Dispatches from the Creation Wars

He writes pretty much exactly what I was thinking as I watched it last night:

I have a few pictures and some thoughts on New Orleans I’ll share later. For now though, I’m wondering: New Orleans is more than anything known for its music. Jazz, blues, zydeco — or some combination of the three. So the NFL decides to celebrate the city’s rebirth with…um…U2 and friggin’ Green Day? Yeah, they threw in a backup New Orleans brass band to cover their asses, but they were drowned out by the edge and Billy Joe. And come on. Green Day’s music doesn’t exactly lend itself to the New Orleans sound. Nor does U2’s.

Also, how did Bono corner on this whole “rising above our tragedies through music” market? I don’t mind U2. I in fact like some of their material. But when did the ritual of the sanctimonious Irishman strutting across our football fields telling us to buck up and stay strong become such an intergral part of America’s collective grieving process?

I’m willing to give a pass to having U2 involved. When they performed at the Super Bowl after 9/11, I thought the tribute to those who died at the WTC was moving. And given that The Edge has done so much to get instruments into the hands of New Orleans musicians after the hurricane, I can understand having them involved. But frickin’ Green Day? For what possible reason? I didn’t get it at all.

The obvious and appropriate way to start things would have been with an old fashioned Nawlins processional. They should have gathered a group of prominent Nawlins musicians – Wynton Marsalis, Kermit Ruffins, Pete Fountain, Dr. John, Dr. Allen Toussant, the Neville Brothers, etc – and had them lead a processional of “When the Saints Go Marching In” around the stadium. This is the classic Nawlins tradition and the theme is appropriate for the event. What they actually did was inexplicable to me.


  1. #1 bud
    September 26, 2006

    Follow the money. Some people in the network, or the NFL, or the stadium, or somewhere-along-the-decision-tree-on-what-sort-of-show-to-put-together has a piece of Green Day.

    I guess I’m just a cynic.

  2. #2 Matthew
    September 26, 2006


    Or they realize that their viewing audience is made up of more U2 and Green Day fans than it is of New Orleans jazz fans, and they didn’t want people turning the game off before it even started.

  3. #3 Bill
    September 26, 2006

    I felt the exact same way last night. I thought it was completely silly having that type of music being played as a tribute to N.O., my hometown.

    And why was George H.W. Bush, the Benjamin Harrison of the 20th Century, tossing the coin? That should have been Archie Manning, probably the most beloved sports figure in that city.

  4. #4 FishyFred
    September 26, 2006

    That performance was terrible. Beyond terrible. U2 and Green Day absolutely butchered “When the Saints Go Marching In.”

    I also can’t believe that Green Day played in their usual rebellious-teenager garb. The DRUMMER! My fucking hell the DRUMMER!

    One other thing about last night: I didn’t take much notice of this, but other people were saying that early crowd shots were all white people. This went on for about five minutes until the camerapeople started playing Where’s Waldo with any black people they could find in the stadium.

  5. #5 Jeff Keezel
    September 26, 2006

    Please – I was in Nawlins in July – walking down Bourbon Street past the night clubs I heard two 70s disco bands (BOTH playing Get Down Tonight), two classic rock bands, one 70s blues/rock band, two or three DJs playing contemporary dance pop and one, count ’em, one Dixieland Jazz band. No Zydeco at all.

    And let’s not even talk about the live music bar to strip club ratio. Stop projecting what you think New Orleans is and face reality…thekeez

  6. #6 Dan R.
    September 26, 2006

    Although off topic, your article reminded me.

    Pete Fountain lost everything of his musical career in Katrina. All his gold records, emmy’s etc. He also lost most of his instruments. I agree with you — U2 and Greenday were poor choices IMHO for musical acts.

  7. #7 Dan R.
    September 26, 2006

    er… I always get my awards mixed up.

    I meant grammie nomination plaques, etc.

  8. #8 Lettuce
    September 26, 2006

    Did anyone ask the NFL or the network why they chose these bands?

    Ot is that too much like work?

  9. #9 kevin
    September 26, 2006

    The National Anthem was performed by New Orleans musical local legends, from what I understood. That U2 and Green Day were “opening acts” – well, I imagine more New Orleanians have heard of those bands than the pair that did the Nat’l Anthem. I mean if I was from there and they paraded out a bunch of old, semi-washed up (legends or not) local muscicians, I’d be thinking “how cheap, I could have seen this lineup at the State Fair.”

  10. #10 shiva
    September 26, 2006

    Terrible- eeks! Green Day and U2? Green Day may become a great band soooome day but not now. And as for U2 it is a mediocre band with some extremely ordinary musicians. They are good guys and clean, and large hearted; but they shdn’t be making music! But then who cares these days?

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