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March 26, 1985 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 1985-03-26

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The Michigan Daily

Tuesday, March 26, 1985

Page 6

Ferron fuses music
message in perfect show

By Andy Weine
Ferron is a sensation: just ask
anyone who stood' waiting for a half
hour in a drizzle outside the Ark Satur-
day night. Ferron herself summed it up
well, saying, "I know some of you out
there got dragged here by someone,
and you're thinking, my god, is all this
really worth it? .. . And then you come
here, and this person's asking you to
sing, too... I mean, Jeez!"
Rain, line, and all, they came, and
boy was it worth it, and boy did they
sing. The air was contagiously giddy,
receptive, and jubilant, and Ferron
made it even more so. Her warm per-
sonable style bore no inklings of the
egomaniasm too common on stage (but
then, not so common on the Ark stage).
It's hard, almost impossible, not to
warm up to someone like Ferron, who
easily talks about subjects varying

from can't-get-out-of-your-room
depression ("... in the early twenties,
you know what that's like"), and her
beautiful cabin on a Canadian lake.
Late in the show she said, "Y'know,
sometimes I worry that I'm gonna go
through life and miss the whole point!"
From giddy and hair-shaking wild to
totally sincere and open, Ferron strikes
one as a strong feminist, the folk
singer's folk singer, a different sort of
revolutionary, and above all, a very
real person. From her opening song,
"Light of my light," she bid an
uninhibited audience to sing along with
her. Her voice had a wholesome,
breathy quality that finds little parallel
among other singers today.
And her lyrics are as poetic as those
of the poet she invokes on her latest
album, W.B. Yeats. For example, the
haunting title tune, "Shadows on a
Dime," goes, I sing to you to feed the
dream / I call to you though it's a

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muted scream / We are one-on-one
projected beams / Translucent
future be our sage. And from her
wonderful womanist anthem,
"Testimony": By our lives be we
spirit / By our hearts be we women /
By our eyes be we open / By our
hands be we whole.
Songs like "Bellybowl" and "It Won't
Take Long" showed Ferron to be as
lively'and rowdy as she could be sin-
cerely introspective. "Bellybowl" and
other songs had the audience singing
and yelping, pounding their hands and
feet, and knocking the tables and floor.
Such enamored participation, though,
brings to question the designation of
audience and performer, for then the
so-called performer is more a
facilitator of musical activity and en-
joyment, rather than a deliverer of it,
and isn't that what concerts should be
all about?
Even further, Ferron shows how
music can and should spark growthand
change. For in her music, Ferron
strives to discard conventional gender
roles, sensitize one to people and en-
virons, portray despair as necessarily
human, and empower people for social
change. That, to me, is what Ferron's
music is all about, and what music, in
its essence, should be. Ferron hits the
mark, and the soul.
University of Michigan
Gilbert and Sullivan
accepting petitions
for fall show
"Grand Duke"
or "Ruddigore"
Call 761-7855
leave message
-Set Design and
this week


Daily Photo by DARRIAN SMITH
Ferron put on a sensational performance last Saturday at the Ark. Her amazing ability to fuse music and poetry was
obvious to the oft-participating audience.






U2 devastating at Joe Louis

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By Beth Fert ig
Bono Vox, his long hair pushed
behind his ears, and making im-
passioned gestures with his hands, was
a powerful figure as he told an audience
of 14,060 people Saturday night, "This is
a big place. But the people and the
music are even bigger." And so went
the performance given by U2 to a
somewhat fanatical crowd at the Joe
Louis Arena on March 23.
The show was opened by Lone
Justice, -a worthless act that was
memorable only for the lead singer's
incredibly loud voice; so loud, in fact
(due to the sound mixing), that it was
often accompanied by feedback. She
tried to combine her best Janis Joplin-
esque wailing and screaming with
music that was part country/western
and part heavy metal. Imagine Judas
Priest fronted by an hysterical woman
in a print dress. They were con-
siderably better on the numbers where
their country/western influences took
over, but were still booed after every
song because they were so inap-
propriate for the U2 crowd.
When next the lights were dimmed, a
giganticwave of energy surged through
the crowd. This culminated in a loud
roar as the Irish band took stage.
Kicking off with "Eleven O'clock Tick
Tock", they took full control of the
night, bringing an almost holy quality
to every song performed. Live, Bono's
beautiful tenor takes on an even more
personal quality. He's an extremely gif-


ted performer with a flare for cap-
tivating his audience.
Notorious in the past for inciting
rather over-zealous 'audience par-
ticipation,and even risking his lifeby
climbing scaffolding, his act has
calmed down considerably. However,
he was still able to involve more than
just the floor-seaters, although it was
unfortunate that the band had to play
such a large arena.
Musically, U2's performance was
almost flawless. Adam Clayton's
steady, solid bass lines provide the per-
fect springboard for the Edge's wailing
lead guitar. Edge also evidenced a
great deal of dexterity in switching
from keyboards to lead guitar in the
beautiful "New Year's Day." And
Laryy Mullen proved to be a drummer
with a great deal of stamina as he
hammered through over ar. hour and a
half of demanding material.
The new, spacier songs from The Un-
forgettable Fire album ended up being
well incorporated into the set as the
band covered about two thirds of the
album's material. My only regret is
that they didn't get to "Twq Hearts
Beat As One", "Out of Control", or
"Tomorrow". An extra half hour would
have done the job, as the show was
pretty short, anyway.
There were three main themes which
the band kept referring to over the
course of their set. They were peace,
"no drugs," and Martin Luthe King, Jr.
Although there can be no doubt that all
of these ideals were extremely hear-
tfelt, every now and then they would be
blown up to the point where the
meaning was lost..It is understood that
war and drugs, especially heroin abuse,
are facts of life overseas. And the band
was successful on these two counts;
whether dedicating "Seconds" to
Ronald Reagan, or merely through
Bono's discussion of his friend's heroin

overdose in relation to the song "Bad".
"Sunday Bloody Sunday," was also an
extremely well done number - the
crowd shouting "No War!" again and
U2 fell short on one piece dedicated to
Martin Luther King however - last
summer's hit, "Pride (In the name of
love)." -At one point, a "prepared"
member of the audience hopped up on-
stage with a big poster of King. U2 was
overdramatic in their effort as Bono
reminded us of the unfortunate,
although unrelated, deaths of Jimi
Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Elvis
Presley. It is often necessary to remind
people of such heroes as King but this
well meant number also becamg
cheapened by the screams and whistles
of the crowd. It was not quite authentic.
U2 closed their second encore with
the touching "40", from 83's release,
War. It was then that one could feel the
reverence that the crowd had for this
band. Singing along, as they had been
all evening, the crowd now began to
sway and hold up lighters. One by one
the band left the stage until Larr-4
Mullen was alone on a purple lit set with
a white spot to himself. Pounding away
on his drum-kit as though the song
would never. end, he was accompanied
by the audience as they sang, "How
long to sing this" song?" When at last
Mullen had ceased, the room was dark
and the people were still going strong
until the lights went on again.
Stepping out into the wet, night air,
one could still hear separate clusters of
people as they continued singing th
lyrics to "40". ' The big-arena a
mosphere had finally shrunk down so
that the show could touch each person
separately. One guy approached me af-
terwards, and touching my shoulder,
said, "I feel like I've been saved." As
Bono promised, the music had finally

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