell; minimal. They wanted to do a straight-ahead rock'n'roll concert, and that's exactly what they did. There was none of the glitz and crap of Popmart or Discotheque; and it was really nice.

There were giant screens, of course, but for some reason they were all black and white. I wonder why. I wish they'd been colour ones. Perhaps that's another augmentation to the feeling of minimalism.

I think, really, that this is going to be the band's last major tour. With Bono's voice faltering as it had been, I don't see much more future in arena shows for them. I don't see them stopping, no; I just think it's going to be smaller tours and large clubs.

It was a good show, regardless of the faults, and I'm very happy I finally got to see them. Many thanks to my friend Max and my mother for helping the trip come to be.


One thing that <i>did</i> surprise me, was the lack of body searches when we went into the Molson Forum. That's fairly unusual for a show like that, but I'm guessing that the amount of people attending might have made it a bit difficult to carry off. Still, considering Bono's had things tossed at him, and the fact that fans are often more than fanatical, I'm very surprised they didn't do anything in the way of checking people. It ticks me off in a way, because this means I could have taken a camera in there and gotten some shots. Grumble.

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Camden and Crowes

2001 05 23 - 18:17

Last year, during my visit to Blighty, I did the shopping trip to Camden Market for my DMs. I have said DMs, have just in fact taken them off, and bought (with Anna's insistance) this lovely purple hat (somewhat like a woven bowler) with a yellow sunflower in it.

I love this hat. It's now become an extension of my person. I cannot imagine life sans hat. Some months ago, sadly, the sunflower disappeared and I haven't been able to find it.

Until now.

Amidst the flashing of lights the colours of lime soda and grape Kool-Aid, I found out where my flower went.

He steps out on stage wearing a purple hat Just Like Mine, and in it is proudly stuck a sunflower Just Like The One I Used To Have.

Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes stole my flower! The bastard!

Though the show kicked much ass, I still had the urge to jump on stage and demand my flower back.

Noel and Liam Gallagher managed not to engage in fisticuffs, which was relieving. Apparently Noel set a list of rules for Liam before the tour started.

The Commandments According To Noel Gallagher

This show, they covered I Am The Walrus, and I must admit that it was fab. Those boys make no bones about wearing their influences on their sleeves.

I was never an Oasis fan, and I can't say I am now either, but my opinion's certainly switched. It was a good show.

Now, how to get my flower back... (and rid myself of the stench of pot. Gawd I hate the smell of that stuff.)

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That which does not kill me, only serves to make me laugh the next afternoon

2001 05 09 - 18:52

I think I've only once had a near-death experience (well, outside that time I almost choked on bacon fat, or the time the van hit me whilst I tried to cross the road to get to the subway in Toronto, or... wait, that's actually more brushes with death than anyone needs), but the best one so far, has to be the song that nearly ended my life.

I was over a friend's visiting for the weekend, and we're fairly big Monty Python fans. This friend had a record of theirs that I'd never heard, so he put it on whilst I sat at the kitchen table painting, and he and his wife sat on the sofa doing whatever it is one does on sofas.

This song started. I started laughing. I started gasping for breath. Fairly soon I was literally on the floor gasping, trying to suck in breath, and not succeeding; tears streaming out of my eyes.

I have never laughed that hard in my life; not before or since. I suspect nothing will ever make me laugh that hard again. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I owe it all to this song:

The Medical Love Song - Monty Python

Inflammation of the foreskin
Reminds me of your smile
I've had balanital chancroids
For quite a little while
I gave my heart to NSU
That lovely night in June
I ache for you, my darling,
And I hope you'll get well soon

My penile warts, your herpes,
My syphilitic sore,
Your monilial infection
How I miss you more and more
Your *dobies itch my *scrum-pox
Ah, lovely gonorrhea
At least we both were lying
When we said that we were clear

My clapped-out genitalia
Is not so bad for me
As the complete and utter failure
Every time I try to pee
I'm dying from your love, my love,
I'm your spirochetal clown
I've left my body to science,
But I'm afraid they've turned it down

Gonococcal urethritis
Streptococcal balanitis
*Diplococcal *catholitis
Interstitial keratitis
Syphilitic coronitis
And anterior *ureitis.

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o/~ Toot sweets, toot sweets, the candy you whistle, the whistle you eat o/~

2001 05 03 - 18:58

Yesterday I had my first creamsicle of the year. Oh gawd these things are tasty, and right now I'm having another, but I still wish the shop had lime popsicles. I've got a hankering for real lime rickey soda. Mmm. And sometimes the popsicles taste just like that.

I remember having to go through this period of time as a child, not being able to eat ANY sort of store bought junk food at all. I'd been labelled "hyperactive" and wasn't allowed any foods with additives, preservatives, or over-indulgent amounts of sugar. Probably one of the most miserable times of my young life.


We can talk about the weather

2001 05 02 - 19:02

The weather gets warmer, which is welcome, but I am now reminded of two things which aren't; the humidity of southern Ontario in summer, and the migraines I'll get because of it.

This, however, is why Dog created Advil, and why I am now much beholden to him/her/it/them.

I think I'm going to become stupendously wealthy, and spend every summer for the rest of my unnatural born days in the UK. They have perfect weather in summer. It's not too hot, not too cold, it only looks like it's going to rain more than it actually does rain; plus, no humidity. At least nothing that I personally would describe as such.

I still have my nice, big fan, so I am ready for at least part of the battle that is about to ensue.

The past winter was an absolute bastard, and I'm exceedingly grateful it's taken a dirt nap. I only hope similar treatment of our tender human skin, doesn't rear its vicious head come next winter Solstice.

It's the sort of weather that actually made me want to move somewhere with sun.

I am not a sun person.

Sun; bad. White like pasty dough-girl; good.

Some place that floats around 75F all year; excellent.

I suppose I'll have to start saving up for that biodome, now.



2001 04 24 - 22:04

     is of like-mind
     to be generous
     and considerate
     to share a gift
     and give a word
     of goodness
     of comfort


Fallen Leaves

2001 04 15 - 21:26

When tea is picked it's picked by hand and packaged by hand. What you get in teabags is usually the stuff that falls on the factory floor. It makes me laugh when I see tea commercials that talk of the freshness and non-bitterness of their tea, when really all they have is the dregs; the stuff that isn't good enough for the teaballs of the connaiseurs. :&gt;

This tea from Sri Lanka that my mother gave me is very very nice stuff. It's got the kickass caffeine strength that I absolutely crave, but there's nothing bitter about it. It's somewhat like drinking Mike's Hard Lemonade, though; the niceness of the taste makes you forget the strength of what you're drinking.

I think I'm spoiled for tea bags now. I'll have to go back to scouring the wonders of the Twinings tea in cans collection.