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Live Concert Setlists

04/03/2011
Picture taken from Twitter from U2's 3rd who in Argentina tonight

Picture taken from Twitter from U2's 3rd who in Argentina tonight

One of the cool things about Twitter that I like is how it is an open system that is in real time, meaning you can literally read anything (almost) anyone posted, and read it seconds after they posted it. (There is an option to make your tweets “private”, protecting yourself from everyone but your followers, but I don’t utilize that feature.) This makes it a great tool for real time communication during events; Twitter has been been used to great benefit during political elections, natural disasters…and live concerts.

Today was a busy day: church early in the morning, followed by Caribou with friends, then a wedding, a reception, volleyball, and Green Mill with friends. And at the same time, U2 was going to be performing their third and final night in Argentina. And through the wonder of Twitter, I was able to both follow along with and catch up with the concert in real time. Every concert this past tour, over the last two years, has been live tweeted from the show, the setlist being available as soon as it happens. And, since Twitter allows photos and video, you can hear a song mere minutes after the band performs it.

That’s one of the reasons why I love Twitter so much over other social media channels such as Facebook.

A occasional downside to following live concert setlists on Twitter is that users who submit setlists will also add their own commentary. This is great if you are in agreement with the person’s comments, and utterly infuriating when you aren’t. There is a sizable older group of U2 fans on Twitter who are ecstatic that U2 is performing so many older songs again such as Pride (In the Name of Love) and Mothers of the Disappeared, as well as newer material from 2000’s All That You Can’t Leave Behind album. This is infuriating to me because this was supposed to be the U2 tour in support of their most recent album, 2009’s No Line on the Horizon, which in my mind is the best U2 album since 1997’s Pop, while All That You Can’t Leave Behind ranks near the bottom of their albums in terms of quality.

And tonight, following the live setlist, there was a clear division between people pissed that the band only played 3 songs from the new album (2, actually, the remix shouldn’t count) while playing up to 6 songs from a far inferior album! An album that contains the two worst U2 songs ever written, Stuck In a Moment (You Can’t Get Out Of) and Wild Honey. Absolutely terrible songs.

And it is especially frustrating when certain older members on Twitter simply say “that is your opinion” as if to say that all quality of music is subjective and that there are no objective standards of musical quality. The vast majority of U2 fans agree with me, yet we are somehow in the wrong.

Right now, U2 is touring not for the fans, but for the cash, and that sucks. I applaud them for digging deeper into their catalog and adding one or two songs; the tour was growing stale and needed fresher material. But please, U2, support your two greatest artistic achievements in the last 15 years; quit acting like only the money albums exist.

/rant

Twitter is awesome. Older U2 fans can be frustrating.

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