Live Earth autopsy

I watched some of it, I recorded all of it (yes, Sky Plus worked), I whizzed through all of it to watch the interesting bits…

  • Genesis – when I was in my teens I loved Genesis, and took a lot of flak at school from my mates who were into New Wave and punk. My supposed mate Nigel Roberts once asked me if people took a book to read at Genesis gigs. Based on this performance, the answer should have been ‘yes’. They trotted out a sad collection of pop hits from the days when they’d forgotten their roots and were looking for chart success. And they looked like they really couldn’t be bothered. Was this really the band that created one of the best live albums ever (‘Seconds Out’)? Steve Hackett must have been sitting at home smirking.
  • Razorlight – can’t bear them, didn’t watch them.
  • Snow Patrol – would have done better with some more lively songs.
  • Damien Rice and David Gray – surely somebody else was available. Well, David Gray was good value with a wobbly-legged rendition of ‘Babylon’, but Damien Rice… good grief, cheer up mate.
  • Kasabian – ah, that’s better. Great songs, great performance, great shirt.
  • Paolo Nutini – sings like he’s quaffed a whole case of Special Brew before coming on stage. Forgettable.
  • Black Eyed Peas – chaotic whooping, sounded more like a first rehearsal, although ‘Where Is The Love’ was okay. I think they were the only band to feature someone playing the flute. And what precisely is the point of the guy with the leather trilby?
  • Duran Duran – predictable set of songs, but that’s exactly what the crowd wanted. Actually they were very good.
  • Bloc Party – not bad, a good performance of some not very good songs.
  • Terra Naomi – who?
  • Keane – I’ve always joked that Keane are “that band with the bloke who plays the piano out of tune”… but it yesterday it came true. They were totally lost on the big stage in the big stadium.
  • Metallica – nice beard. They won the Mrs Adams “who the hell are they?” award.
  • Red Hot Chilli Peppers – can’t bear them, didn’t watch them.
  • Spinal Tap – there must have been a large percentage of the population who just didn’t get it, the current Mrs Adams and the offspring included. Entertaining, must watch the movie again soon.
  • James Blunt – Zzzzzzzzzzzzz
  • Beastie Boys – never did see anything to like about them, still don’t. It’s just shouting really.
  • Pussycat Dolls – I think they should be called ‘Pussycat Doll’ because only one of them can sing. The other five could be replaced without anyone noticing. In the interview afterwards I concluded that they look better from a distance (apart from the singer).
  • Foo Fighters – what a shame they didn’t put any effort into their performance. Okay, that’s a joke, they were the highlight of the day. Dave Grohl had the audience in the palm of his hand, and joked that they should just play on all night. Millions of people would have agreed with him. Rock gods.
  • Madonna – I’m no big Madonna fan, but she was okay. Good varied set. What is she, 54 or so? She looks good for her age.

Meanwhile in New York…

  • Various assorted rappers – I’m a white English guy in my (early) 40’s. I don’t get it. Perhaps I’m not supposed to. I don’t know… it’s just shouting really.
  • AFI – never heard of them before, but they were really good (if not a bit odd).
  • Fall Out Boy – formulaic EMO rock. Dull.
  • Alicia Keys – great voice, chunky legs, and seems to be visiting the same tanning salon as Michael Jackson.
  • Kelly Clarkson – I shouldn’t like Kelly but I do. She has a great voice and (I don’t know whether she writes them) some great songs. Well done Miss Clarkson.
  • Bon Jovi – I’ve never liked them. I suppose for someone who does like them it would have been a great performance.
  • Smashing Pumpkins – I’m just about to start writing a letter of complaint to the BBC who featured only one Pumpkins song in their coverage. I don’t pay my license fee so that I can be so massively short-changed when it matters most. Thankfully MSN (choke) are showing all of their set. Two songs from the new album… fantastic. One question… where does Billy Corgan find this endless supply of female bass players? James Iha must have been sitting at home thinking he’d made the wrong decision.
  • Roger Waters – predictable song choices. He prowled around the stage like someone looking for a fight, and knowing his track record he might well have been. I spotted someone hidden at the back playing the bass, so was Roger’s guitar plugged in? Who cares, great stuff, and once again the BBC missed a few songs.
  • The Police – great performance, but why did they feel it necessary to add that rapper (whoever he was) to ‘Message in a Bottle’? Only negative point is that Sting and the boys fell into that old gig bad habit of dragging a song out in a meandering fashion.


  1. I dunno. I think the line up was on the whole rather average. The exceptions tending to be those who play guitar…loudly. Metallica, Foos etc…the rest seem to be bands who didn’t get a spot at Glastonbury or where hanging around with nothing to do after the ‘Diana’ gig. If they were the one supposed to save the planet…I’m off to my nearest Hummer dealer! :o)

    I think we’re also a bit Live!’ed out now, does anyone take these events seriously anymore? Or do they have a snow flakes chance on a melting glacier to get anyone to say….”I saw Madonna on the TV the other day….you know what I’ll not drive to work today and I recycle my bottles”.

  2. I have to agree with Tony.

    Considering the 16.7 Jigawatts of power they must have consumed putting on how ever many shows there were, plus the petrol and aviation fuel to get the acts to those shows, I don’t exactly see how these gigs were environmentally friendly.

    Coupled with the fact that on more than one occasion, I thought to myself, who the **** are they?, the day was overall a bit of a let down.
    Highlights for me were The Police, Foo’s, The Pumpkins and oddly enough… from Australia… Wolfmother. Watch “Woman” online to see the most energetic performance of the day from the Bass/Keyboard player… Talk about giving it 150%.
    Also, it is just me of does the lead singer look like the bloke from Supergrass with a fro!!!!

    Lets hope they leave it a few years before another one of these days is put together and please, please, please lets have an entire day of A listers.

  3. Corgan is one of my personal favorite singers. I first heard him in Smashing Pumpkins. I liked the name because when I was a kid, my friends and I always smashed all the unattended pumpkins we could find. Did anybody else do that when they were young?

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