By New Times
By Derek Askey
By Mark Deming
By Serene Dominic
By Jason Keil
By Robrt L. Pela and Amy Silverman
By Jeff Moses
By Serene Dominic
I vote for change -- to this lousy bill! It doesn't bode well for Arizona's image in the national arena that the rest of the country (the "battleground states") gets Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, R.E.M., the Dixie Chicks, Pearl Jam, and the Dave Matthews Band for this concert, while we -- a swing state that can vote either way -- get pacified with the other known survivors of the MUSE concerts. Crosby, Stills & Nash, Jackson Browne, and Bonnie Raitt? What, were the Doobies too afraid to take a stand?
Without Neil Young, there's nothing particularly rousing about seeing headliners CS&N getting assigned another political rally beat. No nukes? They were there with songs about "mutant sponges." Live Aid? Sure, who could object to feeding hungry Africans? The fall of the Berlin Wall? They were there with chisels ready. And with the inescapable Bush-is-to-Iraq-what-Nixon-was-to-Vietnam analogies, this evening of protest music for the pressed-jeans set wouldn't be complete without them, probably changing the lyrics to "Carry On" to promote their man. Rounding out the evening are non-threatening alterna-folk artist Jack Johnson and bluesman Keb' Mo'.
I'd like to think that the reason the most vocal Bush-whackers, like Springsteen, Pearl Jam, and the Dixie Chicks, weren't booked in Phoenix was because pro-Bush Clear Channel, which operates Cricket Pavilion, didn't want a show that would bring in anybody but old liberal rockers who just preach to the converted year after year anyway. It's almost as if they're saying, "Look, all we've got on the GOP side is Michael W. Smith and Toby Keith, so why should you people enjoy yourselves?" Kerry on!