Live (Not so Gr)8

(And yes, it took me ages to come up with this title.)

Far be it from me to criticize a group of musicians coming together to raise awareness about Africa…but what is up with the line-up for the Canadian leg of Live 8? (And also, what is up with the caption to that picture? Since when were Alan Doyle and Gord Sinclair the same person?) I mean, who in their right mind thought to themselves, “Hmm, poverty in Africa…I know, Celine Dion, Motley Crew and that guy who wrote “Life is a Highway”! Had this event been held at Downsview Park, site of 2003’s infamous “SARS-stock” concert, I might have considered going; as it is, driving up to Barrie to hear the Tragically Hip play four songs seems like an utter waste of my time.

These sentiments are hardly original–if you’ve tuned in to any sort of Toronto-area media outlet in the last week you’ve no doubt heard people whining about how un-original the lineup is–but they speak to a larger problem with Live 8 both here and elsewhere: namely, that we’re all seemingly more concerned about who will be performing than the actual cause. Despite the best efforts of Mssrs. Geldorft and Hewson, Live 8 is shaping up to be little more than a glorified festival but with even shorter sets. I mean seriously, how many people are going to go to Live 8 and leave saying to themselves, “Deep Purple really spoke to me…I’m going to go out and change the world!” The cause is undeniably noble; whether anything positive will come of it is another matter entirely. I would love to think my cynicism is misplaced.

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