Mike Hsu's Blog

I'm Still In

u2

U2 are doing the David Letterman show all week to promote their new album, "No Line On The Horizon". I've been following this band since their first album "Boy". Listening to that album was a brief escape from the suburb of Natick, MA where I spent my formative years adding to the graffiti behind Building 19 and Hanging out at the pre-yuppie Natick Mall. Their sound was so different from the steady diet of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and Rush that I was taking in. Their themes of frustrated youth and awkwardness have since evolved into bigger questions. But rarely does a band hold me for this long. I gave up on Metallica after viewing "Some Kind Of Monster"(thankfully they've come back to earth in the form of "Death Magnetic") Even the Godlike power of Rush was not enough to keep them from stumbling for a few albums("Hold Your Fire", "Roll The Bones") But for some reason I still get excited about every U2 release. I think it's because each album challenges my perception of the band.  They evolve sonically with each album thanks to their partnership with Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois who have produced them since "The Unforgettable Fire".  The spark of unpredictability keeps me coming back to their albums, especially the later ones.  Last night on Letterman, when they kicked into "Breathe" from the new album, the music hit me like a taser. I was fighting to stay awake until that point. Suddenly I was wide awake and excited to see how they would pull of the new stuff live.  The best part of the performance is when Bono gets the crowd on their feet in the tiny Ed Sullivan theater. A veteran of gigantic Rock festival crowds he still works the small room like they're promoting their sophomore album. You can see the energy level rise noticeably, not just in the room but also with the band. U2 feeds off the crowds energy like vampires. They know the harder they work the better the return.  I'm still in. I still buy it. Yes, Bono, can be self-righteous and long winded, but he's a lead singer, that's what they do. If you strip away all the political schmoozing and Gigantic ego battles in the press, the Music is still there.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/xGurpsGKPCg" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

u22