I've been told that I'm sometimes unnecessarily mean, so I'll try to keep my review of Unforgettable Fire, the U2 cover band that headlined this weekend's Raleigh Downtown Live, fairly brief.
In the interest of full disclosure, I've never been the World's Biggest U2 Fan. There are many songs of theirs that I enjoy, but the first actual U2 album I bought was 2004's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, followed by the singles collection that was released last year.
But regardless, if you're going to be in a U2 cover band (or tribute band, whatever they call themselves), is it so hard to open with a freaking hit? Looking around the crowd during the first song, it seemed I wasn't the only one thinking "What the hell is this song?"
The band quickly corrected their error, playing "Vertigo," "Pride (In the Name of Love)" and "New Year's Day" before I got bored and went home.
To the group's credit, their lead singer looked, and sounded, a hell of a lot like Bono. And it wasn't just his shades and slicked-back hair. Some of the other members tried to look the part (the guitarist wore a black skull cap, for example), but it just ended up looking silly.
The overall sound, however, just wasn't good. I don't know if it was the band that sucked or the people running the soundboard (maybe both? who knows), but from the near constant feedback issues to weak drum parts...even for a free show, I expected more.
On a completely unrelated note, did any of you catch the preacher at the corner of Blount and Hargett? As I was entering the park he was having a pretty heated debate with a drunk guy inside the fenced area about what was worse, abortion or the Iraq war. Yeah, I'm not touching that one, let's just say that drunks and evangelicals don't mix.