Saturday, July 02, 2005

Forget Live 8 -
Welcome To
(A somewhat "live" blog)

Shabbat Shalom, y'all.

Yesterday's Canada Day was a fucked-up washout. Today's Live 8 extravaganza should make up for everything that was more-or-less lost through rain and fog.

Of course, Live 8 is brought to us by the same mad genius who brought "Band Aid" and Live Aid in the dreadful 80s. Unlike Live Aid, which was mainly humanitarian in nature, Live 8 has a political agenda to wipe out Third World poverty. As leaders from the G8 countries meet in Scotland later this month, activists everywhere are urging them to give up 0.7% of their respective countries' GDP to alleviate the pain in Africa and Asia.

This may sound like a noble cause, but the G8 nations have their own poverty issues, and if PM Paulyanna were to give up our share of the pie, health and welfare services may suffer along with other parts of the government's infrastructure. So the whole world poverty issue is a tough one to resolve.

But really... all this talk about solving all the world's problems and issues would take up lots of bandwidth on this day, so at this point, IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MUSIC. And there's a lot of it to go around, featuring some decent sets by Die Toten Hosen in Berlin, Good Charlotte in Tokyo (the Japanese seemed to be into them - could the Charlottes be the new Cheap Trick?), Macca and U2, Coldplay, Elton John and that scoundrel Peter Dougherty, and Dido and Yossou N'Dour, all in London.

My own personal issue (African poverty notwithstanding) is CTV's coverage of Live 8. Sure - it does cost a mad shitload of money to host and broadcast an event like this, but do we really need to see shitloads of ads in order to pay for this? There could be better ways to do an event with fewer interruptions.

Right about now, Barrie has come online as part the Live 8 experience, and Tom Cochrane has just taken the stage.

As for me, I'll be dropping in to add more stuff to this semi-live experience.

One dumb question: where's Rush?

14:01 ADT - Back in Jo-Burg, the living legend Nelson Mandela adresses the massive, admonishing the leaders of the G8 to do the right thing. "It is easy to make promises but never go to action", Nelson said, asking for commitment, leadership and responsibility. That's one big order to fight a big monster, and 8 countries can't do that all by themselves. He closes his speech by asking all of humanity to rise up to the challenge. Tom Green tells the peeps in Barrie, ON to cheer Nelson on his speech, then introes Simple Plan. Redundantly. They mistakenly call the Barrie crowd "Toronto", but these maudits Montrealers can be forgiven.

14:42 ADT - Straight outta London, the Snoopster pours out his social consciousness with his unique bizzle on the mic. How do I know? I said "Fuck the CTV - I'm going online!"

As much as I don't trust AOL any further than I could toss their CD-roms, I think they're doing a better job in giving us cyber-tubers some choice.

Gotta get some pizza.

Wait... meanwhile in Paris, erstwhile tennis pro Yannick Noah gets down on a world beat tip. This bro's got skills!

In steamy, sultry Barrie, troubador and activist Bruce Cockburn goes solo with some classics and a six-stringer. All of a sudden, the crowd chilled. Was it because of the songs or the heat? I may never know until the end of the day.

15:00 ADT - In Philly, Natalie Portman put her Queen Amidala hat on to remind everyone about the reason why there's a Live 8 in the first place, then presented a tape-delayed feed of (C)oldplay's London performance. Time to change channels, eh?

15:06 ADT - Bad sound, sloppy performances plague the Barrie show, and Québec's Les Trois Accords are no exception. It seems that no-one's paying attention. Maybe it's because these guys sing in French. Or maybe because the audience had enough of Simple Plan. Oh well... time to get something to fucking eat!

15:11 ADT - Sir Bob Geldof brought out this lady from Ethiopia whose picture appeared in the original Live Aid event. She turned out quite nicely and thanked us all for the support (you're welcome, eh?). Bob said that efforts live Live Aid (and Live 8 for that matter) work and lambasted the heartless naysayers. Then Madonna (Inc.) came out and represented "Like a Prayer".

19:12 ADT - I may have a missed a few big-name acts, but after coming back from a late lunch, I saw Hell freezing over as the classic Pink Floyd lineup of Roger Waters, Dave Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright got together in London, playing "Money" and harmonizing on "Wish You Were Here". No drama there except for Roger's dedication of the song to those who couldn't attend (and original Floyd-man Syd Barrett). Then, it all became "Comfortably Numb", and all of a sudden it was 1981 all over again.

19:30 ADT - Nobody does "Higher Ground" like Stevie Wonder. And damnit - he's still good. He looks good. How does he take care of himself at such an advanced age? And who does his hair?

And at this point, I'd have to big-up AOL for ensuring that their servers and routers hold up to all this traffic from us music addicts.

19:46 ADT - Sir Macca's back. He gave us a taste of what his set would be like at the start of the London show when he performed "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Harts Club Band" (complete with real French horns) with U2. George Michael joined him for "Baby Drive My Car". And right now he's ripping into "Helter Skelter", thereby stealing it back from Bono and Manson (Charlie, not Marilyn).

19:49 ADT - Meanwhile, in Barrie, ON, bad sound engineering has fucked-over the Tragically Hip's set. And why the fuck is Dan Ackroyd ruining "Poets" with his shitty blues harp plating? Of all the Live 8 shows, Barrie's just plain bush league. No offence, but why can't I feel this show, especially since I come from that area of the country?

20:00 ADT - Sometimes, if you graze too much through the different "channels" that AOL has offered, you might miss something. In this case, I missed the closing number of London's Live 8 show, which featured Macca leading in a sing-along version of "Hey Jude". But it was just magical - all the artists and civilians united in song. And that was it for London.

20:12 ADT - Barrie is sucking. Not the town, mind you, but the sound crew should go to remedial Live Mixing 101 for this shameful shitty performance. And right now they're butchering DMC's set. Especially when you have the dude who used to front Buckcherry, for fuck's sake.

And I ask myself, "Isn't this Buckcherry dude supposed to be dead from a heoin OD?" Like, WTF?

20:21 ADT - Well... all the other cities dropped out. Philly signed off not too long ago after Stevie Wonder's set. So now Barrie's left. How are they going to take up the slack this time? The soundwork was not much help, and there are time when the calibre of performance from some of the acts was just plain crap. So maybe this is the time for the show to redeem itself, right?

Actually, I'm just gonna drop out right about now and head out to the fireworks display on the waterfront. Maybe I'll read the reviews tomorrow. Then again, I'll cook up a synopsis as well.

This has been a damn good day for music. Damn the politics. IT WAS ALL ABOUT THE MUSIC IN THE END.

Stay grounded.

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