What time is it in the world?

U2norman400.jpgThat was the question and loose theme of U2’s show in Norman, OK last Sunday night.  J, T, CA and I made the pilgrimage down to catch the nearest stop the 360 Tour is making to KC.

There aren’t really words.

If you’ve seen a DVD or video clips, you know what to expect; stadium-sized sound, the biggest lights and screens around, some simple-but-brilliant theatricality, several songs from the latest album coupled with a generous number of hits and classics.  Bono, Edge, Adam, and Larry delivered – and I was perfectly caught up in it all.

(If you haven’t, check them out live or in playback on YouTube tomorrow night!)

The best thing about the show has been the way it’s refreshed all of the music; we listened to “No Line on the Horizon” twice on the way home, and it was like hearing it for the first time, only deeper.  Amazingly, it was the same for me the next day with “The Joshua Tree.”

I left memorial stadium singing quietly to myself and my friends, skipping among “Moment of Surrender,” “Breathe,” and “Magnificent.”  All new tunes.
Scattered thoughts:

  • They played “Mysterious Ways!”  It hasn’t been on many setlists from this tour.  It’s my ultimate turbonitrothunder favorite song, and changed my life when I was 9 or so; I’d been a country/R&B listener up to that point, but Edge’s weirdo guitar sound introduced me to the rock, and I haven’t been the same since.
  • It was fun to hear Edge start “In a Little While” in the wrong key for about a bar, then stop and re-start.  Even from our seats in the lower rows, I could see the knowing smile that passed between him and Bono.
  • Wish the band would have released “I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight” as the first single – the album could be in a very different place, I think, if they’d done that – and it’s inexplicable to me why they played a live remix that sounds like a “Zooropa” b-side.  (On the other hand, the riff to the remix has been in and out of my head more than any other specific tune all week long.)
  • Loved the staging, lighting, and costuming for “Ultraviolet” (pictured above).
  • CA got some great photos I’m anxious to see.

Massive kudos to J for watching the tour announcements, and hovering on the interwebs the day tickets went on sale.
Setlist:
Breathe
Get on Your Boots
Magnificent
Mysterious Ways
Beautiful Day
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
Stuck In A Moment
No Line on the Horizon
Elevation
In A Little While
Unknown Caller
Until The End of the World
Unforgettable Fire
City of Blinding Lights
Vertigo
I’ll Go Crazy – Remix
Sunday Bloody Sunday
MLK
Walk On

One
Where The Streets Have No Name

Ultraviolet
With or Without You
Moment of Surrender

MFR Listening Project 020-022

Here’s the fifth part of the Listening Project series (pt.1pt. 2pt. 3pt. 4); As our fifth birthday passed in September, I’ve been listening to every release roughly in order, making notes as I go.

MFR020 – Cory Kibler, “The Silent Woods”

  • Cory did the vocal and guitar tracks in Omaha with Matt Wisecarver, so I have fewer memories of making this record than I usually would, it seems.
  • For as much music as Cory’s made, this is sort of his Solo Record to date, which kind of doesn’t seem right. But there it is.
  • Matt mondegreened “Losing track / of time in the summer” from “Top Secret Pizza Party” into “Losing track of Tommy Lasorda.” That’s him coming into the booth at the end of #7 grumbling “Where is that Tommy Lasorda?”
  • Just tonight, as I was listening and singing along to “The Silent Woods” in the car, I realized that I always sing the *harmony* parts when I sing to Cory’s songs. When I do that, it kind of feels like hanging out with Cory, in a way. I’ll have to remember to do that more when I’m bummed out, so I can feel better. I suppose it’s a habit left over from Shacker. But it’s literally hard to sing for me to sing the original melodies; it’s the harmonies that are lodged in my memory.
  • Because of its presence on “XMAS,” “How We Can Know” gave me a whisper of Christmas tonight; weird and cool. I took it as a sign that the project to reclaim and reshape our musical sense-memories of the holidays is actually working.
  • Chad’s art is beautiful; I think it’s my favorite in the MFR catalog.

MFR021 – Katherine Lindhart, “The Humble Antiphon”

  • I’m so proud of this release: 1) Katy is awesome. 2) We have art songs on our label! 3) Clara Schumann is awesome. 4) Art songs have been my avenue into listening to art music. I always enjoyed singing and playing art music, but was never a listener until I realized that there were these perfect, bite-sized pearls of voice and piano out there. This discovery came mostly through the experience of having many Opera Friends in KC, and going to their recitals. The music of The Humble Antiphon is taken from two (I think) of Katy’s recitals. The Schumann pieces, 1-3, come from 2007. The Debussy, if I remember, was recorded in 2006.
  • I know this album as well and better than lots of pop music I listen to.
  • I vacillate on the mastering work; I pushed it harder than art music usually is, but I definitely wanted it to hang with the other stuff on MFR and pop music in general and not seem overly quiet. On days when I’m feeling generous with myself I think that it updates the phenomenon of vintage recording gear’s (we’re talking victrola era, here!) inherent compression. The peak of “Spleen” crosses the line, but only for a moment, and given its place on the album we felt like it worked with the whole thrust of the thing, not against it.
  • The photo is from an opera, not one of the recitals, but we liked the theater of it.

MFR022 – Robot, Creep Closer!, “Real Awful, Real Quick”

  • This EP came as a surprise; I hadn’t really known that Robot! was in the studio, or planning something for MFR. Maybe they’d intended a CD release, then re-thought it – I can’t remember.
  • Definitely a more nuanced thing than their first EP. See: the sexy chk-chks on the guitar during the chorus of “Cockblocking,” the way “…Summer…” never rips open, and “Sexy Survival” in its entirety.
  • …though “2tally Out Of Control” is the essence of Robot!, distilled and refined weirdo party metal.