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#158 is here
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Wednesday October 21, 2009 Vol
2414 - Don't push me too far
OK, so you know this isn't a regular issue.
It took a while to write the concert review and there's so much politics
I felt that is would be counter-productive to bury it on some back
page, so here it is.
I don't want to spoil your concert experience Sunday Night at 11:30
Pacific when U2 will pack
an expected 92,000 people in the Rose Bowl for (probably) the biggest
concert in history.
If you want to be surprised Sunday night, don't scroll
down because there's lots of pictures.
You can always read my take on the band and their tour Monday.
If you don't care about U2, then at least read the political
sections because it's important.
I gotta tell you, they made me cry several times - in that good way.
If you read this report till the end, you might wipe away a few tears,
Norman, Oklahoma, OU's Sooner Field October 18th, 2009
The stadium is a glorification of The Gaylord
Family which is a klan of right-wing loons that make Jim
seem sane (not a compliment) so I refuse to usa
that whore name for the venue. The Gaylords own
The Daily Oklahoman which makes every
other newspaper in America seem like MoveOn.org
We headed for Norman about 11 AM. It's about 100 minutes
to OKC from Tulsa and Norman is another
twenty miles south and we wanted this trip to run smoothly because
there was a lot at stake and I tend to screw up.
I forgot what I paid for these nosebleed tickets, but the tickets say
I paid $30
That sounds crazy in 2009 - $30
to see the biggest band in the world do their biggest show ever?
A Bartcop reader offered us a free room on campus for the night, but
we didn't intend to stay.
However, as the date got closer, Mrs. Bart mentioned she heard horrror
stories about traffic at Sooner Field.
She heard some people at work saying they were stuck in their cars
for two hours after a football game
and if that happened to us I'd be a dead man because we have no bathrooms
in the Bartmobile.
How could it possibly take two hours for the crowd to clear out after
a football game?
So I pricelined a fine hotel for super-cheap. I'm getting to like
When we got to the city, we drove south to Norman to check out our getaway
As we drove towards the stadium, we got our first clue.
See the stadium at the right?
See Lindsey street that connects the stadium traffic to I-35?
That's a two-lane street with a middle lane for turning so yes,
that's a problem.
Every other huge stadium I've ever been in is right next to an Interstate
highway - but not in Okiehomie.
Wisely (I'm being sarcastic) they designate all three lanes going East
before the game
and after the game they have all three lanes going West to help the
traffic flow, but do the math:
With 60,000 people, you figure maybe 20,000 cars - crowding thru three
lanes of traffic.
That's 7,000 cars per lane and that's where the two-hours in the
parking lot comes from.
F-ing backwards Oklahoma - they can't figure out how to do anything
in this state.
They know there's going to be thousands of cars backed up for hours
every game day
but as the years/decades roll by, they can't figure a way to solve
this problem because they
don't know anybody as intellijent as Ol' Bart, so the problem goes
on and on.
If they had any brains at all (Why do I bother?) they could sell
bus tickets for $10.
and run hundreds of busses from OKC to Norman. I'd much rather pay
sitting in some damn parking lot for two hours, but noooooooooooooooooooooo.
They can't expand their brains to the intellectual capacity of a jenius
is how a low-IQ tequiila boy like myself got to be the smartest man
in the state.
We saw Paul McCartney earlier this year in Tulsa.
He played the BOK, which holds about 16,000 people
but, because we're Okies,
the ignorant sons of bitches didn't open the
door to let people in until 30 minutes
before the show was scheduled to start - and
they only opened one bank of doors.
Yes, that's right - we had 16,000 people trying
to Three Stooges their way into one set of doors.
Paul was supposed to take the stage at 8PM but
there was still 10,000 people outside at 8 PM
Apparently, Verne forgot his keys and had
to drive all the way back to his trailer to get them.
Can you believe these stupid Okies? These
are the people who think Tom Coburn is great.
Who would anticipate a crowd of people, showing
up to see a Beatle,
in the only appearance any Beatles has ever made
in the damn city?
We finally got inside about 8:20 and I was shocked.
At 8: 20, they were
beginning to open the concession stand and start
making popcorn and hot dogs.
These Okie brainiacs weren't sure if the sold-out
McCartney crowd of 16,000 might be hungry,
so there was no reason to be prepared to se;l
food and drinks to the crowd that had been standing
in the hot August sun for hours waiting for the
damn doors to open.
OK, back to Norman and U2.
Just to the left of that light tower, you can barely see the U2 spaceship
with the light-green skin and orange spire up-top.
If you see one of these ships being assembled in your neighborhood,
find a ticket booth and pay whatever they ask.
OK, so it's 2 PM and we see why they have a massive parking problem,
so how do we solve it?
We went back to our hotel and found out they have a shuttle.
A shuttle, as in one, so we had to play by their schedule
so we made a deal to be dropped off
at the stadium hours before the show so the shuttle wouldn't get tied
up in concert traffic.
That worked OK, but getting back to the hotel was a problem because,
to avoid tying up
their shuttle for 3 hours (driving time, too) we had to either get
picked up before the show was over
or see the entire show, then wait two hours for the shuttle to arrive
and both options sucked.
I got online and got the setlist and we decided we'd have to miss the
We told the hotel to have the shuttle meet us on a certain corner around
We knew the song list so we could pace ourselves. As long as we left
we could be sure their shuttle wouldn't get stuck in heavy traffic.
Now it's time to find something to eat, so we cruised over to Oklahoma
City's famed Bricktown.
Bricktown is a wannabe San Antonio, where the river (that's a joke)
runs right thru town and their
intention was to recreate the success San Antonio has had, but this
is Oklahoma where no idea is too
big or too small to fuck up.
We asked the hotel clerk what the best restaurants were and she said,
"For Italian, they have Zios and The Spaghetti
We have those in Tulsa and I'd rather eat at McDonalds or Arby's than
either of those.
"For Mexican, they have Chelino's and Abuellos."
We ate at Chelinos
years and years ago, and it was not-too-good, not-too-bad
but we wanted to do better so we kept listening for better options.
"For American we have Mickey Mantle's Steakhouse
and Toby Keef's 'I Love This Bar' "
which makes sense because he owns it and it makes him tons of money.
We ate at MM's years ago and it was great - but expensive and it was
too early for steak.
We settled on Abuellos, at least I could get a shot of real tequila
We walked in and there were plenty of people there, but nobody at the
We waited and we waited and after a while, Mrs Bart said, "Let's
try somewhere else,"
which is odd because usually *I* am the one with the short fuse - so
We ended up at that dump, Chelinos.
Once we were seated, I asked to see a tequila list.
The guy laughs at me and says, "Dude, we have
Cuervo Gold!" like he was proud of himself.
This is a big Mexican restaurant only a few hundred miles from actual
but they've never heard of any tequila besides that awful, fake Cuervo
Of course, they had 40 kinds of wine and 100 kinds of beer and 60 other
so why bother having tequila choices in a Mexican
We were running out of time so we hurried back to the hotel to wait
for Nameed, the shuttle driver.
He dropped us off at Sooner Stadium and it was 4:30 or so.
There were thousands and thousands of people there.
I was hoping they'd open the damn doors early so we could go inside,
maybe liquor up,
maybe walk around and look at all the National Championship trophies
the Sooners have won
over the years, but this is Oklahoma where the people in charge have
no brain cells at all.
There were thousands and thousands of customers waiting outside,
people who could be
eating and drinking and buying U2 shirts, but nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.
Why let people inside to spend money when you can have them stand in
the cold wind, instead?
I've said it many times - Chicago thinks they're the "windy city,"
but they're lying to themselves.
Come to OOOOOOOOklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plains.
It wasn't really all that cold - mid-fifties and dropping - but that
wind was f-ing cruel,
blowing trash cans over and knocking small children off their feet
and into the street.
Finally, the doors opened ar 6 PM and we get inside.
Because we had nosebleed tickets, (we were in Row 66 of the upper deck)
it took a long damn time to make that climb, but we finally got there
Holy Mother of Pearl, would you look at that!
I'm old, and I've been to dozens of rock concerts, but I've never
seen a stage that big in my life.
That black thing tea-bagging from the spaceship is a video screen
- with lots of surprises hidden in it.
After a millenia, it got dark and the Black Eyes Peas came out
about 7: 15.
I like them OK - Fergie's not my idea of hotness - but they were better
than I expected.
It was their first gig with U2 and they seemed VERY excited about that.
Wil. I. Am said, "It's great to be in Oklahoma"
about 20 times, seriously and I thought,
"No dude, it's just OK to be here," but he was excited about
playing such a big show, I guess.
They all sang better than you'd expect. B.E.P. songs don't really
translate that well in a stadium because
of their compact delivery style and silly songs, "My
humps, my lumps, my lovely lady lumps" but like
I said, they did better then I expected. They gave their best
and what else can you ask for?
The crowd liked them more than I did - they were ready for a
Then there was a very long break, which didn't seem necessary. The stage
looked ready after only 20-30
minutes, and the roadies walked around the oval playing guitar to themselves
for what seemed like forever.
I wanted the show to start because that damn shuttle was coming at
10 PM and it was almost 9 PM.
It reminded me of a model railroad town,
with the little men and little cars and little street lights
See how the video screen is dropping its skirt a little bit?
I wondered if that was to allow the screen to cool off - I was wrong.
Finally, the lights went out and the place went bonkers.
They opened with Breathe, Get On Your Boots, and Magnificent
from the new "Horizons" CD.
The sound was excellent, crisp and clear.
Oddly enough, I thought it could have been louder, but more on that
I was a little peeved at the band for taking so long to come out.
Thinking back, it was getting colder every minute so it was in their
own best interests to get out there,
but when I realized the shuttle would be here to pick us up in one
hour, I tried to call the hotel and push
that back but I couldn't get a signal on that damn iPhone.
In April of 2008, I was in New York, standing in the middle of goddamn
Times Square and I
couldn't get a signal - that's why I bought the iPhone so that shit
would stop happening to me.
I tried and tried - nothing.
Sidebar within a Sidebar:
The iPhone is a great marvel of technology - when it works.
It has many amazing features from the future,
but the phone totally sucks.
The bullshit phone I got for free in 2002 worked
so much better.
I can't even call the BartPhone when something
funny happens to me in the car because the sound
is so bad, you can't understand what's being
said when it plays back on Bartcop Radio - WTF?
Even worse, when we got to the hotel at 4 PM,
I charged it fully but it was dead again by 9 PM.
Why can't anybody make a product that actually
So I left during Breathe, Get On Your Boots, and Magnificent
to try to borrow a phone
Since "everybody" has a cell phone now, there are no pay phones at
So I started asking ushers or whatever you call them, "Can I borrow
your phone, please?"
They all said, "You can try, but if you're
with AT&T, you won't get a signal here."
That pissed me off.
Besides the inconvenience, I think it's dangerous to have 60-70,000
people inside a square quarter mile
and have all the iPhones rendered useless. I walked to the air-y
parts of the stadium, in the corners where
the 30 MPH winds were sweeping down my pants and still I got nothing.
I had to find a way to make this call or we'd have to leave after one
After about 15 lost precious minutes, I found a vendor with a Verizon
phone near the front gate.
He let me use it and I got the shuttle pushed back an hour - no thanks
Then they did Mysterious Ways, Beautiful Day and a snippet of
George Harrison's Here Comes the Sun.
As the concert proceeded, the visuals got more and more intense.
Then we got I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For -then
Stand By Me (Bono sang the first line,
then he "gave" the crowd the mic and the stadium finished the song,
in time and in key, it seemed.)
Every few songs, the video screen got more muscular.
Then it expanded.
It was a GREAT effect.
You can't see much on this poor quality iPhone picture (Apple, when
you going to fix that?)
but the images of the band members were showing on the outside of that
I've never seen anything this spectacular in a concert.
I'm not talking only about the music, but they totally ruled
If Bono's voice is working (it was) U2 delivers
better than Fed Ex.
And with all respect, don't write me and tell
me KISS has a big stage show, too.
A great stage show without great songs delivered
greatly is ...Britney Spears.
When you have so many great songs that naturally
some people will be disapppointed that
they didn't get to hear their favorite song,
well, that's a good kind of pain that other bands would kill for.
U2 doesn't have to apologize for being the
biggest band in the world for 22 years ...and counting.
Then we got Stuck In A Moment, No Line On The Horizon, Elevation
and Your Blue Room.
No Line on the Horizon is a great, hard-rocking song, almost
a throwback to their early punk days.
And the place really got hopping for Elevation.
We were a quarter mile away and people around us were hopping.
Damn, rock music done well is "f-ing A" great entertainment.
I was wiping tears out of my eyes all night.
When I see greatness, I always have the same thought:
Why can't whoever is Number Two be half this good?
Then it was time for the BIG GUNS.
My all-time favorite U2 song, one I missed both nights on their 2005
tour, Until the End of the World was next.
Shiver me timbers. The spaceship went f-ing crazy - I wondered
if it was going to leave the ground.
More tears - and I paid $30
to see this magic?
If tickets were $300
each, I'd mow lawns or rob a liquor store to get the money if I had to..
If you like hard rock, this is the top of the food chain, barring
a Zeppelin reunion.
I forget which song, but at one point, Bono
grabbed a ten year old boy from the crowd
and brought him onstage to stand and run/walk
with him as he sang the next two songs.
Maybe this seems hokey to the U2 haters, but I
think this kinds stuff shows their humanity.
Bono walked around the oval with this kid, who
by now was wearing Bono's sunglasses.
The kid was a big hit with the crowd, too.
I hate to use this word, but it was sweet.
What other band could even pull that off?
What other band would you let borrow your son?
"Perhaps because the mood was right and the
crowd was primed, U2 added two songs it had not played
in previous shows on the tour, 2000’s
"In a Little While” and the new "Unknown Caller,” a dramatic,
half-chanted song partially constructed
from computer commands. But after that deep plunge into the
new disc, the band came roaring back
to familiar territory with two of its most haunting songs, the
Biblical melodrama "Until the End of
the World” and a mesmerizing version of "The Unforgettable Fire.”
-- George Lang, writing for the fundie rag,
I remember that Unknown Caller song - first time I'd heard
it and it was good.
Then a nice surprise - The Unforgettable Fire, followed by City
of Blinding Lights, Vertigo,
and I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight, which is probably
considered a lesser song,
but at this point the video screen had turned into an orgasmatron.
The band could put themselves
in any environment - a desert, a snowstorm - whatever, and they pulled
it off spectacularly.
It's hard to explain but you can see the band and you can see
thru the video screen
but the band is also ON the video screen - and then the individual
pieces of the screen
started lighting up individually and independently and racing around
If this was 32 years ago I would've been the Window Pane Kid.
If you kids out there take Xstacy or whatever the new drugs are called,
I'm not saying you should do these dangerous drugs, but IF
you're going to do them
this U2 concert will give you the biggest visual bang you'll ever see
without God's help.
Then came Sunday Bloody Sunday, MLK, and Walk On - You'll
Never Walk Alone
which was dedicated to Aung
San Suu Kyi, the legally elected ruler of Myanmar.
Bono wrote Walk On for his dying father, so you know it means
a lot to him.
During Walk On about 50 people wearing Aung San Suu Kyi masks
walked onstage and "faced" the crowd.
Did I mention Bono was a showman?
Before the show, Bono had Amnesty International asking for signatures
on petitions to free her.
I signed it blind because I trust Bono and he asked for our help.
Bono told the hushed crowd that she won election in 1990, but the military
in Myanmar has kept her
under house arrest all these years - I wonder why Bush didn't
invade Myanmar and free her?
Oh, that's right - Myanmar has no oil so why would an evil oil
thief fucking bother?
All that horseshit about "Freedom is
God's gift to everyone" was just Bush's excuse to butcher Iraq
and murder Saddam and steal his oil, the son of a bitch. (You can decide
which SOB I'm talking about.)
By the way, we're not done with Bush in this report.
Meanwhile, the video screen continued the constant eyeball orgasms.
You never know what's going to happen at a U2 concert.
In years past, we've seen Martin Luther King appear to preach for non-violence.
This time we got a message from Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
If I remember correctly, Tutu said before Bono got involved (my words)
Africa only had anti-AIDS medicine for 50,000
people - so what did Bono do?
He went to Bush's White House on October 14th, 2005 to talk to Der Monkey
me, Pickles, I'm here with Bono!
heh heh... I'm a real rock star - heh heh..."
I remember Bono catching shit for it at the time.
"Why is he being so nice to the Monkey?"
"Why is Bono acting so friendly with the evil
Bono got a private meeting with Bush so he could say, (I'm guessing),
"Mr President, I believe you are a great man
whom God has chosen to do great things.
The people of Africa are God's children,
too, and they're dying by the millions. Can you
PLEASE find a way to give a MASSIVE
boost to spending for more AIDS drugs for Africa?"
It's my opinion that Bono made Bush a deal - that if Bush would help
Bono with this,
Bono would agree to never bad-mouth Bush in public and I think he kept
(On the 1992 tour, Bono would call the White House, live from the Zoo
Station stage between songs
and ask to speak with Poppy to mock him. Maybe Bono saw
Bush's need to upstage his daddy?)
Then Bono went to Orrin Hatch and gave him the same speech.
"Senator, I'm sure you love your children
and your grandchildren but those kids dying in Africa
are just as precious to their parents
as your kids are to you - they are God's children, too, so PLEASE
do whatever it takes to push thru a
MASSIVE increase in spending for drugs for Africa - PLEASE do this..."
I think I remember Hatch saying that he played
a little guitar, and that he and Bono sat down and wrote some songs
together so Hatch could tell his grandkids that
he was, to a degree, Bono's songwriting partner and that made him cool
And then Bono went to the bastard of all bastards,
Jesse f-ing Helms and gave him the same speech. I remember reading
that during thar 2005 U2 tour, Helms took his
grandkids to see U2 in concert in DC and they probably went backstage to
meet the band and that made Grandpa a real hero
- something Helms couldn't buy with all his his bloody NRA money.
Bono traded in some dignity and some coolness and he swallowed his pride
and he agreed
to kiss the asses of the very worst of the criminal
Rethugs - and what did it get him?
According to Archbishop Tutu, spending on anti-AIDS
drugs went from near nothing to BIG TIME, and that today,
Africans are still alive,
I believe, because
of Bono's efforts.
Don't try to tell me that
Bush, Helms and Hatch would've done this on their own.
Don't try to tell me that
greedy Rethugs and oil men have ever helped anyone without a kickback.
Don't try to tell me that
those 300M people would be alive today without Bono's help.
Republicans don't give a fuck - it's that simple.
They see saving 300M lives as "worthless
They see saving 300M lives as "socialism."
They see saving 300M lives as "something
Over the years I've compared Bono to that vulgar
bastard, the Pigboy.
I've guess that both have in excesss of $400
million dollars to play with, but check out the difference.
Rush used his power and money to divide America,
to get ignorant whites to hate Blacks and gays, etc.
Rush's goal was to get involved in the NFL, but
he got fired by ESPN for being a racist bastard.
Then Rush's goal was to OWN an NFL team, so everyone
would know how "important" he was but
he was too much of a racist prick for those racist
pricks and now he's banned from football forever..
On the other hand...
Bono has used his power and money to help those
with less or those who were dying.
Bono's goal, years ago, was debt relief for the
poorest African nations. Then he figured out
some lobbying could raise more money and do more
good than holding a Live Aid every year
and he ended up saving 300,000,000
lives - and counting - by doing it.
If there really was a Heaven and a Hell, I guess
we'd know who was going where.
I've always liked Bono and his band but I never
thought of him as a "great man"
until I saw that he had a hand in saving the
lives of 300
I think that calls for a shot of Chinaco.
OK, we gotta close things up or we'll be here
After Walk On the band left the stage
For the encore: we got One, (a simple, gorgeous song) Amazing
Grace (that the crowd sang)
and the hyper-dramatic Where the Streets Have No Name.
That's the closest I've been to church in thirty years.
The U2 spaceship was rainbow-spasming like Floyd's Run Like Hell
After Streets, we had to leave so we could catch the shuttle
for the ride home but I, like you,
can catch the second encore this Sunday
night live and free on Youtube.com
Have you ever heard of a band filling up The Rose Bowl?
Maybe that's happened before, maybe not, but on Sunday U2 is going
to fill up YouTube.com
Numbers-wise, I guess it'll be the biggest concert in history.
Does any other band come close to having U2's global appeal?
The second encore was Ultraviolet, With or Without You and
Moment of Surrender
We heard those songs perfectly from blocks away as we walked to the
One thing's for sure:
Bono deserves to win the Heisman Trophy for his performance on that
football field last Sunday.
And why hasn't Bono won a Nobel Peace Prize for saving 300
Watch U2's biggest concert ever
FREE Sunday on YouTube at about
They're at the Rose Bowl live, in the first full-length YouTube global
people expected to attend will reportedly be the most
ever to fit in the Rose Bowl.
The show will also be available for replay after Sunday.
If I hadn't read Marty's
E Page I wouldn't have known about this.
on the E!
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Dealer's Football Picks
Who did best last weekend?
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These are the locations that are clicking on bartcop.com
to sell stuff everywhere?
Advertise on bartcop.com
Why sell just to America when you can sell to the whole world?
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Bart, one of my best friends is from OKC and he
tells me he finally had to threaten his redneck
brothers and sister with being pout on the spam
filter if they didn't stop forwarding hate mail about
Obama so I feel got you living there, even though
I live in EU-taaw where The Lard His Own Self
tells the reich-wingers that Jeebus hates days,
Obama and Democrats, in that order..
It's been a while since I made a "live offering,"
as the Baptists
I was raised with called it, so here goes. Keep
rdale "Behind the Zion Curtain,"
RDale, that was nice - thanks
to Subscribe or Donate
or send a "Love" check to
PO Box 54466
Tulsa, OK 74155
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