From the category archives:


U2 360 Tour stage

I’ve always had a lot of respect and admiration for U2, even though I’ve never been a huge fan, but I can’t imagine there’s anybody putting on a better stadium rock show than the 360 Tour. The Mrs and I saw the show last night at Carter-Finley Stadium at N.C. State University in Raleigh. Stupendous.

I’ve posted some photos on my Flickr page, although I’m sure there are better photos out there easily findable. I would bet this is the most iPhone-photographed show in history. (Thanks either to AT&T or the massive influx of users in the stadium or both, my iPhone was solely a camera last night.)

I haven’t been to that many rock shows since I left Yep Roc Records, and most of the shows I’ve ever been to have been small bands in small clubs. This was quite a different kettle of fish.

Looking over the crowd tailgating before the show, you really wouldn’t have been able to tell if they were waiting for a rock concert or a football game. I can’t believe I even thought for a minute about wearing anything other than my dorky-but-comfortable dad shoes with the special insoles.

Most common outfit for women: jeans and a black spaghetti-strap top. Most common outfit for men: t-shirt and khaki shorts.

The real star of the show was the stage. It truly was magnificent. I couldn’t help but spend half the show wondering about the engineering feats that went into designing, transporting and erecting it, as well as the computer power behind running the displays and effects.

I’m too lazy to go look up specifics, but as we were driving in we passed a near endless row of semi trucks that had transported the tour to Raleigh. It reminded me of the scene in “A Bridge Too Far” where General Horrocks is passing the line of tanks, jeeps and armored cars waiting to roll toward Arnhem. I assume there will be a documentary about this show, and I can’t wait to see it.

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And Dave Wakeling!


in Music


Forgive me, I’ve been drinking with librarians, but I’d like to amend my earlier post where I put down a list of musicians who I was happy to have met while I worked in the music industry. Let me please add Dave Wakeling of The English Beat to the list. He came to visit us with his new incarnation of the band, and you could not hope to meet a friendlier, more down-to-earth guy who genuinely wanted to talk about music and life and get to know people in a non-star, real kind of way. Top bloke. Diamond geezer.

I’m thinking about Dave Wakeling because, as I mentioned, I’ve been drinking with librarians and I came home to an episode of VH1′s “Bands Reunited” on my Time Warner Tivo equivalent, and I’ve just started watching it. I guess the point of posting now, after only watching for five minutes, is to say I don’t care what happens in this show, if you don’t know The English Beat you should download or otherwise get into your possession their album “I Just Can’t Stop It.” Generally I try to be forward-looking, but despite roughly one brazilian listenings in the past 25 years, I never tire of that album.

Forgive me if I’ve written about this before, but The English Beat came through Carrboro five or six years ago and I went to see them, and I think it was actually my birthday. I had been a bit overserved, and I started to dance, and before I knew what was happening I remembered my move. I had completely forgotten that a quarter century before, when I regularly danced to The English Beat, I had a move. It involved some kind of foot-sweep-behind-the-leg motion that was very tight and very ska. It came back to me only in the heat of battle, as it were, like a mist descending over my eyes and taking charge of my reason. Right now, sitting on my living room floor, I can’t quite remember what the move was. But I know it would come back if I went to an English Beat show.

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