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November 03, 1997 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-11-03

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As seen on MTV, Tonic appears at St. Andrew's Hall in Detroit
tonight. Producing hit after hit from their debut album "Lemon
Parade," including "Open Up Your Eyes" and "If You Could Only See,"
Tonic puts on an intoxicating live show. So, don't sit around saying
"If I could only see Tonic ... ." Just open up your eyes and go. 8 p.m.
at St. Andrew's Hall. (313) 961-MELT

Monday
November 3, 1997

pop' goes the Silverdome: U2 revs up Motor City

that durmg one son .
This cxploitatio n-of-society thread
has reached its height in Bono's sassy
performance. once again posing for his
own video camtemr, clhanting outfits and
intmnersi n1 hnimself in the crowd at time.
Yet the c,1al ai k al ed cth hlcm to
reach out an1d touch t he atd icce '..veni
more -_-intimtlhel cluatcd duct Ol
'Starintt at the Sun.'
The full-color, nearly 50-foot-high
video screen displayed countless imagcs
and mo111ni-cartoons, allowing even the
people in the upper level to see the entire
show clearly in close-ups, Technicolor
and spotlighting.
And then there was the huge lemon,
rotating and reflecting throughout the
stadium as it opened and the band
emerges, descending to the catwalk to
play again.
Later, that disco ball-iemon continued
to spin and shine during U2's signature
"Joshua Tree" ballad, "With Or Without
You."
Images of the 1992 "Zoo TV" tour's
devil character appeared on the video
screen during the "Batman Forever"
soundtrack piece "Hold Me, Thrill Me,
Kiss Me, Kill Me," a commentary on the
societal corruption of a rock star.
"PopMart" is very similar to "Zoo
TV" with all the advanced technology,
staging and efforts to reach the audience.
Bono displayed this by repeating his ges-
ture of inviting an individual, usually a
woman, to dance on stage with him dur-
ing one piece.
With this and other gestures, U2 has
achieved yet another precarious balance
between two dichotomies: putting on the
mega-show while making it feel like the
audience is in a small club.
This intimacy was reinforced by rous-
ing sing-alongs of "New Year's Day" "
Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking
For," "All I Want Is You" and the climac-
tic "One."
As a natural extension of "Zoo TV"
and 1993's less-popular "Zooropa"
album, U2, with "PopMart," has reached
the pinnacle of bigness, while maintain-
ing a sense of community with its
sprawling fanbase.
I can't wait to see where U2 can go
from here.

U2 lead singer Bono put on a strong, colorful performance In front of thousands of fans and one enormous TV screen at Friday's Silverdome show.

still needs to be heard.
The crowd bopped through most of
the 2 1/2-hour set, trying to keep their
eyes on the chameleon-like performance
of Bono, sashaying and dancing about
from the main stage to the winding b-
stage/catwalk and back.
Edge and the others joined him from
time to time on the catwalk, which
extended nearly halfway into the floor

seats.
Birthday-boy Mullen pounded away
enthusiastically almost nonstop on the
main stage, sporting his trademark gri-
mace. Adam Clayton, however, was the
only one to appear disappointingly unin-
terested in the performance, standing
still and aloof as he played his distinctive
bass lines.
Bono broke into "Happy Birthday"

twice for Mullen, who was presented
with a cake, complete with candles. As
for the Halloween party, Bono coerced
the crowd into coming on stage during
the encore performance of "Mysterious
Ways" -- five fans dressed in costumes
danced with him and Edge.
If U2 were any more friendly with the
audience, they'd be sitting on its lap -
oh, wait a minute, I think Bono did do

Arresting 'Men' makes for good company

As their game plays itself out, it becomes evident
that Chad is so conniving and untrustworthy that we
cannot accept at face value anything he tells his osten-
sible friend Howard, let alone Christine. And Howard,
in a way more frightening because he followed Chad
into this arrangement, appears to develop genuine
emotion for Christine.
But Chad, handsome and
V I E W charming, wins Christine's affec-
e Company tions. Howard begins to unravel,
of Men and the two men are set against
one another, as their authentic per-
sonalities emerge. We find that
he Michigan Theater Chad is even more cruel and
power-hungry than we at first sus-
pected, and Howard is even more pathetic and unwill-
ing to take a stand.
In essence, Labute has constructed a comprehen-
sive typology of the business world with these two
characters. His sparkling and surprising script contin-
ually manages to stay one step ahead of the audience.
Its secrets are not revealed by the storyline. They are
locked away in the hearts of its characters, dark and
cold though they may be, so the truth is revealed grad-
ually and in fragments. All the while, we fear that
which we know to be the case.
Though the film's portrayal of corporate culture
pulls no punches, its anatomy of cruelty extends in
significance beyond this sphere. Indeed, one hopes
that viewers will not merely ascribe such cruelty to the
corporate man, and fail to consider how the film's
message applies to them. Everyone has been both the
cruel instigator and the spineless follower.
Of course, the function of satire is to bend, height-

en and exaggerate these traits without severing their
connection to reality. In his ambitious debut, Labute
manages to do this and much more, creating a stag-
gering, stunning masterpiece. Though this descriptor
is overused in contemporary criticism, particularly by
the Shalit-Siegel-Medved school, it can be deservedly
applied to "In the Company of Men."
Much of the film's success is due to its three lead
actors, each of whom offers up a near-flawless perfor-
mance. Eckhart, who can also be seen in "In and Out,"
can make Chad so charming, at times, that we want to
believe that he has jettisoned his sadistic compact with
Howard. His good-natured demeanor leaves one feel-
ing even more betrayed when we realize how nakedly
cruel Chad is underneath it all.
Malloy, whom Hal Hartly fans may recognize from
"The Unbelievable Truth" and "Trust," renders
Howard as an extraordinarily convincing specimen of
corporate America. Ultimately, Howard's noncommit-
tal posture does more damage than Chad's blatant cru-
elty. Malloy delivers an uncompromising perfor-
mance, his character not saved by charm or heroic
good looks, which gave me chills.
Edwards does a tremendous job as Christine. She
ensures that her character is no mere sacrificial lamb,
but an independent and intriguing woman, which
makes the denouement all the more devastating.
Above all, "In the Company of Men" is an actor's
film. Labute wisely does not intrude on his perform-
ers, but allows his camera to sit and soak in Chad and
Howard's psychological machinations and maneuvers.
No camera tricks, no special effects, no shootouts, and
yet it's hard to imagine a more bruising and brutal
film.

Nature calls Chad and Howard In "In The Company of Men."

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