It’s a great feeling when the headline act is so good that the audience can block out the bad memories of the opening act. This was the situation with the sold-out Blur and Smashmouth show. Wearing their one-hit wonder title like a badge, Smashmouth played a 40-minute set that caused excruciating pain throughout most of the crowd. Immature is the only description for their performance. From silly lyrics like a four-minute song with the chorus “Why can’t we be friends and the goofy the Fonz” to their insults toward both the audience and Blur, the band came off as a group of amateurs used to playing trashy clubs full of punks. What was their reward for this awful performance? They were just announced as the opening act for U2.
After an agonizing 50-minute wait, Britpop superstars Blur took the stage to an anxious crowd. Although not well known in America until the recent single, “Song 2” off their newest album, Blur has rivaled Oasis in popularity for several years in the UK.
Lead singer and teen hear-throb Damon Albarn showed off his individual stage presence. They took several songs, like “Advert” from “Modern Life is Rubbish,” from past pop albums and turned them into all-out rock numbers. The packed audience reveled in each member’s quirky personality. Alex James spent many numbers leaning up against a speaker, and had a cigarette in his mouth for the entire 90 minutes of their performance. Damon did gymnastic jumps and teased the enamored females with his boyish charms. Drummer Dave Rowntree slipped into the background and was unnoticeable as usual. Graham Coxon, the musical drive behind the group, exhibited his cooler-than-you attitude.
“There’s No Other Way,” the band’s first hit single that came out six years ago, turned out to be the surprising crowd favorite. The entire audience sang along proving that the loyalty of Blur fans runs far deeper than the radio hit “Song 2.” “Whoo Hoo” to that America. .
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