25 September 2009
Last night I saw U2’s 360° Tour. This was definitely the WTF moment of the night. Via TheAwl:
And I say that as a supporter of Mike Bloomberg (albeit one suspicious of his third term shenanigans).
I was also struck by these billboards which seemed to take corporate sponsorship to a level at once more bland, straightforward & effective than any I could recall.
And I say this as a fan of my Blackberry. Maybe this is the best way for corporations to sponsor popular culture — in a manner that mimics the bland, straightforward, effective demeanor to which all internal corporate cultures aspire.
That these two things were some of the biggest takeaways of the night says a lot considering that the stage show for this tour evidently costs upwards of $750k per night.
I went with a pair of folks from The National, assorted loved ones, and a friend who heads up a NYC-based arts education non-profit that also presents avant-garde style concerts here in the city. The band is working on their new album right now, and I figured hey, what better inspiration? And I wanted to make sure the non-profit running friend always kept in mind an important maxim: as much as we may love & support the avant-garde it’s important to always remember that bands like U2 are just…better, more real, more vital entities than anything a subculture might create.
Subculture is great and all but it is nothing without the popular culture which is its counter. You can invert that sentence — popular culture is nothing without subculture — and it is just as true. But, somehow, I think avant gardists more easily forget their position in the larger culture — that they are a sideshow, not the main show.
Posted by Alec Hanley Bemis