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eaplatt

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Everything posted by eaplatt

  1. So the whole tax-dodger discussion has been deleted? Not locked, not edited, but completely erased--because one or two posters acted badly? No explanation at all? This is abuse (and ham-fisted censorship) to those of us who actually replied constructively on the thread. Do our voices count for nothing? Someone like me makes a series of sound arguments, and all one wrecker has to do is get on the boards and raise a stink and presto! Everyone gets their words snuffed out. Which I'm sure saved him having to do much work on defending his arguments. I understand that there's a need for moderation, but is someone 'upstairs' aware that by censoring all our work, you've just helped out the likes of "Amused" and other Art Uncut symps? Like we used to ask on the playground: Whose side are you on, anyways? This place is going down hill, and fast. Just as well that my membership expires in a few weeks, because I've no real reason to participate anymore. Hope my fellow 'ganders enjoy the show in East Lansing tonight. I'm gone. -- eaplatt
  2. I'm too broke to be adventurous these days, but there's still plenty to do. I work full time, and college starts up again in August, so between now and then, I intend to cram down a lot of reading, as well as brush up a bit on some languages. Crunch time is coming with school; I have to nail the last few credits I need to transfer, and prepare applications for four-year schools (not that I expect any of them to take me, honestly). On top of all that, I'm still DJing with the KUSF crew, now that we're in "exile" and fighting the sale of the station before the FCC. I'm back to DJing on graveyard Monday a.m.; go to savekusf.org and follow the links to hear our archives and live shows (my handle is The BattleAxe). If the FCC rules against us, we'll have to look into doing an appeal, and the ruling could come down any day now. No rest for the wicked! --
  3. Well, we can't fault McGuinness for being honest there. Mind you, he just cost U2 a big chunk of their fanbase, but seeing as how they've been hellbent on destroying their fanbase in recent years, maybe this is all part of some grand scheme? "Cash grab" it is - and I won't be buying it, just like I refuse(d) to buy all the other overpriced "deluxe" U2 re-releases that have been pumped out over the years. To judge from the sales figures I've seen, I have a lot of company. All the other re-issues have apparently sold poorly; even supposedly "limited edition" versions are easy to find in the shops. So why, then, are U2 doing the same thing with AB and Zooropa? The band are obviously freaked out by the (relatively) low sales for NLOTH, to the point where it's got them unable to get their heads around putting out a new album; so, how is releasing another couple of overpriced re-issues supposed to help? All this sort of thing does is alienate their fans, fail to impress non-fans, sell poorly, and then the band take delivery of a big helping of negative karma down the road--namely, alienated fans won't turn out to buy your new material (especially if you've done the overwrought/overpriced multiple versions thing with that one, too.) If U2 were smart--and they're listening to their record label, so they're not very smart--they'd do the nice remastered disc thing, for sale at standard retail prices, just to keep the old back catalog fresh and shiny. Then do the bonus-material disc(s) in a separate, fan-friendly set that hasn't been created just to screw U2 fans out of more money. I guarantee you, the fans would buy something like that, but they're going to need to see real value for their money. Real life has shown that U2 fans don't turn out in droves to buy a lot of overpriced nothing. Also proof that U2 really need to stop listening to their record label (and McGuinness): Pretty much any "bonus" material released will almost immediately hit the Internet in some form or another--no one needs to pay sky-high prices to hear the stuff. If/when U2 ever get their nerve up and release a new album, they also need to not release the album in multiple overpriced packaging schemes, because that's a major turn-off to music buyers. So...let's say there's a new U2 CD released, with, um, a bad movie on DVD, or a magazine, or pictures, thrown in to a fancier sleeve and marked up the wazoo. Note to U2: No. One. Gives. A. F**k. About fancy sleeves or magazines or arty music video aka 'screen saver' stuff. Honestly. We could use a little more value, and a lot more respect, please. --
  4. And the problem with heavy hydration is then you want to pee--a bit of a problem for fans with GA tickets. Of course, experience has taught me that if you stay put on the field long enough, any urge to go wee will slowly fade, the longer you stay put. This, of course, means you're slowly dehydrating. Big fun! Yes, adding heat and/or humidity to the mix can't be good. Most venue have their concessions contracts locked in, but good, and there isn't much that a band on tour can do to change things (if they even notice). I know a lot of venues try to argue that their ban on all types of bottles and cans is for safety, e.g., cans and bottles can be thrown, and if they're full of fluid, can pack quite a wallop. Doesn't do much good to point out that the plastic long-neck $5 bottles of beer being sold by the vendors could also make a very nice projectile. --
  5. Oh, hmmm...was almost going to finally hammer together a list, but I'm a bit tired tonight. So, leave it at this: I first saw U2 in 1981, and the Oakland show earlier this month was either U2 show #54 or #55, so, yes, lots of shows in the years between. I really should put together a master list someday, so I can keep my dates and numbers straight! --
  6. PS: I got a nosebleed this morning, just from getting out of bed. Sensitive! If I had had a "bleeder" seat way up on top of "Mt. Davis" at the Oakland Coliseum, my head probably would have exploded. --
  7. A bad GA spot beats any nosebleed seat any day. I had GA for the Oakland show. Didn't get there at the crack of dawn; didn't get down onto the field until the first band started to play! Got a spot on the rail that separated us peasants from the "Red" VIP zone, so had a pretty good view of the stage (from the side) for the show. I didn't feel the need to suffer for hours to get into the inner circle--by now, if U2 haven't grasped the fact that I'm a fan, getting 'inner' won't do anything to convince them, y'know--and I didn't want to get squished by trying to be front-and-center, either. Being a bit off center at U2 shows can work nicely; less crush, good view, you can see the band, the stage/screens, and the crowd. Just pick whether you want to be on Edge's side or Adam's side. -- eaplatt
  8. 80 bucks for six things? Sounds about right for the store also known as Whole Paycheck. Sorry, looks like your link is busted, but you can still find it on Youtube OK.
  9. So, hmmm, I guess being a super-duper U2 fan means a person can't be employed, or in school, or live in the hinterlands, or have dependents, or (*shudder*) have something resembling a 'life.' I mean, there were fans camping on the BART bridge a full day before the show, in bad weather. How far do we let some people push the super-duper fan syndrome, to the point of excluding anyone who isn't equally nuts? Also, why blame the obvious blunders of the local organizers (both Live Nation and the County agencies) on the fans themselves? What sort of music fan springs to the defense of the likes of Ticketmaster/Live Nation, and attacks other fans for their misfortune? By the way, I noticed on Google news that Live Nation and the Anaheim authorities (stadium, muni, whoever) are being quite active in getting press out about transit and traffic issues--avoiding traffic jams, extra trains being laid on, etc.--which is in marked contrast to the way things were handled up here. I don't know if this PR-happy thing is the norm in Anaheim, but I can't help but wonder if the problems in Oakland have forced their hand (and press releases). If this is the case, it's a backhanded admission that they effed up with a big "F" in Oakland. --
  10. Tags: None [From the San Jose Mercury News online edition] Oakland Coliseum operator defends planning leading up to U2 concert By Angela Woodall Oakland Tribune Posted: 06/17/2011 12:00:00 AM PDT In July 2010, an Alameda County grand jury stepped up criticism over operations at the municipally owned sports and entertainment complex in Oakland, now called O.co Coliseum. Jurors issued a troubling list of lingering concerns over the "fragmented, uncertain and unclear" oversight exerted by the Coliseum Authority, an eight-person board of commissioners. Management improved incrementally since, but a June 7 U2 concert sparked criticism over operations after concertgoers found themselves stranded in a traffic snarl on Interstate 880 or fruitlessly searching for parking in sight of the Coliseum. Some of them gave up, forfeiting hundreds of dollars in tickets, baby-sitting, gas and other expenses. A man claiming to be one of the inconvenienced would-be attendees set up a website where others could record their U2 concert traffic stories. Patrick Missud also tried to rally concertgoers to demand compensation for, among other things, better security to "prevent road rage"; compensation of costs to people who didn't get to see the concert; and more parking. He cited the NFL's decision to compensate Super Bowl fans who missed the kickoff in February. But in that case a seating blunder was to blame. If the Coliseum did not respond similarly, relief would include "lots and lots of out-of-pocket losses," Missud wrote Wednesday in an email that landed in the hands of the Oakland Coliseum Joint Venture, which monitors operations. The Coliseum complex is owned by the city of Oakland and Alameda County and subsidized by taxpayers -- $21 million in fiscal year 2009-10 and about the same amount in previous years, according to financial statements. The Coliseum Authority created the Oakland Coliseum Joint Venture to monitor operations. But the principal owner of the Joint Venture is SMG, which received $616,312 during fiscal year 2009-10 to take care of daily operations and is not audited by Oakland or Alameda County, according to financial statements. SMG also lacked oversight, according to the 2010 grand jury, whose recommendation to appoint an executive director was fulfilled that same year with an interim manager and more recently a permanent chief. SMG executives, however, defended the company's planning for the U2 concert. The company opened the main lot at 7 a.m., hired 18 Oakland police officers to direct traffic and parking and had 58,000 of the 59,400 attendees in their seats on time, SMG General Manager Ron Little said. Police ushered drivers to overflow parking after cars filled the main lot by 7 p.m. Leading up to the concert, SMG, the Coliseum Joint Venture and concert promoter Live Nation put out multiple warnings about transportation by website, email, Facebook and Twitter. "The decision (unfortunately made by a number of ticket holders) to drive to O.Co Coliseum close to the starting time of the concert and during the height of the combined rush-hour traffic and concert traffic, rather than to arrive earlier or take public transportation, is not a basis for a refund," wrote Attorney Elliott Myles, in response to Missud's demands and threat of legal action. A lack of familiarity with Oakland and fear compounded the problem. One woman complained that she and her husband, who left the South Bay at 5:50 p.m., had to wander around a mile from the Coliseum "in the middle of the night" in Oakland. They parked across the overpass on Oakport Street where overflow parking is routinely directed during Raiders games. The woman meant that they were in danger because the roadways from there to the Coliseum are not designed for pedestrians and because the couple was unfamiliar with the area and didn't make their way east to streets where parking places stood empty. Police did not appear to have directed people to them. Little said SMG's control ends at city streets except for the overflow parking lots the company operates. In addition, BART had warned riders that the last train would leave at midnight, prompting many people to flood the walkways at 11:30 p.m. Service actually ended at 2:28 a.m. Yet BART alerted no one to the service extension. Myles also argued there's more parking at the Coliseum than other Bay Area venues, such as the HP Pavilion in San Jose and most major San Francisco venues, which must rely more heavily on public transportation. The closest in size is Candlestick Park, home of the San Francisco 49ers. The stadium offers close to 10,000 parking places and has a total seating capacity of 69,732. The Coliseum seats 70,000 during concerts, more than any other venue in the Bay Area. Coliseum parking totals about 8,800 in the parking lot and about 1,100 in the two overflow lots. That leaves many thousands without a spot in both venues. And traffic around Candlestick is known to be difficult. The Candlestick website, however, provides better instructions than the Coliseum's site and gives tips about traffic, more meticulous maps and a video called "Candlestick Park Traffic 101." SMG Executive Vice President Doug Thornton said his company would consider following Candlestick's example. But, he added, June 7 "appears to be an anomaly." # # # [Originally published on mercurynews.com.]
  11. [From the San Jose Mercury News online edition] Oakland Coliseum operator defends planning leading up to U2 concert By Angela WoodallOakland Tribune Posted: 06/17/2011 12:00:00 AM PDT In July 2010, an Alameda County grand jury stepped up criticism over operations at the municipally owned sports and entertainment complex in Oakland, now called O.co Coliseum. Jurors issued a troubling list of lingering concerns over the "fragmented, uncertain and unclear" oversight exerted by the Coliseum Authority, an eight-person board of commissioners. Management improved incrementally since, but a June 7 U2 concert sparked criticism over operations after concertgoers found themselves stranded in a traffic snarl on Interstate 880 or fruitlessly searching for parking in sight of the Coliseum. Some of them gave up, forfeiting hundreds of dollars in tickets, baby-sitting, gas and other expenses. A man claiming to be one of the inconvenienced would-be attendees set up a website where others could record their U2 concert traffic stories. Patrick Missud also tried to rally concertgoers to demand compensation for, among other things, better security to "prevent road rage"; compensation of costs to people who didn't get to see the concert; and more parking. He cited the NFL's decision to compensate Super Bowl fans who missed the kickoff in February. But in that case a seating blunder was to blame. If the Coliseum did not respond similarly, relief would include "lots and lots of out-of-pocket losses," Missud wrote Wednesday in an email that landed in the hands of the Oakland Coliseum Joint Venture, which monitors operations. The Coliseum complex is owned by the city of Oakland and Alameda County and subsidized by taxpayers -- $21 million in fiscal year 2009-10 and about the same amount in previous years, according to financial statements. The Coliseum Authority created the Oakland Coliseum Joint Venture to monitor operations. But the principal owner of the Joint Venture is SMG, which received $616,312 during fiscal year 2009-10 to take care of daily operations and is not audited by Oakland or Alameda County, according to financial statements. SMG also lacked oversight, according to the 2010 grand jury, whose recommendation to appoint an executive director was fulfilled that same year with an interim manager and more recently a permanent chief. SMG executives, however, defended the company's planning for the U2 concert. The company opened the main lot at 7 a.m., hired 18 Oakland police officers to direct traffic and parking and had 58,000 of the 59,400 attendees in their seats on time, SMG General Manager Ron Little said. Police ushered drivers to overflow parking after cars filled the main lot by 7 p.m. Leading up to the concert, SMG, the Coliseum Joint Venture and concert promoter Live Nation put out multiple warnings about transportation by website, email, Facebook and Twitter. "The decision (unfortunately made by a number of ticket holders) to drive to O.Co Coliseum close to the starting time of the concert and during the height of the combined rush-hour traffic and concert traffic, rather than to arrive earlier or take public transportation, is not a basis for a refund," wrote Attorney Elliott Myles, in response to Missud's demands and threat of legal action. A lack of familiarity with Oakland and fear compounded the problem. One woman complained that she and her husband, who left the South Bay at 5:50 p.m., had to wander around a mile from the Coliseum "in the middle of the night" in Oakland. They parked across the overpass on Oakport Street where overflow parking is routinely directed during Raiders games. The woman meant that they were in danger because the roadways from there to the Coliseum are not designed for pedestrians and because the couple was unfamiliar with the area and didn't make their way east to streets where parking places stood empty. Police did not appear to have directed people to them. Little said SMG's control ends at city streets except for the overflow parking lots the company operates. In addition, BART had warned riders that the last train would leave at midnight, prompting many people to flood the walkways at 11:30 p.m. Service actually ended at 2:28 a.m. Yet BART alerted no one to the service extension. Myles also argued there's more parking at the Coliseum than other Bay Area venues, such as the HP Pavilion in San Jose and most major San Francisco venues, which must rely more heavily on public transportation. The closest in size is Candlestick Park, home of the San Francisco 49ers. The stadium offers close to 10,000 parking places and has a total seating capacity of 69,732. The Coliseum seats 70,000 during concerts, more than any other venue in the Bay Area. Coliseum parking totals about 8,800 in the parking lot and about 1,100 in the two overflow lots. That leaves many thousands without a spot in both venues. And traffic around Candlestick is known to be difficult. The Candlestick website, however, provides better instructions than the Coliseum's site and gives tips about traffic, more meticulous maps and a video called "Candlestick Park Traffic 101." SMG Executive Vice President Doug Thornton said his company would consider following Candlestick's example. But, he added, June 7 "appears to be an anomaly." # # # [Originally published on mercurynews.com.]
  12. ...and that's Muni we're talking about here, which is a transit system where "on time" is only a theory. But I've seen many times where BART and Muni work together to get BART riders quickly transferred to the Muni train to the ballpark: fare gates open, conductors out with transfers and information, and so on. On game day, there's always some number of cops out to direct street traffic. I guess the moral of the story is, professional sports carry more weight with the powers-that-be (and the transit unions), and you can bet that if someone was as slovenly about transit/traffic at the SF ballpark as Live Nation and the public agencies were at the Coliseum last week, there'd be hell to pay--in the press, in City Hall, in boardrooms. But, hey, if U2 wanna let their A-list competition play concerts in a better joint (our ballpark) while U2 stick with the rapidly decaying pile of Brutalist concrete that is the Oakland Coliseum....well, they're the rock stars, who am I to argue with them? --
  13. I stood on the corner and sold drugs. OK, really, I work in a pharmacy, so I do sell drugs--legally. If I say it the first way, it makes people pay more attention. I work on weekends, so not much more done than other work days. Free time on the computer or reading--a bit more reading than a typical weekend, even, since the new roommate accidentally knocked us offline for a day or so. Reading on paleography (again), would love to get a degree in manuscript studies, would probably be just as unemployable then as I am now, but so what? Interesting stuff. -- eaplatt
  14. It doesn't hurt to vent about it, though I don't think there's any grounds for a lawsuit of any sort--not that it doesn't hurt to rattle the sabres at Live Nation (et al) a bit. Might keep them on their toes. Maybe. You'd think that Live Nation would pay more attention to this sort of thing, nowadays not so much for fear of having another Who-at-Cincinnati tragedy occur, but just because it's good for business. LN is always poor-mouthing to the media, bemoaning the fact that 40% of concert tickets go unsold, etc. So why make concerts such a hassle? And the bigger the concert, the bigger the hassle. Public transit is a big part of the picture up here--a lot of shows at places like Shoreline (in Mt. View) and the hockey arena down in San Jose don't sell out because there's no real transit to be found after 10pm. Oakland has been a concert draw for decades because the Coliseum/Arena is sited right alongside the BART lines. There are few artists out there who merit time and money spent on arranging time off work, paid transit, and all the other logistical hassles that come with a major show. U2 are probably the last band on earth that are worth the hassle. Live Nation can eat that unsold 40% on the other shows, and I'll buy them some ketchup to help it go down nicely. Nowadays, I mostly go to shows at smaller venues--and only the (original) Fillmore is owned/booked by Live Nation, so except for U2 concerts, I really don't spend much time in Live Nation's universe. The last show I saw was Black Dub (Daniel Lanois' new combo) at the Independent; very hassle-free. I am tempted to take in one day of the Outside Lands festival, but we'll see who's on the bill the day I'm off work! Guess that I'm quite past the age where I'm going to put up with the live music biz conceit that the fans will put up with any amount of crap to see their fave bands play. There are plenty of smaller venues where you an hear good live music in the Bay Area. Don't patronize Live Nation shows or ventures, except in dire situations (like another U2 concert), and if you do go to a Live Nation-run event, if it's bigger than a barn dance, assume that there'll be hassles galore to overcome on the way to the show. I think I just told you to be cheap and cynical! Meanwhile, Live Nation can cry me a river about their unsold tickets. They've only themselves to blame. --
  15. It doesn't hurt to vent about it, though I don't think there's any grounds for a lawsuit of any sort--not that it doesn't hurt to rattle the sabres at Live Nation (et al) a bit. Might keep them on their toes. Maybe. You'd think that Live Nation would pay more attention to this sort of thing, nowadays not so much for fear of having another Who-at-Cincinnati tragedy occur, but just because it's good for business. LN is always poor-mouthing to the media, bemoaning the fact that 40% of concert tickets go unsold, etc. So why make concerts such a hassle? And the bigger the concert, the bigger the hassle. Public transit is a big part of the picture up here--a lot of shows at places like Shoreline (in Mt. View) and the hockey arena down in San Jose don't sell out because there's no real transit to be found after 10pm. Oakland has been a concert draw for decades because the Coliseum/Arena is sited right alongside the BART lines. There are few artists out there who merit time and money spent on arranging time off work, paid transit, and all the other logistical hassles that come with a major show. U2 are probably the last band on earth that are worth the hassle. Live Nation can eat that unsold 40% on the other shows, and I'll buy them some ketchup to help it go down nicely. Nowadays, I mostly go to shows at smaller venues--and only the (original) Fillmore is owned/booked by Live Nation, so except for U2 concerts, I really don't spend much time in Live Nation's universe. The last show I saw was Black Dub (Daniel Lanois' new combo) at the Independent; very hassle-free. I am tempted to take in one day of the Outside Lands festival, but we'll see who's on the bill the day I'm off work! Guess that I'm quite past the age where I'm going to put up with the live music biz conceit that the fans will put up with any amount of crap to see their fave bands play. There are plenty of smaller venues where you an hear good live music in the Bay Area. Don't patronize Live Nation shows or ventures, except in dire situations (like another U2 concert), and if you do go to a Live Nation-run event, if it's bigger than a barn dance, assume that there'll be hassles galore to overcome on the way to the show. I think I just told you to be cheap and cynical! Meanwhile, Live Nation can cry me a river about their unsold tickets. They've only themselves to blame. --
  16. More randumb thoughts about last Tuesday's show: --> Oakland isn't Istanbul, or Naples, for that matter. Which terrible traffic capital should the Bay Area aspire to beat? --> A good driver can get from San Francisco to Los Angeles in about five hours, weather willing. If someone has to spend four hours getting from the 'burbs to the Oakland Coliseum, that's not doofiness on their part; that's cosmically bad traffic. --> The powers-that-be can turn out and push parking/driving/transit options for major league sporting events; why not for rock concerts? --> Live Nation can't run a decent U2 fan club, so I don't know if I'd trust them with handling local transit for major shows! --> Still, it seems that Live Nation/Ticketmaster can spam us at will, thanks to us having to buy U2 tickets online, so why couldn't they do the spammy thing constructively with transit/parking/driving info? --> I took BART, and yes, that very crowded and underventilated train got me to the Coliseum, but things on BART were just a mess. Misleading signage, short trains (at rush hour!), staff didn't know their arses from their elbows, and it took me over two hours to get to my local BART station after the show. You'd think they'd never done this sort of thing before. --> I realize that for some people, a concert like this is one of the few times a lot of people actually ride on BART. Also, a lot of people who live out here are--if you'll pardon me for pulling rank--newbies to the Bay Area. There hasn't been a major rock concert at the Coliseum since...jeez, maybe it was U2 in '97! (Correct me if I'm wrong...but stadium shows are rarities nowadays.) Plus there are fans from out of town, who'll BART it rather than rent a car. Just about every time I take BART to a show, I have to help people get around the system. Yes, at the Coliseum/Airport station, there were signs all over saying BART CLOSES AT 12:01 and LAST TRAIN AT 12:20 a.m. I'd think: Bullshit! But a lot of fans were, in fact, quite convinced that they were about to be stranded in Oakland after the show. --> Maybe Oakland has gotten tired and lazy, and/or just isn't used to doing king-sized shows in football stadiums. U2 should play in SF next time; the China Basin ballpark, or even Golden Gate Park, or how about Treasure Island? --> One big reason for doing stadium shows is ease of parking and traffic--they're supposed to cater to people who drive! If someone books into a football stadium, and the audience can't get there, or park there, I think the stadium-show concept is probably dead. --> Stadium shows are also big regional concerts, so the promoters (and city/county agencies) should expect a lot of traffic and parking issues. Day-trippers won't be savvy about things like parking at a remote BART station and shuttling down to the Coliseum, and they won't know the shortcuts and side routes that could be taken to get to the Coliseum, especially when there's been a major traffic fail. I'd bet the powers-that-be would pull out all the stops to cater to a similar crowd for a massive sporting event. If not...well, again: SF, just west over the water. Case in point: Last year, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass drew an estimated crowd of 700,000 people over the 2 1/2 days of the festival. That's 700,000 people flowing through one part of Golden Gate Park over a single weekend. (I think some thousands of those were the same guys going back and forth to the nearby stores for beer...but otherwise, it's a pretty solid statistic.) That's almost the population of SF itself. --> Now we know why U2 gets to their shows by helicopter! --
  17. Dim memory of Anaheim...recall it consists of only a few things: Disneyland, parking lots, motels, and more parking lots. Land is cheap (was cheap?) and the car is king in southern California, so I'd be curious how the Anaheim show goes off, compared to Oakland. Keep us informed! The loser in the whole Oakland fall-out is Oakland itself (and Alameda County). You'd think they'd be a bit more into having a show of this size (finally) land on their doorstep. Sure, some of the fans are going to be cheap SOBs like myself--show up, go in, drink water, don't bother with the concessions, go straight home after the show--but some percentage of the crowd are going to pay to park, take taxis, grab something to eat before/after the show, patronize the stadium concessions, rent hotel rooms, etc. At a time when Oakland is pleading poverty and cutting services, etc., you'd think they'd welcome even a one-day spurt of revenue. Contrast that with the approach of the City of East Lansing (where I lived before I moved to the Bay Area). There's even a special U2-concert page on the City's official website, with info on parking, hotels, etc., though there's also an email address listed for complaints about noise the night of the show. The East Lansing library extends an invitation to U2 fans to drop in--and they even offer free parking in their lot! They've got a U2 display, air conditioning, Internet access, and parking--out here, BART couldn't even get their own damned signs straight. On the other other hand, Spartan Stadium has an awfully severe policy on what you can/can't bring in--no purses, even? There are gonna be some very irritated ladies in that audience. There's a complete lack of transit info, but the CATA buses probably still don't run on Sundays, so no surprise. Still, Michigan has been in a permanent recession since 1978, and the population of East Lansing will double the day of the show, and the locals know that there's going to be a financial payoff to all this, so the welcome mat is out. Oakland has gotten a bit spoiled perhaps, but haven't grasped that there are few bands left who can play to stadium crowds, and that bigger music events tend to be multi-act festivals--which have sprouted up in, off all places, San Francisco itself. Hardly Strictly Bluegrass and Outside Lands in Golden Gate Park, and Treasure Island Music Festival on Treasure Island. The China Basin ballpark has been used for bigger names (Springsteen, Green Day, et al). Maybe Oakland's time is past--because, honestly, if you have to use public transit to get to a show, why go to Oakland, when you can use transit to get around SF any day? -- eaplatt
  18. You know, I've seen every U2 show at the Oakland Coliseum since their first there, back in 1987. Tuesday's show was definitely a mess, in terms of transit and parking. I've already posted a bit on this subject over in the "Countdown to Oakland" thread, and won't just repost it here, though I may repeat a few points. Me? I don't have a driver's license right now, so I took BART, and yes, the trains were crammed full (thanks to rush hour + the concert), and I'm surprised the rocket scientists at the Coliseum blamed the traffic/parking debacle on "not enough people taking BART." Huh? BART was bursting at the seams. How could they pack in any more passengers? I noticed that the Coliseum-bound lines, even at rush hour, weren't all full-length 10-car trains, and didn't hear any announcements reminding Coliseum-bound passengers to be sure to get their return tickets in advance, to avoid the mosh pit experience at the Coliseum/Airport BART station after a big show. (Not that any official BART announcement would ever use the words "mosh pit.") This sort of thing--longer trains, station announcements--have been standard for major events at the Coliseum for years. The signage at BART was blatantly wrong, and many fans who did fine getting to the show by BART left early (and needlessly) because they really thought that the gates would close at Midnight. Given that BART couldn't even get their own station signage right, don't know how much help their other sources of info would be (and have you ever tried getting anything other than endless voicemail menus on BART's info lines?) 511 is a joke (apologies to PE). The Coliseum is little better; when I called them about a week before the concert, it was total voicemail hell, no return call ever came, and their taped events calendar had last been updated in....January. Ever since a Dylan/Dead show at the Coliseum back in the 80s, BART has always held trains until after a concert has ended--even if the concert ends past Midnight. Why? Thousands of stranded Deadheads, that's why--and a very angry Bill Graham, who had a few choice words with the local authorities afterwards. Live Nation certainly deserves the major flogging for what happened; it's part of their job to anticipate things like, oh, I dunno, 70,000+ people descending on the stadium in the course of one afternoon? There are plenty of smaller clubs and bars around here that devote a lot of time and money to making sure there aren't hassles from noise, traffic, smoking, littering, etc., but Live Nation couldn't spare one brain cell to consider the logistics of hosting a stadium concert? The various municipal entitites--city/county/state--like BART, CHP, Oakland PD--also weren't very bright. Imagine if this had been a rowdier/drunkier/crazier audience. There probably would have been casualties. Worst-case thoughts aside, BART and the County should have promoted parking/transit alternatives, and, frankly, they both would have seen more revenue from both parking and BARTing. (For those of you outside the Bay Area: the Coliseum-Arena complex is municipally owned.) Best solution: U2 should ditch the Coliseum and play over here (multiple nights!) at the China Basin ballpark! -- eaplatt
  19. More bloggy info, this time courtesy of sfgate.com (aka The San Francisco Chronicle): Inside Scoop SF: The time when U2, Green Day and Metallica held a "G3" summt at A16 Rock stars. U2. Photo: Audrey Whitmeyer-Weathers/The Chronicle, 6/7/2011 ----------------------------------- On Tuesday night, U2 rocked the Oakland Coliseum (or whatever it’s called today). But on Monday night, the band convened with members of the two of the Bay Area’s most famous local bands — Green Day and Metallica – for what Bono dubbed a “G3 summit†(see video below). The best part, however, is that the meeting took place at A16 in the Marina — at least before it tailed over into Tequila time, as the Edge describes (they went to Rye after). They were seated in the back area, and grazed on a few pizzas and vegetable dishes. And since it’s A16, they were all very interested in learning about Italian wines, but above all, word is that they were all really considerate and conscientious. There was a fun twist, too: Darina Allen, a Slow Food advocate who has been dubbed the Alice Waters of Ireland, just happened to be at A16 that night, too. She had never been to a U2 concert; well, as luck would have it, the Irish rockers embraced the Irish chef and she found her way to the Coliseum the next night. A16: 2355 Chestnut Street, between Divisadero and Scott; (415) 771-2216 or a16sf.com 0 1 # # # The sfgate.com blog also has a youtube video with Bono's comments about the Bay Area, but I can't for the life of me seem to get it to post. Brain not work good today, sorry! Anyone who's more nimble, feel free to try. --
  20. Hmmm...the "G3" summit and/or tequila decommissioning effort mentioned onstage at U2's Oakland show has gotten at least one bit of bloggy gossip--courtesy of the "Tablehopper" site--with a little extra detail thrown in: Rock Stars in the Fast Lane at A16 According to this tweet from Michael Murphy, A16 was busy with rock star diners last night: U2’s drummer ~Larry Mullen Jr.~ and ~The Edge~, ~Billie Joe Armstrong~ of Green Day, plus ~Lars Ulrich~ and ~Lou Reed~ were all dining together in the restaurant. A tablehopper tipster who was boozin’ on the town also spotted the group at Rye later in the evening.
  21. Come to think of it: are all the performers at Glastonbury fully tax-compliant? Just asking. And funny how the protesters are only asking Bono to 'pay up.' Really--the other guys are off the hook? Are we to assume they're OK with The Edge, Adam, Larry and (what the heck) Paul McGuinness carrying on as they are now? Party on, dudes! The Edge does own a home outside of Dublin, and it reportedly is very large and/or very expensive. Shocking, I know. The initial gripe some pundits had against U2's shifting their publishing arm to the Netherlands was that they were avoiding paying taxes, yet Bono was lobbying governments to increase their aid/development efforts to underdeveloped nations. But...it doesn't add up that way, even to the math-challenged person like myself: --> Under the old Irish artists' exemption scheme, royalties went untaxed. The new tax scheme, which went into place a few years ago, now taxes the same earnings at a rate at or near 40%. (Anyone out there who's savvier about Ireland's tax laws, feel free to barge in and correct me!) --> U2 now reportedly pay 12.5% tax on their formerly tax-exempt earnings; in other words, the same tax rate as is given to corporations who set up shop in Ireland to avoid paying high(er) taxes in their home countries. --> If you're now wondering why the Irish government didn't realize they had some competition from the Netherlands on this matter, and why they wouldn't offer the same tax rate to Irish artists...I dunno. Have you noticed what they did with the economy? Economic geniuses. --> Last time I heard, both Ireland and the UK had not fully funded their promised aid to the developing world--in other words, they were coming up short, not that they don't have plenty of company in this regard. (If there have been more recent updates, again, feel free to correct me, but with the world economy being as hammered as it has been these past few years, I doubt we'll see much progress on this matter.) But the Netherlands--U2's evil tax shelter--have met their aid goals. So, really, U2 are not only paying taxes on a revenue stream that was previously tax-exempt, they're paying it in a country who've met their pledges for international aid. Someone, elsewhere on these boards, was looking for an example of 'irony.' I think the above would qualify. Part of the problem is that most people outside of Ireland don't understand what the Irish artists' tax exemption was all about. So you constantly hear people yammering about how U2 have lived "tax free" for their entire career, when in fact the tax-exemption clearly didn't cover all forms of income. Also, word has it that U2 didn't qualify for the exemption until sometime before The Joshua Tree was released. I'm not their accountant, I can't verify that info, though I do recall seeing it in print in the Irish media, with no retractions, so it seems plausible. If the 'uncut' folks are genuinely concerned about the Irish people, they'd spend their time protesting the British banks and investors who will be repaid with Irish tax money to cover the reckless investments they made in Ireland during the boom. Or as some pundits have put it, the working poor and middle class of Ireland will be covering the gambling debts of some of Britain's wealthiest investors. Then there's the fact that Ireland is spending 50% of their tax revenue repaying those debts--again, payments to the wealthiest people and the wealthiest institutions in the wealthiest countries. Perhaps 'uncut' should steal a trick from Bono himself, and lobby their own country's institutions to "drop the debt" and do a bit of developed-world debt cancellation. -- eaplatt PS - Apologies to Billy Bragg for the subject line... ;-)
  22. Read the 'uncut' groups statement in the Guardian. Hmm. I tend to be wary of British people who go justify their actions with the claim that it's in the best interests of the Irish people. Oh, at first, it's all very high-minded and seems quite rational, but before long, it turns into nothing but the same old story--out come the guns, the bullying, attempts to impose British culture and politics on the Irish, the racism. (Of course, should anyone Irish hit back at this sort of thing, it's denounced as 'extremism' or 'terrorism.') I wonder how many of the protesters ever did any actions against British rule over the Six Counties? Just asking. Also, their logic (sic) is that Ireland would be suffering no fiscal woes whatsoever, if only a few Irish rock stars paid more tax. Well, I'm all for the wealthy paying up--I just don't think that there are enough music stars in all of Ireland to reverse the economic situation, even if they were taxed up the wazoo. Also, they're arguing that only taxes (or lack thereof) are the cause of the Irish economic crisis. But this totally lets off the hook all the big banks and investors (etc.) in bigger, wealthier European countries that were keen to cash in on the "Celtic tiger" economy, then worked to get it so that Irish taxpayers (including the rock stars) now are on the hook to pay off billions of euros in loans to wealthy corporations in other countries. (That's oversimplified, but it's late, and I'm tired!) After all, U2 and other artists enjoyed the Irish artists' tax exemption on royalties for most of the boom years in Ireland, and the country wasn't suffering the way it is now. So how could it be the cause (or cure) now? Speculators and cronyism set things up for the fall--and while it would be good for the richest in Ireland to fork over more of their income to help at least maintain basic social services, U2 would actually be a ways down the rich-list. The Irish boom produced billionaires, men (mostly) who made their pile thanks in no small part of generous tax breaks and subsidies offered by the Irish government, and from what I've read, even a fraction of those tax breaks would outstrip U2's total worth, not just the earnings that were once tax-exempt. Stuff like developers getting tax breaks during the boom, totalling something like 300 million euros (spread out over several years), to build holiday homes on 'spec' or hotels, etc. The 'uncut' folks would do better to home in on British banks who will be taking Irish tax money to pay off the bad debts left behind by the banks' failed speculations. Or figure out which British-based companies have moved operations to Ireland, to take advantage of the lower corporate tax rate! Then there's the somewhat naive argument that simply increasing the flow of tax dollars into the government's coffers will automatically result in an increase in social services and the like. That's the ideal, but honestly, it doesn't work that way. Unless there's some solid social legislation in place to guarantee that tax money will be used for social needs, not tax breaks for the business pals of Fianna Fail backbenchers, etc., then an increase in money won't necessarily mean an increase in services. The UK itself has a fine old tradition of very wealthy rock stars who manage to stay one skip ahead of the tax man--why doesn't 'uncut' go bother them? In most cases, this tax-dodging doesn't involve just a slice of revenue--in contrast, U2 have only offshored their publishing business to the Netherlands, where they reportedly pay the same tax rate as the Irish corporate tax rate--but the classic British rock-star-tax-dodge means everything earned. They take up residence outside of the UK (some lived in Ireland and enjoyed the artists' tax exemption!) and don't pay a pence to Revenue, if they can help it. Sometimes for decades. Kind of makes me wonder why 'uncut' haven't caught on to this? OK, maybe they can't afford to go protest in the south of France, or Los Angeles. Helluvva commute, true. Pots and kettles, motes and beams. I'm off to bed! -- eaplatt
  23. You're not the only fan who's noticed that U2 have dropped any unreleased songs from their setlist in N.A. Maybe U2 think their fans in the US and Canada aren't "groovy" enough to chance hearing something that hasn't been played to death on the radio. And no, Bono is never going to live down that remark. -- eaplatt PS - Just for the record (no pun intended), I prefer the longer, studio version of "Mercy" to the live version, but still would be delighted to hear the song live, even if edited a bit too much!
  24. Well, I'm not driving anywhere -- I'm down here in San Francisco -- but you might want to double-check airfares as a backup. Figure that a drive from Seattle to Oakland would require at least one night's lodging (it's NOT a one-day drive!) plus food for two (+) days, and airfares look a bit more reasonable. If you fly on the weekend, you'll get smacked with a higher fare. If you can fly an airline that offers lower rates for a Mon/Tue flight, you could fly for less--Alaska Air has been offering $70 flights between Seattle and Oakland, but not on weekends. Check their website for all the nitpicky details that airlines love to sneak in there. If you do fly in on the day of the show, be sure to to to Oakland--the airport is right by the Coliseum. Unless someone's offering a spectacularly cheapo fair to SFO, but plan for longer ground transport if that's the case. And fly early in the day (delays/cancellations happen) and I have no idea what you'd do with any luggage and you'll be sonuvvabitchin' tired after the show. But it can be done. I once flew from SF to Germany via Amsterdam, and saw U2 in Dortmund the same day I landed! I'm kind of surprised I had a pulse the next morning, and doing a stunt like that now would probably kill me (this was in 1989), but it's not impossible. Good luck! --
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