Saturday, July 07, 2007



A fortuitous day, numbers-wise, seven being considered so lucky and all, although I'm not quite sure why. I do know that there were lots of weddings planned for today. I figured it was so that couples could easily remember their wedding day. That's the only reason I'd ever plan a wedding for this day anyway.

It was also Live Earth day. We've been half-watching the concert most of the day, really concentrating when someone interesting to us comes on. It doesn't seem to have much of the flavor of other cause concerts, perhaps because they're not raising any money, but I think it goes deeper than that. Maybe people are burned out by all these mass concerts and they just don't have the effect they once had. Not too many fire-and-brimstone preachers among the performers either. In my opinion, the only one who captured the essence of the cause was Melissa Etheridge. When that woman spoke, I really wanted to do something.

Al Gore came on directly after Melissa and quickly ran down the Live Earth pledge. I'm not holding out any hope that Kanye West is going to live up to that pledge. Something about that Gold Digger song might just be affecting my judgment, though.

Madonna performed in London, looking quite matronly in her black dress with all the British school children singing with her dressed in their school uniforms. During her performance of Ray of Light, she played the electric guitar in an uncomfortable fashion. It's obvious that she hasn't had that much practice with the instrument, although her action in the matter is understandable. From what I've heard, she likes to have total control over her performances and is a stickler for perfection. She has a personality that will insist that she try the guitar.

We saw Duran Duran this morning, playing from London. Very good form, that group. They played a couple of oldies - from my day oldies - Planet Earth and Girls on Film. I was surprised to see Simon LeBon chewing gum. In fact, there were a few other singers that were also chewing gum. Does this help keep the mouth moist?

Kelly Clarkson did a great set. She seems so natural and down-to-earth, as did her back-up singers. Solid performance.

Two great little surprises were Blue Man Group, with their funny earth-is-an-airplane-on-a-collision-course video, and Nanatuk, the group of scientists on Antarctica who got together to play specifically for Live Earth. They did a great job, although we wondered if they pre-taped their session. There were no cords leading from their instruments to any power source that we could see. They played outside, so doing a non-plugged-in version is understandable (unless they buried their cords under the snow?).

The band I was waiting for was Dave Matthews Band. They played One Sweet World, Don't Drink the Water (one of my personal favorites) and Too Much. Quite fitting, actually. We were all a little worried about Dave's voice on Don't Drink the Water, at the point where he does this scream-yell. My daughter said, "Get that man a cough drop." That, or a piece of gum. Really, it was that serious. I'm not sure how any of these singers get up night after night to perform without getting permanent laryngitis. I do three school tours in a row at work and I'm frogging up like mad. I have every confidence that the Dave Matthews Band, along with Melissa Etheridge, will live up to the Live Earth pledge, as they are already doing so to a great extent. Dave even said something along the lines of hoping that everyone would walk home from the concert. Nice touch.

It remains to be seen how all this shakes out. But, hey, it's 7/7/07. That's gotta count for something, doesn't it?

Correction (7/8/07): Well, then . . . it seems I've spelled the Antarctic group's name wrong. According to a Reuters article, it's Nunatak. Whoops. Sorry.

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