Friday, June 22, 2007
U2 and a Brief Recollection of Music Festivals
Before I embark on a short break from bloglife, I'll share with you the last hour of my life. As you may know, I love music, and I was looking for a video to post---a parting gift, if you will. I thought about "My Name is Mud," from Primus, one of the more underrated bands in my opinion, or something from the Clash. Then I found this video, Vertigo by U2, and began to think about music festivals and how they remind me of summers past.
Before I began to spend the summers abroad, when high school and college were my life, I often spent the summer seeing as much live music as I could. Festivals happen in the summer, and so there I was---Neil Young's Bridge Benefit acoustic concerts, where I saw Tom Petty, Pearl Jam, Mazzy Star, and Neil Young; Lollapalooza with Jane's Addiction; the Free Tibet concert in San Francisco where I saw the Smashing Pumpkins, Beastie Boys, Pavement, A Tribe Called Quest, and other great bands. Sometimes they're for a good cause; other times beer drinking seemed like the only cause. Sometimes we fought our way to the front; other times we were so far back in the sea of bodies we could barely see the stage. I had grown tired of the mobs by the time the newer festivals such as Coachella and Bonnaroo came along, but I've seen those lineups and they look great.
Watching this video of U2, I can't help but think that they're the most influential band in the world, particularly when speaking of social or political influence. Many bands critique from the sidelines, but Bono digs in. Every country I've been to around the world, people know (and seem to love U2). I saw them perform in 1989 at the Oakland Coliseum, and it was unforgettable. When I listen to them I think about how our lives can be larger, how we have the ability to make other lives better. This footage, from Live 8, reminds me that there are many causes that can still benefit from our actions or words---the tsunami victims, the katrina and rita hurricanes, prisoners' rights campaigns, hell, your neighborhood clean-up.
It was a good hour. Now I'm going to go sit by the pool for a few. Enjoy the music. To those of you have already ordered my book and sent me an e-mail, thank you! To those who remember that this is the 25th anniversary of Vincent Chin's death, I salute you. To my friends going to the IKAA Gathering in July, I will be thinking of you. Annyeonghi kyeseyo! Peace.