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Wednesday, September 10, 2003

 
Concert reviews, Part I: As I mentioned, I was at attendance at the NFL Kickoff on the Mall last Thursday evening. As I’ve mentioned in passing, the Dashboard Confessional Concert at AU was this past Sunday evening. The simplest way to review these concerts is in Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down format, which is what I’m going to do.

Part I: THE MALL
Thumbs up: The hard work done for the extravaganza, including the three day fanfest preceding the concert, and tearing that down for Thursday.
Thumbs down: The condition of the mall at the event. Although the weather can be blamed for some of it, the grass was torn up and piles of mud were everywhere.
Thumbs up: The Washington Post Thursday Metro article outlining entrances, street closings, and other good information to have.
Thumbs down: The maze of audience pens once the event was entered. No one, including the cops (some MPD and others from surrounding counties) seemed to know exactly where you could and couldn’t go.
Thumbs up: After some confusion and a lot of pushing, I got to the general area’s front section at Seventh Street.
Thumbs down: Attendance was down because of the weather, about 150,000 as opposed to the 300,000 expected.
Thumbs up: Having four bands.
Thumbs down: Advertising a “6-9 pm” concert, which consisted of: a Good Charlotte set from about 6:20-6:35, Good Charlotte again for “The Anthem” at about 7, Mary J. Blige doing three songs at about 7:30, Britney’s performance live on TV at about 8:10, Aerosmith live on TV at about 8:35, and Aretha’s national anthem at 9. In between was constant commercials for Pepsi Vanilla, Coors Light, AOL Broadband, TakePride.Gov (a national service initiative aimed at working on public lands, although the Mall, a pretty good public land, didn’t look so hot right then). Crass commercialization at its worst.
Thumbs up: Britney Spears is hot.
Thumbs down: Dancers in Wayne Chrebet jerseys. Wayne Chrebet?
Thumbs up: The penlight trick, which came off much better than I thought. I figured people would forget and it would look kinda dumb. It didn’t.
Thumbs down: Aerosmith not ending with “Dream On”. Kinda anticlimactic.
Thumbs down: Cans of Pepsi Vanilla were interspersed throughout the crowd during one of the breaks and were getting tossed backwards through the crowd. Not safe, and a liability nightmare.
Thumbs down: Aretha’s anthem. My own pet peeve. Kick that puppy up to march speed the way it’s supposed to sound, not this dragged out diva version. Sorry, Aretha.
Thumbs down: Bush’s intro to the game. Absolutely not necessary.
Thumbs down: Trash left by concertgoers. To be expected, but still crass.
Thumbs up: The game on the Mall.
Thumbs down: According to the Post, it went off at 11 without explanation.

Final analysis: Washington’s not hosting a Super Bowl based on that performance. A decent concert, which probably didn’t look bad on TV, and was definitely a cool thing to go to, but its potential wasn’t maximized by the organizers.

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