Talent in a Previous Life

Because It's Never Just About the Music

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Live 8: Dead and Buried 

So, it's the afternoon after the night, evening, late afternoon, early afternoon and very nearly early morning before and, now that the image of the blogger.com posting screen which has burnt into our retinas is beginning to fade, we can take a step back, look over the days events away from the hype of the whole affair and say, quite definitively, and without the over exaggeration and hyperbole which coloured most people's views during proceedings, that the Live 8 gig was easily one of the worst musical events the world has ever seen.

Of course, we're not hugely surprised by this state of affairs; we had already seen the line up after all, but low as our expectations were, and believe us, they were low, it's still perversely impressive how this alleged extravaganza still managed to disappoint us with it's banality and utter irrelevance to anything that's currently happening in the world of music. Unless poverty is entirely eradicated by the end of the year, there is no possible measure that you could use which would lead to the gig being described as a success, unless your definition of success is "Bob Geldof singing to a bunch of people without the police being asked to intervene".

Of course, negative as we are, there were some highlights to the event, so before we start sticking the boot in, let's list them, shall we?And that's it. Actually, that's not entirely fair, REM were pretty good, and The Killers very nearly were, but even then, there was nothing to differentiate their performances from one they'd do every night during a tour, other than the drastically shortened nature of the set of course, and that was one of the major problems with the whole event: the complete lack of any sort of spectacle. Everyone just came on, did their thing and buggered off again, occasionally peppering their performance with a vague piece of rhetoric, a choir or, as in Razorlight's case, both. Even Snoop seemed a bit lackluster. To be fair, he did have an onstage posse and some dancing girls, but we're not entirely convinced that that represents him pulling out all the stops. We reckon that that's the sort of set up he has even if he's having a quiet night in watching the telly. Of course, you could argue that the lack of spectacle was deliberate, so as not to overshadow the message of the day which, lest we forget, was the whole point of the gig in the first place. But even as it stands, the message vanished down the back of the sofa long before the gig started. People weren't, as Bob seems to reckon, there to show their solidarity with the cause. People were there to see Madonna and Pink Floyd. The people who truly gave a shit were the ones marching in Edinburgh yesterday. They got off their arses to make their views known, and all they had to look forward to was Daniel Bedingfield speaking at a rally after the event. Truly they made a great sacrifice for the cause.

For a supposed once in a lifetime event, it's hard to shake off the feeling that we've heard it all before. We'll leave the last word on the matter to reader Lousie Farnell, who sent us this e-mail shortly after we signed off our coverage: "Just to say 'Thank you' for this blow by blow account of Live 8. I am so glad I continued my life as normal and did not miss anything good.".