Thursday, September 11, 2008

prayer "without actually laying oneself open"

Responding to Beth's post about attending a concert by a U2 tribute band:

...During the event my interest got piqued by how it comes off to have the many moments of prayer in U2 songs sung by someone who isn't praying when he sings them. (Or better, how it doesn't come off.) I've heard people cover U2 songs before (I've heard this band, in fact), and the vocalist has a great voice and range for this genre -- but the flatness, the two-dimensionality of U2 songs without their actually laying themselves open at those points had never struck me the way it did last night. (I don't know why this surprised me, since it's exactly what I tell my students: "if you are not actually praying when you read the words of prayers, the congregation will know. They may not have the skills to articulate what's wrong, but they will be able to tell you're not connected to God.")...

And to Mark's posts on applying Bono's wisdom to worship leading so as not to become rote, and ironically not be found worshipping while leading worship...

I found an audio snippet here of the amazing 1983 U2 worship service...uh, concert...I attended (Skib is jealous again)...Bono on this tour often added a bit to "I Fall Down" about the character Julie saying "I am a believer...I have the Spirit...I've got faith, hope love...I can believe....(God) will pick me up..."
(video of another version: Sydney, 1:58ff here).

I didn't catch all of his Bongolese/glossoBonolalalia at the time, but somehow I benefitted from it...even without interpretation.

I found this (Zoo TV/Stockholm)version of "Where the Streets..". What is he saying/praying in the outro? (5:40ff) ??

Of course this is the exact same "drop-down box" section of the song where, as Beth once (in "Get Up Off Your Knees: Preaching the U2 Catalog," Raewynne J. Whiteley and Beth Maynard,
eds.) noted (about the performance below...5:10ff)

"like the heavens have opened..Bono appears to be actually experiencing the beatific vision at stage right" (p.120) ..."Note how the band behaves at curtain call moment at the end (p. 180)." link

PS: On, Beth's comments on bands not officially connected with God, there is also the phenomenon of bands who may not be official believers, but whose honest Godhauntedness comes off as genuine...more genuine than some Christian singers/worship leaders going through the motions

Why are there so many bands not affiliated with Christianity that touch
something in the heavens that many believers do not? I experienced the best
worship at a Sigur Ros concert.. Absolutely amazing. They went to a place
and took us there. How can they do that? Many refuse to let an industry, or money
dictate to their mind how to express themselves. Many are broken and
reaching out for answers...and finding new places creatively in their broken of the walls in their soul are down. WE NEED TO BE BROKEN. WE
Todd Evans

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