U2 launched their much-awaited 2005 tour Monday night (3/28), treating an adoring opening-night crowd to a set that comfortably straddled their 25-year recording career and still managed to include some surprises.
When U2 released “How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb” in November of 2004, tour plans became an immediate topic of discussion, with a year-long routing sequence laid out by the band’s manager and a new, improved pre-sale system touted by the band’s revamped fan club. Then the whims of fate stepped in.
The tour’s original Miami launch was scuttled, owing to either illness affecting a band member’s family or tour routing issues, depending on the source. And the first round of fan club pre-sales were dogged by technological and logistics problems, which touched off a brief and rare period of tension between some longtime fans and the band. In the end, the tour plan was fixed, the ticketing problems were fixed and the band regained the goodwill of their long-loyal followers.
Against that backdrop, Monday’s opening-night show held a distinct sense of relief and celebration for both those holding instruments and those holding tickets in the arena.
Stepping to the microphone to the opening strains of “City of Blinding Lights,” with glitter confetti raining down on the general-admission crowd on the floor, Bono seized on the song’s chorus, “Oh, you look so beautiful tonight,” as a gracious welcome to the packed house. Perhaps more telling, though, was the tone set by the song’s first verse, the words of someone feeling their best days may be behind them:
Continue reading U2’s Tour Launch in San Diego
In an intimate Hollywood performance Tuesday (3/22), Kathleen Edwards brought her band through a rotation of strong roots-rock numbers, but ultimately made her biggest impact with her quieter songs.
Taking the stage at the Knitting Factory, Edwards quietly eased into the disarming “Pink Emerson Radio,” a dream-like assessment of mementos and memories glimpsed in the moment before rushing from a burning house.
Loss is a major focus of Edwards’ current repertoire. Much of her latest release, “Back To Me,” deals with it, but never passively. Rather, the protagonists in her songs are fighting to keep from losing companions, realizing they’ve lost a fight and walking away to fight another day, or just digesting the fact that things have changed.
Continue reading Kathleen Edwards at The Knitting Factory in Hollywood
Ambulance LTD turned in a rousing set Saturday (3/19), filling the Exodus club space with a tightly-layered mix of vintage-breed melody twists and driving guitar arrangements.
Continue reading South by Southwest 2005: Ambulance LTD at Exodus in Austin
Blue Note records drew snickers and jeers from jazz purists in 2002 when they took a chance on an artist named Norah Jones, who was surely not your father’s jazz crooner.
Continue reading South by Southwest 2005: Amos Lee at Austin Music Hall in Austin
Kathleen Edwards is a name mentioned in seemingly every known music magazine in recent months, either anticipating or praising her March release, “Back To Me.”
Continue reading South by Southwest 2005: Kathleen Edwards at Carribean Lights in Austin
Outside of the college radio circuit, most people in the U.S. who are aware of Tino Dico know her as a vocalist for ambient mood-makers Zero 7. But in her native Denmark, she’s known mainly as a solo artist, and an award-winning one at that.
Continue reading South by Southwest 2005: Tina Dico at The Drink in Austin
Rachel Loy kicked off the St. Patrick’s Day festivities Thursday (3/17) at Momo’s, clad in green and starting the night with a great mix of smart, playful and very tuneful adult pop.
Continue reading South by Southwest 2005: Rachel Loy at Momo’s in Austin