B’way: ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’

In the old days, cutting the original Broadway cast recording of a new musical was always expected — even if the show closed immediately. Economics have made that less of a given (the Tony-nominated flop Cry-Baby closed without a CD of the score being made). But when your show is called Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and it gets reworked during nine months of previews, who even knows what the score will sound like by the time it opens?

On the other hand, you have something unique in the score by Bono and The Edge: A built-in audience of rockers who couldn’t give a shit about a B’way musical but who are addicted to U2’s music. Thus was born this CD, carefully titled Music from Spider-Man. The implication: These are some of the songs, but maybe not all of them. And some tracks are even demos performed not by the cast, but by Bono and The Edge himself. “For fun,” the liner notes claim. More like for economic necessity.

Musical purists may sniff, but the songs are undeniably the product of some rock gods who are trying to create their version of The Who’s Tommy. Not all of the numbers work; “Bouncing Off the Walls” is both too literal and too corny exposition, with a dull, repetitive riff, and “Pull the Trigger” tries too hard. But there are the bones of some hits. The show itself might be a disaster, but at least some of the music swings.

— A.W.J.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 29, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

U2 at Cowboys Stadium: Reviewing both

Gee, how do you characterize a kick-ass concert that was a pain-in-the-ass to attend? It took us 45 minutes in rush hour to drive from Downtown Dallas to Exit 29 in Arlington… and another hour to get from the exit to our parking space. That mean we completely missed opening act Muse, and arrived too late for the up-close photos. (It didn’t help that no one who worked at the stadium seemed to have a clue about anything.)
But while there are still many mega-problems involved with the stadium’s logistics, the facility is marvelous (and very concert-acoustically friendly). And U2? Read about them after the jump.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

U2 at Cowboys Stadium last night

Arnold Wayne Jones made it out to the show last night. He’ll be posting his review here a bit later. Until then, take a peek at his photos. The concert looked damned fantastic.

U21

—  Rich Lopez