The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 4, 1988-- Page-9
BY BRIAN JARVINEN
You can tell a band has entered the mainstream when gos-
sip/celebrity columnist Shirley Eder scooped even the "rock" stations in
town with the first word on U2's Silverdome appearance last year. But
Shirley couldn't compete against the combined publicity forces of Is-
land Records and Paramount Pictures, so everyone has known about
tonight's release ofU2: Rattle and Hum for months, with the possible
exception of the Paramount rep who informed me that the movie'stars
"Bono, The Edge, and the other two guys."
So, OK, some facts, ma'am. Coinciding with the movie release we
lucky fans can purchase the soundtrack, U2: The Book of the Movie (it
is unknown as of press time if the King James version is available yet),
and at select theaters., you can purchase U2 badges, posters, stickers, and
T-shirts. And yes, you too can look just like Bono in your very own
U2 hat!!! Welcome to corporate America, boys.
Rattle and Hum culminates U2's fascination with America that be-
gan lyrically on The Unforgettable Fire LP and blossomed musically
on The Joshua Tree. The movie features mucho concert footage from
1987 shows in Denver and Tempe, Arizona, combined with "candid"
footage of the band recording tracks in Harlem, Memphis, and Dublin.
The concert tracks are interspersed with the new songs, tied together
with snippets of interviews.
These 'tween-tune sequences are just filler, good for a very occa-
sional laugh, but never revealing anything beyond the fact that the band
really digs Elvis, but hey, even Spinal Tap was into the King. The
camera only catches the lads off guard once - when B.B. King tells
Bono he is "pretty young to write such heavy lyrics" (referring to
"When Love Comes to Town"). I would swear that Bono went crimson,
even though the scene was in black-and-.white.
The concert footage gives the viewer a good idea of what attending a
U2 concert is like. The guys walk out on stage and play their songs;
Bono runs around a little. The only surprise comes when Bono appears
without a shirt - he can definitely pinch an inch. The live songs are
good. That's right, merely good. Gone is the "angry young Irishmen"
energy that brought their previous celluloid appearanceLive at Red
Rocks to life, now we see the mature, eloquent ire glimpsed on The
Joshua Tree and in interviews.
The Edge seems much more restrained -- his solos just don't grab
me the way his previous live efforts have. The most glaring change is
the near total disappearance of drummer Larry Mullen from the mix.
This surprised me, as the music has the same producer as Blood Red
Sky, Jimmy lovine. But these criticisms are not quite fair. At one
point in the movie a band member declares "we're not the same band as
when we recorded the War album." I heartily concur.
Despite these minor problems, the live tunes still kick. The opener,
"Helter Skelter," would earn a standing ovation, if the damn music was
loud enough. This problem continually plagues the movie, surfacing
again when Adam Clayton's haunting bass line for the often overlooked
"Exit" cries for volume, Volume, VOLUME! Ditto for The Edge's
shining moment, "Star Spangled Banner/Bullet the Blue Sky."
So yeah, I enjoyed the movie. The concert sequences are definitely
the highlight here, but I can do without simple footage of a band in a
studio. But I'm probably not going to see it again 'til the video tape
release (horrors!); at least then I'll be able to control the volume.
U2: RATTLE AND HUM opens tonight at Showcase Cinema #2.
a 3 8
BA does TS
-Do you dare to eat a peach?
Basement Arts presents An
Evening of Poetry by T.S. Eliot,
with portions of "Love Song of-J.
Alfred Prufrock" and other pos
ems accompanied by live mul
sic. Check it out at the Arena
Stage in the Frieze Building
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at
5 p.m. Best of all, admission is
-lf you're searching for revolu-
tionary entertainment this
weekend, find your way to the
Brecht Company's production of
Drums in the Night, a romantic
comedy set in Berlin during the
1919 Spartacist Uprising. Per-
formances are at the Residen-
tial College Auditorium in East
Quad at 8 p.m. Friday and Sat-
urday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tick-
ets are $7 Friday and Saturday,
and $5 Sunday.
Mon - Sat 11-8 Sun 4 - 9
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