7.05.2005

the ragin' asian breaks down live 8

back from oakland, which is why there hasn't been much blogging over the holiday weekend. hope everyone had a good fireworks show in their town. santa barbara's sucked because there was some accident on the barge which killed the big finale. anyways, as many of you know, the live 8 concert was this weekend. i actually didn't get to watch much of it as i was tooling about downtown with HK, but thanks to the miracle of the internet, you can watch pretty much all of the performances from the philly, london, and toronto show here. i've been through a bunch of the performances and to make up for the lack of blogging, get ready for an extra long breakdown of some notable performances.

1) coldplay was pretty uninspiring to me. which is amazing considering how many albums they've sold in the past few weeks. but this makes sense to me however, as i've always said that while they may be a pretty nice rock band, they really just don't have what it takes to be the next superband. in a little while i'll make a comparison to the world's reigning superband, U2. anyways, they did a little collaboration with richard ashcroft and they sang bittersweet symphony. i was kinda suprised. i really like that song a lot, but for whatever reason it didn't translate well live. richard ashcroft was just preening the whole time and chris martin only lent backing vocals.

2) U2 kicked ass. the highlight of course was a duet with sir paul mccartney of sargeant pepper's. sir paul even gave bono a verse to sing solo. so to compare, coldplay became the house band for a washed up indie hipster. U2 sang a verse on on one of the most recognized song in rock history with one of the most influential figures in rock history. you tell me who's more relevant.

3) the black eyes peas sounded awful. i don't know if it's just the mix that aol got but fergie sounded especially awful. i believe that the addition of fergie is one of the most worst executed moves to boost sales with a hot girl. first off, she's not hot. i've seen lots of pictures of her and you can just tell that behind the 2-inch layer of foundation and rouge, she is u-g-l-y. couple that with the now apparent fact that she can't sing, it just didn't make any sense. if they were just going to doctor someone's voice, they they should have just called a model agency and gotten a really hot woman.

4) snoop dogg was great i thought. i did think that it was extremely entertaining to watch the pasty british people trying to groove to drop it like it's hot. i know that england has it's share of urban plight, but i can't think of any thing further removed from the british experience than the long beach gangsta lifestyle.

5) r.e.m. - seriously, what's the deal with michael stipe? i tried to find a picture but the only one i could find was on the aol live 8 picture gallery (go ahead and scroll through to see stipe's picture, i promise, it's worth it). if you didn't see it, he had a blue zorro mask painted over his eyes. doesn't he already know that we already think that he's the most pretentious guy in the world? there's no need to keep trying to prove it to us.

6) motley crue - apparently, vince neil still thinks it's 1985. i gotta hand it to him, he still knows how to work the crowd, but the cheesy song intros and crowd banter just don't look good coming from an overweight guy in leather.

7) elton john sang a duet with the pete doherty, the lead singer of the infamous libertines. that pete doherty is one coked out m-fer.

8) pink floyd - that opening riff to i wish you were here sure is bitchin'.

9) i was pretty surprised by the madonna set. it was pretty strong. this is in stark contrast to her performance in the original live aid which was among the worst. i guess it's just a reminder of how far she's come.

anyways, in general, it was a pretty decent show. lots of different kinds of music and all for a good cause. however, i do think that there were a couple of things that didn't make a whole lot of sense to me. first on mtv and vh1, and then on the abc rebroadcast they showed regular commercials during the broadcast. i don't know what the situation is, but i hope to god they donated the proceeds to charity, cuz that would be pretty sorry if any of these networks made any money off of this thing.

i'm all for raising awareness, but it sounds too much like the education approach to me, as if making people aware or getting to sing some dumb online petition (don't worry, of course i signed it) is going to get george w. or vladimir putin to really consider how to address the africa problem. i doubt very much that they'll get the petition and say, "oh man, look at all these people who want us to be nicer to africa, i guess we better do something."...there did end up being a smattering of african artists incorporated into the concert which is nice, but i can't help but think that this smacks a little bit of colonialism, the benevolent whitey helping out the poor primitives in africa. i know it's not feasible, but instead of saying that we ought to forgive the debt of these nations, what we should say is that we shouldn't have been such douchebags in lending them money on such ridiculous terms in the first place. call me crazy, but i think that message would do a lot more to mobilize people.

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