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U2 radio daze

Posted on Wednesday, December 06 @ 07:45:18 CET by Macphisto

(NYpost) -- A PUBLICIST named Terri called The Post yesterday, apologizing to an answering machine and saying that all New York newspapers would be barred from last night's U2 concert at Irving Plaza. Terri, brave girl, squarely put the blame on the Irish quartet and its management. What was the problem? Had guitarist The Edge gone dull? Had Bono become a bonehead? Had the band's unforgettable fire been extinguished since its disastrous Popmart tour?

Apparently so, or at least that's what the band was afraid would be written.

Rather than miss the concert, The Post listened on the radio like the rest of New York. What was clear through the mighty 3-inch speaker of a Deluxe clock radio with digital lighted numbers was that a big band was slumming.

After three songs from the band's new album, Bono bragged with rock-god hubris that U2 playing Irving Plaza was like "landing a 747 on a front lawn." I guess we New Yorkers should feel good that the group picked our lawn to land on.

Just prior to the encore selection of "11 O'Clock Tick Tock," Bono pulled a Leona Helmsley, declaring to the crowd: "You all look so much smaller in real life." Nice turn of phrase for the little people, Bonehead.

Of the old material that U2 dusted off, "One" was the highlight, although it did sound tinny as a penny whistle, but that may have been due to the not-so-superior sound of my mighty Deluxe. The best of the new material was "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of," which was dedicated to the late Michael Hutchence, lead singer of INXS. "Elevation" was also performed with attention to the details the band honed in the studio.

Besides not being able to see U2 and having to listen on an audio speaker smaller than a clenched fist, the real problem during the 70-minute concert was that the group seemed as unspontaneous as every teen vocal pop band on the circuit.

Hey, Bono, stop trying to make music history by being a big fish in a puddle - and start concentrating on the arena music that is the essence of your band.

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