Monday, February 18, 2008

U2 3D

Saw U2 3D the other day. The 3D is quite spectacular but the show didn't exactly blow me away. I just couldn't shake the feeling that these were the umpteenth time these songs have been performed, though at the same time I didn't want to hear their newer stuff too much either. So basically there wasn't any way this movie was going to work for me, though some more Achtung Baby may have helped. I love Sunday Bloody Sunday but honestly how long must they really sing that song? The best part was seeing the massive crowds in South America. There's a fantastic bird's eye shot of a solid mass of people jumping up and down during Where the Streets Have No Name that looks like a human earthquake. I was surprised to see that one of the co-directors was Mark Pellington who directed the underrated Arlington Road then hasn't done much since. I'm a casual U2 fan at best, so it never really occurred to me that the high-pitched background wails common to many a U2 song are sung by The Edge and not, as I had previously assumed, an overdubbed Bono.

The best U2 cover is by the Pet Shop Boys, but here a few others:

The Smashing Pumpkins - Stay (Faraway, So Close!) [originally by U2]
James Eric - Stay (Faraway, So Close!) [originally by U2]
This is my favourite U2 song, so I was excited though ultimately disappointed to discover cover songs of it. Billy Corgan with James Iha performed this stripped down acoustic version at Neil Young's annual Bridge School Benefit Concert in 1999. James Eric used to have a bunch of his covers on his site including Stay (Faraway, So Close!), though you have to do a little digging to find them now. Apparently trumpeter Al Hirt performed a cover on the 1994 Brit Awards compilation and I can't even begin to imagine how that sounds, though I'm definitely curious...*hint, hint*

Jarvis Church featuring K'Naan - One [originally by U2]
I can always find an excuse to re-post this wonderful cover by Jarvis Church, the alter-ego of Philosopher Kings lead singer Gerald Eaton. The song, from the War Child compilation Peace Songs veers nicely into gospel territory and even gets a shot of hip-hop courtesy of guest K'Naan.

St. Fiachra's Junior School Choir - Sweetest Thing [originally by U2]
Liza at Copy, Right? posted this once and it's a great discovery. It's from the U2 tribute album Even Better Than the Real Thing, Vol. 3 and oddly enough I do like it a lot more than the real thing. The original kinda makes me cringe with its repeated "Oh-oh-oh, the sweetest thing", but this children's choir makes it sound adorable and charming in a Langley Schools Music Project way.

U2 - Sweet Caroline (Live in Edmonton) [originally by Neil Diamond]
[**UPDATE: I've been informed that this is, in fact, The Edge (not Bono) singing karaoke. Same goes for Daydream Believer the next night. So is it a cover? Kind of, not really. This goes to show that we were so far from the stage it was like watching ants perform.]
This bootleg is from a concert on June 15, 1997, the second of two nights they played in Edmonton at Commonwealth Stadium. My mom had gotten tickets for my sister and I to the previous night, which was one of my first big rock concerts ever. Though we didn't get Sweet Caroline, Bono The Edge led us in a round of Daydream Believer. The only other thing I remember is that there was a giant lemon on stage and we were very far away. Three songs from this show were featured as bonus material on the PopMart: Live from Mexico City DVD released last year. Also, With or Without You recorded that night appeared on the officially released Please EP.


Paul said...

As always, great post. My personal favorite U2 cover is One by Johnny Cash.

Anonymous said...

The link for U2-Sweet Caroline is actually The Edge "rocking out" with a karaoke machine. A video of this is available on youtube.

Fongolia said...

Thanks, the post has been changed to reflect that. And the eleven-year memory of Bono singing Daydream Believer has been shattered. It was The Edge. It was karaoke. :)

Guess we were so faraway (not so close!) to the stage, we couldn't distinguish between band members. It also didn't help that I was ignorant of the fact that The Edge sings too.

ASH said...

i've been looking for Jarvis Church's One for 3 years it's been damn near impossible. please could you post it up once again. i'll be checking everyday until you do