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BACKSTAGE WITH MARIAN
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Story outtakes, celebrity confessions and the latest pop culture news in the Bay Area

About Me
I'm a pop music writer for the San Jose Mercury News. I cover pop, hip hop, punk, rock, dance, and ethnic - well, basically everything you can dance to.

My Articles

MY PICKS
CD: Common:"Be"
Music Video Eminem: featuring Triumph the Insult Comic Dog
Trailer: The Year of the Yao
TV: Harvey Birdman
Videogame: Fable

MERCURY REVIEWS
Art: The New Art of India
Bar: Boswell's
Book: Jill Scott
Club: Forum
DVD: Kinsey
Movie: Cinderella Man
Music: Sleater-Kinney
Restaurant: The Melting Pot
Theater:The Mambo Kings

SICK SITE
Earth and Sun Kiss

MY PLAYLIST

1. R. Kelly: "Trapped In The Closet"

2. Weezer: "Hold Me"

3. Bright Eyes: "First Day Of My Life"

4. Ringside: "Miss You" and "Criminal"

ENTERTAINMENT RESOURCES
  • Billboard Charts
  • Encyclopedia
  • iticket.com
  • Moviefone
  • Music Dictionary
  • MTV
  • Pollstar
  • tickets.com
  • Urban Dictionary
  • ticketmaster.com
  • VH1

  • BLOGROLL
  • Adisa Banjoko : San Jose's Bishop of Hip hop
  • Angry Asian Man: Asian American media watchdog
  • Berkeley Blogs
  • Black Electorate : Inside Cultural, Economic and Political industries
  • BLT's Parry
  • Crayone: the trials and tribulations of a graffiti artist
  • Dan Gillmor : Grassroots Journalism
  • Dat Phan : Last Comic Standing season 1 winner
  • East Bay Livin' : Ellen Lee's EB hunt
  • Davey D: Hip Hop Daily News
  • Fortt: black american gen x journalist musician multicultural christian technophile
  • Jeff Chang: fellow Asian hip hop writer
  • Joe Grimm : Ask the Recruiter
  • In Passing : Random Street Conversations
  • Pacific Standard: Bay Area hip-hop
  • Pop And Politics
  • Pop Licks : O-Dub, a cultural critic
  • Scape: San Jose graffiti artist
  • SiliconBeat: News about tech money and innovation
  • Monday, April 11, 2005

    A review of U2's San Jose HP Pavilion concert

    When bassist Adam Clayton described U2's music as an expression of "spiritual ecstasy," he wasn't kidding.


    U2 must be the only rock band that can :

  • sing about "Yahweh,"

  • recount meeting the Pope

  • exclaim Martin Luther King Jr.'s words

  • and broadcast the Universal Declaration of Human Rights


  • Bono even hung a cross necklace, he received as a gift from the Pope, on his microphone stand while he sang.

    Bono said that while many rock stars have a "Pope complex," John Paul II was the only Pope to have a rock star one.

    And while Bono said that he may not agree with everything the Pope stood for, at least he stood for something. And on the same note, it was refreshing to watch a rock star who stood for something.

    Overall, the concert was magnificent.

    Unlike the Anaheim show where my friend said U2 played mostly recent material, the show Saturday night in HP Pavilion had a lot of old hits, like 1985's "Pride," 1992's "One," and 2000's "Beautiful Day." Here's a link to the set list.

    The lighting was also beautiful. There were LCD lights that hung like curtains down from the ceiling, showing images of the band, flags, and even a fighter plane. During the encore, there were also chandeliers that came down from the ceiling.

    My only disappointment was that I expected a wider age range of fans to come, but the majority were in there 30s and 40s and few brought their kids. I also wished U2 picked a better opener. Kings of Leon weren't that great.

    For more U2 info:

  • my interview with bassist Adam Clayton

  • a U2 IQ test

  • another U2 quiz

  • Kava's U2 review
  • 3 Comments:

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Marian...

    You really ought not to be so harsh on the Kings of Leon. My guess is that you have not listened to either of their albums. It is obvious from your blogs that you gravitate towards safe, middle of the road talents and crazy Taiwaneese rock stars that are as irrelevant as U2.

    Hmmmmm. Who cares that you went shopping? If you would have bought either of the KOL albums, maybe it would have changed your life.

    8:07 PM  
    Blogger Lara said...

    MY biggest complaint with Kings of Leon was that all of their music just ended abrubtly. And I kept feeling like ... "that's it?"

    Hmmm...


    Glad the show on Saturday was good - I had tickets to that one, but sold them to a friend. Ended up going Sunday, standing about 3 people back from the ellipse on the Edge's side. So freaking wonderful.

    1:23 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Taiwanese rock star WU BAI, band CHINA BLUE to perform at SoCal venue

    By Jason Kosareff, Staff Writer

    One of Taiwan's biggest rock stars, Wu Bai, promised
    his fans Thursday a high-energy show this weekend at the House of
    Blues Sunset Strip.
    "They respect me, so I want to respect them," Wu Bai said in an
    English interview after talking to dozens of reporters from the
    *Chinese

    *THAT WAS NOT THE CHINESE MEDIA. THAT WAS THE TAIWANESE MEDIA. CHINA IS NOT TAIWAN. TAIWAN IS NOT CHINA. THEY ARE TWO SEPARET COUNTIRES AND THEIR MEDIA ARE TWO SEPARATE MEDIA, ONE IS COMMUNIST STATE CONTROLLED, THE OTHER IS FREE AND DEMOCRATIC.

    media. "I want to give back to them."

    The frontman and his band China Blue talked about the tour, the
    Taiwanese music scene and touring in America during a media event at
    Tea Station on Valley Boulevard in San Gabriel.

    Wu Bai and China Blue are one of Taiwan's top-selling acts, typically
    selling out stadiums and playing to tens of thousands of fans. But his
    shows tonight and Saturday should be more intimate affairs. He'll play
    to about 1,100 fans each night.

    Asked if playing the venerable House of Blues was a milestone in his
    career, Wu Bai said no.

    "When I first played in a band I played in places like that," he said.
    "I refuse to recognize the Western standard that this is a temple. I
    don't need this place to judge my music. I judge this place."

    WOW. THIS SOUNDS VERY ARROGANT AND UPPITY. DID HE REALLY SAY THAT? IN ENGLISH? I JUDGE THIS PLACE? HOW RUDE!

    Wu Bai, wearing his SIGNATURE all-black outfit and dark shades,
    cracked jokes in his gravely voice and talked freely about his film
    and music career.

    "My songs are very simple, so it's easy to touch their hearts," Wu Bai
    said. "I think that is important, to touch their hearts."

    TRUE. HE IS GREAT WRITER AND SINGER.

    Fittingly, Wu Bai wears a stuffed shark on his head for the cover of
    his newest CD, "Two Face Man," an epic recording spanning hard rock to
    folksy tunes all in his native Taiwanese language.

    The new CD rocks more consistently than his 2004 release "Tear Bridge"
    and features more electronic sounds and heavier guitar work.

    Since appearing in Hong Kong director Tsui Hark's blockbuster film
    "Time and Tide" in 2000, Wu Bai hasn't done much acting. His manager,
    Edith Chen, said he has been deluged with subpar scripts, but he longs
    to do another film.

    Wu Bai does make a cameo appearance in Jackie Chan's "New Police
    Story," filmed last year, Chen said.

    Wu Bai is joined by China Blue drummer Dino Zavolta, who grew up in
    the Lakewood/Cerritos area and lived in Cypress before joining a band
    in Taiwan. While there he formed China Blue, met Wu Bai in the early
    1990s and now calls Taiwan home.

    "It still blows my mind," Zavolta said. "It's great."

    DINO IS GREAT DRUMMER, YES. AND APPARENTLY, HE IS THE PERSON WHO ENLISTED WU BAI TO JOIN HIS BAND WAY BACK WHEN AND THUS MADE WU BAI A STAR....

    3:33 AM  

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    Photo of Marian Liu by Stephanie Grace Lim, Mercury News
    You can e-mail me at mliu@mercurynews.com.