Thursday, 30 June 2011

U2 At Glastonbury.

Having watched U2 last week at Glastonbury on tv, I have to say I was underwhelmed by their performance. Not by The Edge's magnificent guitar playing, Adam's bass playing, or by Larry's drumming. No, underwhelmed by Bono's singing. His voice doesn't appear to be as powerful is it used to be. During With Or Without You was where his voice didn't come near the standard it used to be. He was almost speaking the verses rather than sing them. When it came to the high pitched part before the final play out of the song, he attempted to have the crowd sing it for him at first. Then we he tried to sing it himself, he sadly couldn't reach the high notes. He put his fingers to his throat as if to say, "I can't seem to reach those notes anymore. Oh well."

What a shame that is. All of those years of smoking have finally affected Bono's voice to the point where he can't deliver the same high standard of performance like he used to do. It's very sad and disappointing to see, having witnessed top class vocal and stage performances from the frontman for many years.

Bono didn't help matters by interjecting many songs with snippets of other people's songs. Do it once or twice, yes, but not every second song, which it felt like he was doing. Where The Streets Have No Name was spoiled by him throwing in a snippet of an Andy Wiliams song. It spoiled the performance of the song. He also seemed to look down at a screen with the songs' lyrics on it quite often. Doesn't he know the words by now or is getting older affecting his memory? I thought that was rather strange.

I have been a fan of U2 for 30 years now, before most people had ever heard of them. My liking for them started back in the summer of 1981 when the single Fire was a minor hit. It's a shame they stopped performing that song live around a year after it came out. Fire is a better song than some of the old favourites they still perform today. I have to say U2 have lasted a lot longer than I thought they would. I honestly thought Achtung Baby was going to be their final album, and that was 20 years ago! However, I thought their last album No Line On the Horizon was the worse album of their career. Two or three songs were okay, but on the whole, it was mediocre by U2's standards. Watching the performance of the awful Get On Your Boots at Glastonbury reminded me of that.

All of this indicates to me that now is perhaps a good time for U2 to call it a day. When the mainman's on stage performance shows signs of decline, it would be sad to see U2 carry on not being as great as they used to be. I would hate for U2 to still be around in 10 years time, a shadow of what they used to be. It would be far more sensible to quit while still at (or near) the top of their game. Which is now. One more album and think about it being the farewell one. There's something very sad about seeing someone or something past it's best.

No comments:

Post a Comment