Proper Bidet Use

January 17, 2010

When you are visiting hotels in a country outside the U.S. (or U.S. hotels that have extra-large bathrooms or cater to foreign visitors), you might encounter a bidet.

A bidet is located in the bathroom and is typically used to freshen and cleanse your nether regions. (How you go about that is completely up to you.) You can also use it to have your own private fountain shows in your hotel room, with lights and music. My personal favorite is “Singin’ in the Rain,” just like the song in the Bellagio show.

bidet-1

When facing the bidet for the first time, it is important to notice the faucet setup. In most U.S. hotels, the lever for the hot water is on the left, and the lever for the cold water is on the right. Should you choose to face this direction on the bidet (and that is an option), you will have no problem confusing the two.

However, things get a little more tricky if you’re facing the other direction. If you face away from the faucet, you must remember that the levers are reversed. The hot water is now on your right and the cold water is on your left.

bidet-2

For the safety of your bits, do not forget this! If you mistakenly turn the hot water on high, you might end up with scalded parts, just like a dear friend of mine. He limped around for days, possibly weeks.

2009 Music in Review: The Albums

January 1, 2010

For Part 1 of the singles, go here.

For Part 2 of the singles, go here.

    Favorite retro-sounding albums:

    • Noisettes – Wild Young Hearts: This is the mental picture I had of Amy Winehouse before I saw what she looked like (and having high def does nothing for her, let me tell you). Shingai Shoniwa is her polar opposite who is stylish, restrained, and together. Admittedly, I know nothing of her personal life, but it’s a safe bet that it’s a lot more organized than Ms. Winehouse. Shingai has an amazing voice and is engaging to watch (in videos, at least– I hope to see them perform live someday).
    • Raveonettes – In and Out of Control: The Danish duo are at it again with another fantastic album. I have no idea what the lyrics to “Bang!” mean, but the melody makes me giddy. The album has some pure pop moments (the previously mentioned “Bang!”), along with some lush melodies contrasted with dark lyrics (“Last Dance,” “Boys Who Rape (Should All Be Destroyed)”).
    • Cocktail Slippers – St. Valentine’s Day Massacre: The singer’s voice reminds me of Voice of the Beehive, who I absolutely adore. This is a garage band from Oslo, Norway and they have “cocktail” in the name. How could I resist?
    • Glasvegas – s/t: The Jesus and Mary Chain had a love child with The Ronettes and raised it in Scotland.
    • The Leftovers – Eager to Please: I would like to thank my friend Dave for introducing me to yet another fun summer power pop album. He does this every year (see also: Rhett Miller, Everybody Else).

    Favorite mellow albums:

    • The Damnwells – One Last Century: Offered as a free download from Paste magazine, it was priceless in every sense of the word. It’s beautifully written and performed. “Closer Than We Are” gets me every time.
    • Various Artists, Sweetheart – Our Favourite Artists Sing Their Favourite Love Songs: A lovely, understated cover album. The versions of “Take on Me” and “I’m on Fire” surprised me in a good way, and I love Death Cab for Cutie’s cover of The Cure’s “Love Song.” It’s perfect winter music for cuddling under a blanket either alone or with the one you love.
    • The Twilight Hours – Stereo Night: Local mainstays Matt Wilson and John Munson team up for a dreamy collection of songs. The first time I heard “Alone,” I got chills.

    Favorite albums to play loudly:

    • Tinted Windows – s/t: Fountains of Wayne meets Hanson meets Cheap Trick meets Smashing Pumpkins? Absolutely. It helps that Adam Schlesinger wrote most of the songs. He’s one of the most talented songwriters of our time. He’s like Lennon and McCartney rolled into one, except without “Spies Like Us” and “Freedom.” Bun E. Carlos and James Iha are solid, and Taylor Hanson’s vocals are outstanding.
    • Green Day – 21st Century Breakdown: How do you follow up American Idiot? First, you do a side project (Foxboro Hot Tubs) that sounds like a garage band, then you incorporate some of that sound while writing the musical-influenced sequel. It’s not as much of a surprise as American Idiot, but an enjoyable album all the same.
    • Weezer – Raditude: This album could have also fit in the retro category, because there’s something old school about a lot of the songs and the melodies. I liked the red album, but I felt like they were trying to do too much with it and could have used a couple more passes at some of the songs. This album is more cohesive and it seems like they’re having a lot more fun.
    • Cheap Trick – The Latest: They can do no wrong, really. But there are so many bands who have been around forever who just pump out crap to make a buck, yet Cheap Trick produces these solidly crafted albums.
    • Frank Turner – Poetry of the Deed: We were first introduced to Frank Turner when he opened for The Gaslight Anthem in October, and we were glad we got there early to see him perform as the opening act. He played an acoustic set, but it was powerful and passionate, and his songs stayed with me long after he stopped playing. Even though this is acoustic, it rocks in the best way.

    2009 Music in Review: The Singles, Part 2

    January 1, 2010

    For Part 1, go here.

    My other favorite songs from 2009:

    I didn’t really have a neat category for these, but it doesn’t mean I love them any less, and I wanted to give them their own time in a separate post.

    • “Just Say Yes” by Snow Patrol: There’s something sensual about Snow Patrol’s music. It makes you want to grab the person closest to you and make out with them. Or maybe that’s just me.
    • “I Do Not Hook Up” by Kelly Clarkson / Gaslight Anthem: Two different versions of this song, one poppy and upbeat and produced, and the other acoustic and mellow and sparse. Both are excellent.
    • “Fuck You” by Lily Allen: My dedication to all the bigots in the world. Or in the words of a Facebook group, “Against gay marriage? Then don’t get one and shut the fuck up.”
    • Cartoons and Forever Plans” by Maria Taylor: This song features Michael Stipe on backing vocals and is one of the most relaxing songs I’ve ever heard. It just makes me feel calm and happy.
    • “Dominos” by The Big Pink: The production is really lush and it has a Jesus and Mary Chain vibe going on, except with higher vocals.
    • “You Pulled the Rug Out” by Two Harbors: This song also reminds me of British pop, but Two Harbors are from Minnesota. (Side note: This was filmed at Sauce, a bar just around the corner from Hair Police, which is a business you should totally support if you live in the Twin Cities, New York, L.A., or San Francisco. They do amazing things with cuts, color, extensions, and dreads, and are all around good people.)
    • “Okay” by KaiserCartel: Along with “Oasis,” this gets my vote for best song to get stuck in my head this year. If I heard a few lines of this on my way to work, I’d be mentally singing it all day.
    • “Led To The Sea” by Jenny Owen Youngs: I first discovered her work through her cover of “Hot in Herre” on the Coverville year-end countdown a few years ago, but her original songs are fantastic too.
    • “I’m Sorry Baby But You Can’t Stand In My Light Anymore” by Bob Mould: In other words, I can’t stand here and watch you screw up your life and drag me down with you, set to a great melody.

    2009 Music in Review: The Singles, Part 1

    January 1, 2010

    Warning: The next few posts are long and overthought and partly coffee-fueled and partly beer-fueled. Hence the rambling. And I had to split it into three parts because there was so much music I enjoyed this year. I don’t expect anyone to like every single thing that I do, but if someone discovers something new that makes them happy, then I’ve done my job.

    My favorite new song from 2005 that I discovered in 2009: “Gravity” by Embrace

    We’ve been watching a lot of Gavin and Stacey lately. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s because BBC America played the episodes about a year ago and has been running nothing but Top Gear and Gordon Ramsay ever since, instead of using their resources to introduce America to more brilliant British comedy. This is the song played at the end of season 2, during a very important event which I won’t give away because you probably haven’t seen the show yet, but you should because it’s brilliant.

    This is a lovely, moving ballad that still has an anthemic quality to it (like “Run” by Snow Patrol), which isn’t surprising considering that it was written by Chris Martin of Coldplay. It sounds beautiful while you’re sitting quietly in your room, or singing along with thousands of other people in a stadium.

    My favorite new song from 2006 that I discovered in 2009: “I Love It When You Call” by The Feeling

    We recently upgraded to a high-definition TV this year, about three years after everyone else, but we’re enjoying it immensely. Plus, our reward for waiting was getting a 46” TV at a very reasonable price. Anyway, we now have a new high-definition music channel called Palladio, and we’ve seen loads of European and British music festivals as a result. And on one of those shows, we discovered this song by The Feeling and haven’t been able to stop listening to it ever since. I’ve listened to it over three times today already. It’s the best song Fountains of Wayne never wrote.

    My favorite new song from 2007 that I discovered in 2009: “Fluorescent Adolescent” by Arctic Monkeys

    I wasn’t really fond of “I’ll Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor” and it got tremendously overplayed and overhyped. But this is a fun, unpretentious song that sneaks up on you. The introduction gets stuck in my head constantly, and it’s a pleasant thing to have bouncing around in your brain.

    My favorite new songs from 2008 that I discovered in 2009: “Love Story” by Taylor Swift / “Oasis” by Amanda Palmer
    These songs could not be more opposite in form and content, so I’ll discuss them separately.

    In the first half of 2009, I listened to the Taylor Swift album more times than most teenage girls did. I have a bit of a shady past with country, having spent several years in Texas where you couldn’t exactly avoid it, and some of the songs got under my skin. This album is incredibly poppy, but with enough of a hint of country to make me reminisce a little. “Love Story” isn’t Shakespeare, but it wasn’t written for music critics. It’s the perfect girly girl song, with the balconies and pretty dresses and princesses all wrapped up in an extremely catchy melody. All that’s missing is a pony, but she gets to that in “White Horse,” the fallout of the dream “Love Story” creates.

    Ever since Clinton from Zombie Fights Shark! posted a link to Amanda Palmer’s video for “Oasis” in April, I’ve had the song in my head. Due to its content, I’ve had to refrain from singing it aloud on several occasions (team meetings, trips to the South, family reunions, and so on). It’s catchy and fun and irreverent and ironic and hilarious.

    My favorite new song from 2009: “Never Forget You” by Noisettes

    I just get filled with joy whenever I hear this song. I love her vocals, I love the production, and I love the ‘60s soul/girl group vibe.

    My favorite song that should have been written in 1978: “Free Energy”“Something in Common” by Free Energy

    Free Energy takes all the good things from the late ‘70s, puts them in a blender with a few dashes of the ‘00s, and pours out these enjoyable songs. The keyboard lines and guitar effects that would irritate me in other songs? They completely work here.

    My favorite new Christmas song: “Christmas Tree” by Lady GaGa

    I played this over and over and over again, much to my husband’s amusement, then dismay. I have a minor GaGa obsession right now. I expect it to last about two months. But her music is poppy, mindless fun that makes you want to dance even if you don’t know how. Oh, and thank you Amazon, for offering this for free during your 25 Days of Christmas.

    Also voted best music to serenade your designated driver with. After our holiday happy hour for work, my friend Beth’s husband was kind enough to drive us home, and this is how we repaid his good deed. I think I owe him one or two.

    Two of my favorite songs that I didn’t think I’d like, but was pleasantly surprised: “Fallin’ for You” by Colbie Caillat / “The Fixer” by Pearl Jam

    Colbie Caillat looks a bit like Jennifer Aniston, if she were actually happy with her life. Colbie doesn’t have that hard, angry, hungry edge to her face, and she always looks peaceful and content. I absolutely hated the song “Bubbly,” but I love this one. It also helps that the opening guitar part sounds like “Dreams” by The Twilight Hours and contains some of my favorite chords.

    In our house, we refer to Eddie Vedder as Goat Boy because of his penchant for filling his vocals with vibrato. I actually liked some of the songs from Vs., but really didn’t enjoy anything Pearl Jam had put out since then. In retrospect, I’ve enjoyed some of their one-off singles that sound like ‘60s garage bands (their cover of “Last Kiss,” and their Christmas single “ Don’t Believe in Christmas”), and now they’ve released an album with that guitar sound and more straightforward vocals. It’s an excellent combination. They seemed sort of humorless before, but they seem like they’re having fun with their music again, and I’m having fun listening to it.

    My favorite songs I found through the Rock and Roll Geek Show:

    • The Dirt” by Tinted Windows: The band played hard-to-get with this song, only including it on the Japanese import of their self-titled album. It totally worked because it made me want the song even more. I was unaware of its existence until I heard it on Michael Butler’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Geek Show, and I listened to the first five minutes of that episode about 10 times just to hear that tune. I feel lucky that I discovered this song.
    • “Mazel Tov Cocktail” by The Wildhearts: A solid song from a wildly underrated band. This song makes me drive faster. The video is a live recording from one of my favorite places in the world. I haven’t been inside the specific building, but I love the general area.

    My favorite retro-sounding songs:

    Town Talk Diner

    December 24, 2009

    Tim’s inaugural visit to Town Talk Diner in early December was a tremendous success. We had some amazing food and beverages, felt extremely welcome, and we can’t wait to return.

    As we drove towards Minneapolis, I took a few pictures of the sunset (as seen from 35W driving south):
    Sunset over Downtown Minneapolis

    We sat at the bar, in seats close to the grill but away from the door, which occasionally let in the chill from outside.

    Tim started with the Planters Punch, which contains dark rum, fruit juices, homemade bitters, and nutmeg. For a full list of ingredients, refer to their drink menu.
    Planters Punch at Town Talk Diner

    I began with the Hair of the Lion, which contains rum, egg white, and homemade bitters.
    Hair of the Lion at Town Talk Diner

    Because of their homemade bitters and their careful attention to mixology, it’s no surprise that several bartenders have worked at both Town Talk and Bradstreet.

    For his next drink, Tim had the popular Jackson Pollock (Bombay Sapphire, grapefruit-lime sour, sparkling wine, basil oil). It’s as beautiful as it is delicious.
    Jackson Pollock at Town Talk Diner

    And I ordered The Green Fairy, which won third place in a national cocktail contest in Vegas. The Green Fairy contains Bombay Sapphire, green tea liqueur, absinthe, lemon, sugar, and egg white.
    The Green Fairy at Town Talk Diner

    Our food was amazing. It was comfort food, but it was rich and flavorful. Tim ordered the Philly Cheesesteak.
    Philly Cheesesteak at Town Talk Diner

    I had the Tomato Mac ‘n’ Cheese with grape tomatoes, grilled onion, and of course, bacon.
    Macaroni and Cheese at Town Talk Diner

    The staff was very friendly, and the bartender offered us some chocolate malt samples for dessert.

    Everything felt familiar, as comfort food should, but it also felt new, like this was the simple dish taken up a notch. We’ve each been craving our entrees ever since, and I have a feeling we’ll be fighting January cabin fever with another Town Talk visit.

    Argh.

    December 21, 2009

    So my excuse for not posting lately is this really annoying back/shoulder pain that’s been hounding me for two weeks. I’m trying to limit my time on the computer outside of work, because that’s what tends to aggravate it, with sitting still and peering into a monitor and moving the mouse and all.

    I’m hoping to have a few new posts in the next week or so, including:

    • A review of The New Standards Holiday Concert
    • Tim’s first visit to Town Talk Diner
    • My favorite songs and albums of 2009

    I’m posting this in the hopes that if I make it public, I’ll hold myself to it. In the meantime, I’m grabbing the heating pad and a muscle relaxer and calling it a night.

    Sinatra at Encore Las Vegas

    November 27, 2009

    We had a couple things to celebrate the last time we were in Vegas (other than the fact that we were there), and Sinatra was the perfect place to go. They truly made the evening special.

    When we first entered the restaurant, the maitre’d handed us a personalized card, thanking us for choosing to spend our evening with them. They seated us at a table for two overlooking the garden area.

    View from Table at Sinatra

    Table at Sinatra

    When the servers came to the table, they wished me a happy birthday. It was nice and understated– obviously, no Wynncore restaurant is going to have servers standing around your table and singing.

    We looked over the selections on the menu, but found that everything we wanted was on the Taste of Wynn menu. The restaurant offered an appetizer, an entree, dessert, and a glass of wine (red, white, or sparkling) for $59 each.

    As a beverage appetizer, Tim had the Sinatra Smash, a delicious blackberry cocktail.

    Sinatra Smash Drink at Sinatra

    The bread basket and the butter were outstanding. The butter was the perfect temperature (not too warm, not too cold) and consistency (not too hard, not melting) and flavor (salty and slightly sweet at the same time). We could not stop eating it, and it gave us a chance to try the several different kinds of bread.

    Bread Basket at Encore

    As we dined, we heard several songs from Frank Sinatra’s vast catalogue. The music was the perfect accompaniment to the evening.

    For the first course, Tim ordered the Crudo (yellowtail, tomato, zucchini, pepperoncino, prosciutto chips, oregano).

    Crudo at Sinatra

    I had the Biete E Arance (beet salad with citrus, goat cheese, and candied pistachios).

    Beet and Goat Cheese Salad at Sinatra

    Both salads are among the best we’ve ever had. Each bite had a slightly different flavor, yet all the ingredients played off each other. The beet salad had several kinds of beets, including a mousse, which created an interesting variety in texture. Between the salad and the bread basket, my taste buds were in heaven. The components in each dish were like musical notes, and the combination in each bite was harmonious.

    For the main course, Tim had the Ippoglosso (Alaskan halibut with cauliflower, almonds, raisins, and black olive sauce). Like the salad, each bite featured a slightly different twist of flavor.

    Alaskan Halibut at Sinatra

    I ordered the Chicken Saltimbocca (chicken breast wrapped in prosciutto, asiago cheese, and sage). It was satisfying, rich, and delicious. The portion was huge, and I was unable to finish it due to the size and the richness of the dish. I didn’t let any of the prosciutto go to waste, though.

    Chicken Saltimbocca at Sinatra

    We each had a glass of prosecco to accompany our meal, and it was light and crispy and fresh.

    We chose desserts on the lighter side. Tim selected the gelato and sorbet tasting.

    Sorbet at Sinatra

    I had sampled some panna cotta at the buffet at the M Resort a day earlier, so I had that on my mind. I was touched when they brought the plate to the table with a glowing candle.

    Panna Cotta at Sinatra

    The dessert was as delicious as it was beautiful. Like the earlier dishes, the panna cotta (one vanilla and one pistachio) had subtle complexities in flavor. The berries were fresh and juicy, and the sauce hit all the right notes.

    I would wholeheartedly recommend visiting Sinatra. The experience far outweighed the cost, and the level of service was amazing.

    Baconlicious

    November 27, 2009

    The boys at Bacon Salt have been at it again. They have four new products, just in time for the holiday season. I’ve tried two of them, and I’m intrigued by the other two.

    First, the two I’ve tried:

    1. Bacon Salt BIGS Sunflower Seeds. I’m not a huge sunflower seed consumer, so that might have affected my view of this product, but I was a little disappointed. The seeds are bacony, but not as bacony as the other products. The shells seem to be a little stale, and they break into several splinters when you bite into them, rather than two neat halves. Then again, it might be my technique.

    2. Bacon Ranch Dressing and Dip Mix. We’ve only tried the dressing so far, but oh my god is it delicious. Hands down, this is the best product Bacon Salt has ever created (and as you all know, I have a profound love for many of their products).

    Bacon Ranch Dressing

    Note that there was a lot more dressing in this bowl to begin with. We’ve gone through two packets in record time, and when I reorder I’m tempted to buy in bulk. The dressing is fantastic on salads, as a dip for vegetables (a holy union is achieved with carrots or tomatoes), or by itself with a spoon. The dressing combines a powerful punch of tangy ranch with the smoky flavor of bacon, and it is rich and balanced and flavorful.

    Now for the two products I’m thinking of ordering when I restock our Bacon Ranch supply:

    3. Bacon Pop. We’ve been making our own modified bacon popcorn for a while, with the help of several different varieties of Bacon Salt (cheddar works best) and some spray butter. At $3.99 for three bags, I’m tempted to give this a try. It sounds promising.

    4. Mmmvelopes. This is a fun idea. Consider it the palate cleanser to all of those yucky-tasting regular envelopes. Sadly, I don’t write a lot of letters (I mean, look at how little I update this space…), so these would probably serve as my office decorations for a long time. But these would be a great gift for bacon-loving friends, or a whimsical way to correspond with them.

    Fall Beer Sampler

    October 31, 2009

    Or, how I spent my Halloween.

    Tyranena Painted Ladies Pumpkin Spice Ale

    Tyranena Painted Ladies Pumpkin Spice Ale

    I wasn’t getting so much of a pumpkin spice vibe from this one, but it still was quite enjoyable. It had a nice toffee color and a toffee/caramel flavor. The first few sips had a hoppy finish, but the last few sips had a very creamy, sweet finish with just a touch of hops. It was very smooth.

    Shipyard Pumpkin Ale

    Shipyard Brewing Company Pumpkinhead Ale

    It had a light golden color, and it smelled very spicy, and it had a crisp taste with a strong and sweet cinnamon spice flavor. It was closer to a cider than to a beer (even though it’s technically an ale). I wasn’t really feeling the cider vibe, but if you’re in the mood for cider or something sweet and light, this might be a good seasonal choice.

    Lakefront Brewery Pumpkin Spice Lager

    Lakefront Brewery Pumpkin Lager

    I thought this was the best of the lot. It embodied the spirit of pumpkin beer. It had a strong spice flavor to it (more like clove than cinnamon), was a nice amber color, and had a deep, rich flavor.

    Vegas/Arizona Trip – October 2009, Day 6

    October 31, 2009

    Tuesday, October 20, 2009

    We had breakfast at the Mandalay Bay buffet. They had good bacon, along with tasty biscuits and gravy, but their fruit selection was sparse (where were the fresh berries?) and the fish was dry (except the lox in the eggs, which was good).

    We checked out of our sweet suite, and went to the airport. Because we were flying to Arizona, we left out of the C gates. They looked old and in need of a makeover, although we saw two new things: the Sammy Hagar cantina and some eBay slots. I was surprised the Hagar cantina wasn’t in one of the newer gates, and I was surprised that the eBay slots were there because those are relatively new, but they might be on their way out now.

    I put one last $20 through a video poker machine but lost it quickly.

    We flew Southwest for the first time. We paid the extra $10 to get into the A group for boarding (so we didn’t have to arrive at the airport as early). My row was full, but after a man took the window seat in Tim’s row, he tried to look surly so nobody would sit next to him. The flight to Phoenix was short (only about an hour and 15 minutes).

    We picked up our rental car at the airport and drove to our hotel in Glendale. The hotel was within walking distance of the University of Phoenix Stadium, which is why we chose that location.

    We had dinner at Gordon Biersch Brewery. For an appetizer, we had pretzels with two kind of mustard sauce. We were very hungry, so the pretzels were extra good. I had a strawberry mint lemonade and some fish tacos, which were also good.

    We went back to the hotel and napped for an hour before the show, then walked across the street to the venue.

    University of Phoenix Stadium

    I’d seen pictures of the stage, but couldn’t believe the size of it, even in person. It was almost as big as our suite at THEhotel.

    University of Phoenix Stadium

    Instead of trying to get close to the stage or the walkway, we hung back towards the center of the stadium. We sat down before the opening set because we were still pretty worn out from our Vegas adventure.

    The Black Eyed Peas were the opening act, and they were an odd fit for U2, but by the end of the set, they really got the crowd into it.

    They began with a futuristic green head declaring that this is “the E.N.D.” which is also the title of their latest album. Then they started with “Let’s Get It Started” (clever!). They used the giant video screen hanging from the spiderlike set, and they also had a laser show that projected onto the back wall of the arena.

    Black Eyed Peas

    Lasers

    Fergie was wearing some sort of fur vest thing over a silvery dress. She performed “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” one of her solo hits, and let the audience do most of the singing.

    Black Eyed Peas

    Then the full band returned for “Where Is the Love?” and Will.i.am proclaimed his love of music, to which Tim responded, “If you love music so much, why are you doing this to it?” (He’s not a fan.)

    Black Eyed Peas

    The last song was “I’ve Got a Feeling,” which was the highlight of their set. The audience got really pumped up and was dancing and singing along.

    Black Eyed Peas

    I do have to say that I’m extremely disappointed that they didn’t do “My Humps,” because I was hoping to say that I had seen that song live. Another thing that stays on the bucket list, I suppose.

    Between sets, we went to get some food from one of the vending areas in the concourse from the slowest booth in the world. (And the guy at the register had the nerve to ask for a tip! Not happening.)

    We noticed people being let into the center part of the set (between the stage and the walkway) and we could have chosen to go in there, but we didn’t feel like being squished like sardines. It was kind of a weird way to see a show, because for the previous two shows, we’d been in the middle of the crowd, loudly singing and dancing along, and for this show we were observers more than participants. Not that it wasn’t a good show, but it was just a different experience.

    U2 performed the standard setlist that they’d been playing throughout the tour, a mixture of classics and songs from the new album.

    U2

    The set really came to life for U2. They played “Space Oddity” before they came onstage, alluding to the giant spaceship-like thing they’d built to play on.

    They had bridges from the main stage to a walkway, and the bridges moved from the sides of the stage to the center.

    U2

    U2

    They lowered and raised the video screen, and even expanded it like an accordion during “The Unforgettable Fire.” One of the diamond-shaped pieces of the video screen was out, but it was still a magnificent piece of technology.

    U2

    They also used it to showcase their bobbing heads during a remix of “I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight.” I wonder if this means they’ll be returning to a Zooropa-like sound on their next album?

    U2

    It was interesting how this contrasted with the Fountains of Wayne show we saw on our first night. That show was small and intimate, and there were no stage effects whatsoever. This show was all about the spectacle and the video screens, and the venue was enormous. U2 are still great performers and excellent songwriters, but this was just a different experience for me. It wasn’t as emotional, but it didn’t prevent me from appreciating what was before me.