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Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Casual Critic — Live 8

It had been years since I had turned on MTv intentionally, let alone left it on. But, this summer I was compelled to check out Live 8, the 20-years-later sequel to Live Aid going on in my own hometown. Disappointed by annoying commentary of MTv (are they still called VJs?) hosts trying desperately to strike a balance between being hip-hop and career oriented, I went online and finally caught a glimpse of what the internet can be.

Jumping from Philly, to London, Tokyo, Beirut, and the four other concerts to catch live performances was, not to sound like a rapidly-aging geek, very cool. It kept me online for a couple hours, only taking a break under the assumption that concerts would be going on all that day. Not only was I disappointed to see it wind down early, I was shocked not to be able to return days later to watch any performance I wanted.

Yes, of course, I knew they'd be selling a DVD. Why do you think I wrote a review? But, c'mon! Leave the performances up for a while. I must admit I didn't look real hard when I checked the site on which I had watched the live performances, but . . . should I have really had to?

Anyway, here's what I did see that was worth mentioning:

· Bob Geldoff offered up a decent, but predictable, opening speech. The most memorable moment came when he introduced a now thriving young African woman that Live Aid saved, by his account, minutes before she starved to death.
· Seeing Jon Bon Jovi back in front of a band wasn't as strange as I thought it would be. I'm already used to seeing the guy in the owner's box at Philadelphia Soul games with the Arena Football League. They weren't bad at all.
· Madonna proved she's still Madonna, dropping the F-bomb for no particular reason. Her gesture to keep the young African woman on stage as she sang, while well-intended, quickly became awkward.
· UB40 and Destiny's child were enjoyable acts I happened to catch.
· Brian Wilson caught my attention because a Beach Boys' album, the name of which I don't recall, was the first I ever owned. His age showed, but he was ok.
· Will Smith, the Philly concert host, was the best of the I acts I saw. He ''does'' Philly better than anyone, and I just like his music.

Of course, despite the great cause, whether or not you would want to watch the DVD depends on how many of the acts you liked. Based only on what I saw online, I'll skip it.

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