Friday, November 13, 2009

Musing on the Muse gig

We went to the O2 last night my husband and I.
It's become something of a habit.
It seems that every couple of months we find a suitable excuse to part with some cash in exchange for concert tickets.
Last night was the turn of Muse, funky British alternative rock band who started off in Devon and ended up sliding across the stage at the O2 last night in tight pink trousers, electric guitars screaming.......
The stage was brilliantly thought out, with the audience always being number one priority.

Now there's a novel concept!
You'd think 'audience enjoyment and participation' would figure quite highly when an artist takes their sound to the stage,
but alas this is not always the case.
We saw Madonna last year at Wembley and whilst it was a wonderful privilege to share the same space as an icon for 90 minutes, it was tricky to actually see and absorb what was happening. Madonna was devotedly aware of the first 3 rows and not much beyond in that cavernous stadium jammed with tens of thousands of us. Arena gigs are always more intimate than those in canyonesque stadia , but the O2 is large enough to pack a huge (sold out last night) crowd.

So what of Muse, then ?

Well, the stage was visible from every corner of the O2 and huge 3D rectangular columns flashed lights and images throughout. They moved up and down intermittently so band members were able to come down to the crowds level before being raised aloft once again. I'll try ( it wont be easy ) to avoid cliche, but this is a band unafraid of the grand gesture.
If they ever grew tired of their name, they could call themselves Drama instead.
Or Passion.
Or Hyperactive. (the lead vocalist looked ready for a shot of Ritalin post-gig)
I've been to many concerts and the truest way to gauge the impact of an artist is to watch the crowd.
Their reaction says more than a million reviews ever can. And last night the O2 became one great living musical organism of Muse fans throbbing to the relentless beat. There were lasers, giant balloons filled with confetti falling from the heavens and a sold-out arena soaking up every electric second of a jaw droppingly great gig.
I look forward to the next one.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Julie/Julia Project

Have you heard about the Julie/Julia project ?

It's a blog written by a bored secretary, in which she reproduces the recipes of colourful TV chef Julia Child.

I was reading the Blog late last night and laughing out loud at her attempts to juggle a mundane job with her forays into the Blogosphere. She started way back in the early noughties when Blogging was still a rare hobby and Bloggers an exotic species.
The new fangled concept of 'The Blog' made it possible to self-publish instantly. One woman and her laptop could tap away happily for hours, churning out endless streams of thought into the arms of an anonymous readership. There was no reward, except the satisfaction of saying whatever you want, whenever you want, and having it there in some corner of the web, forever.

The really popular Blogs have what I refer to as a UBSP (unique blog selling point) because they detail an unusual hobby, have utter shock value (Belle Du Jour/Petite Anglaise anyone?) air laundry so filthy it bypasses the Hotpoint on the way to the Bonfire or air controversial political or religious views on the extreme side of the spectrum.

My Blog is just something I write, without a Grand Plan or intention.
I have far too many opinions for my own good, so Das Blog is a handy outlet.
Still, the fact that it's out there and in the public domain is quite scary, quite a risk really.
Julie, the bored office worker living in a tiny apartment in NYC and author of The Julie/Julia Project is hesitant about Blogging.
She fears that nobody will care about her 'navel gazing' journeys into some old cookbook. But isn't a Blog supposed to be somewhat self indulgent? Isn't that the whole point? It's an online diary, so will scream ME ME ME. Most of us want to know more about Other-Peoples-Lives and what ultimately makes them tick.
It's fascinating. It's a human soap opera. It's real life stripped down to the bare bones. A revelation. The most interesting thing in the world is Other People.

But how awfully selfish of you Ms. Blogger, to fritter away half an hour publishing a post about Blogging!
Don't you realise that the number one biggest faux pas in all of Blogville is to dedicate an entire Post to the very subject of Blogging itself?
Stick to the point!