Saturday, June 4, 2011

Tuesday to Tuesday - Music Bookends Moving Bullshit

Rice-Eccles Stadium
I don’t recall if I mentioned this but after arriving in Utah last year I was reading the entertainment newspaper and found out that U2 was going to be playing the University of Utah just up the road in June. I went over to the box office to get a ticket and the attendant announced, “Oh that’s postponed. The lead singer hurt his back”. Lead singer? Does this kid not know who Bono is? A few months later after Bono had gone through back surgery in Germany they rescheduled for May 24, 2011, eleven months after the original date. I bought two nosebleed seats and was feeling like I should go but not really looking forward to it. Bono’s schtick can be pretty preachy. Well, it’s been a long winter of no live music so when last week was rolling around I was suddenly very excited to go even though they were predicting rain. A went with me. She’s not a U2 fan but I told her she’d still enjoy it. As they walked to the stage to Space Oddity, 40,000 people lost their minds. They played a good variety and because it happened to be Bob Dylan’s birthday, a little of Bob was sprinkled in here and there. It was a spectacle of the best kind, massive in scale and capable of giving everyone, even those of us in the cheap seats, a terrific experience. I don’t know why I doubted it would be an amazing show. I guess it was the stadium setting, but that “lead singer”, he’s a charmer.

A week later, A and I were headed for a very different experience at a small venue to see Arctic Monkeys. Funny, this is a band that headlines the huge music festivals in England but here on this tour they’re playing pretty small places. They came to the stage to the sound of The Guess Who’s American Woman, plugged in and ripped through a variety of hits from the back catalog and their soon to be released record. Also a great show, and while I was up in the 21 and older balcony, A had pushed her way up to the front and was next to a superfan. After the show we waited around a bit and talked to the superfan and his older brother who had been travelling around the country following the band. Superfan seemed to have two great loves, Arctic Monkeys AND Harry Potter. He was sporting a Griffendor hoodie and would not shut up about those two things. As we stood in line so A could get here picture taken with Alex Turner, superfan said, “Getting your picture taken with Alex Turner for the first time is the greatest first you’ll ever experience”. Nothing against Alex but he way oversold that.

Pic by A.
On a related note, I nabbed a poster for the film Submarine at the show and then when meeting Alex Turner failed to ask him to sign it. Alex wrote a number of the songs on that soundtrack. If you like British humor, do seek this film out. The music really does fit perfectly.

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