Monday, October 29, 2007


October 28th, 9 PM, Hogg Hall at UT, Sinead O'Connor. This is an artist I have admired since 1990 and 17 years after connecting with her music, I get to see her live. This is the first artist that I can remember identifying real pain in my life with music. This real pain is also what I like to call... "my first broken heart" in high school, thank you Todd. You know that first heartbreak where it hurts to breathe because every breath you take proves you can't live without him (or her).Ok, so I had to be a little dramatic for sentiments sake!!

Sinead's song, "Nothing Compares 2 U" was played over and over again (sorry Mom) and I just knew that somehow love would find its way back if I sat with this song.

According to my friend Dave, he told me not to bother writing about this show, that words would not do her justice, hearing is believing. I do agree with him, however, I just gotta say a few things in hopes that you might be swayed to listen to Sinead.

Theology is the best record that Sinead has put out in years. Whether you follow her or not you should purchase this double CD. I realize that some of you may just be those "Nothing Compares 2 U" sort of fan, but what you are missing out on is so much more. (And remember she didn't even write this song, so you are really missing out if you don't KNOW any of her originals) Many of the songs on this project are based on Scripture and some well known numbers like Jesus Christ Superstar's "I Don't Know How To Love Him" and the old reggae classic "Rivers Of Babylon". The album features recordings with one CD based London sessions and one on Dublin sessions. You get an acoustic version and a full band version..that is genius friends.

There is something about this album that demands our attention...well, there is something about her that demands our attention.

Over the course of a seamless 90-minute show, Sinead and her music are stirring, passionate, violent and inspired. A very simple stage, a five piece band, she walks you through this journey of pure ectasy. You wouldn't dare leave the auditorium to use the restroom, you just wouldn't. At first I thought it was bizarre that Sinead O'Connor kept her eyes on the stage floor (for most of last night's performance actually) She mentioned that fear is the reason for looking down, crazy enough, her voice remains quite unshakeable.

She begins with "The Emperor's New Clothes" and that got the evening started just right. I just love the fiddle, I love how her music feels as if you will walk outside and be in Ireland. Oh how I wish that were true!

She talks about becoming addicted to TV evangelists' while living in Atlanta and she talks about having interviews with the Christian media for her new album Theology. For the most part, she was embraced and they wanted to know about the music and then she mentions the small percentage of the interviewers that did not agree with her belief, "God perhaps doesn't want war." What happens next, is she backs it up with her song "If you Had a Vineyard" using direct scripture from Isaiah. You can't help but get caught up in this, you can't help but see that she really believes in what she writes and sings.

In a world where Gimme gimme more Gimme more (yes, oops I did it again, ms. spears)is a top iTunes seller, it was refreshing to sit in a room for 90 minutes and listen to MUSIC that has meaning and authenticity and pain.....need I say more?

On recent tours (I have read), Sinead would stay away from ealier work but she did not disappoint this time around.. One of my favorite moments was when she stood at the microphone and lifted her voice for "In This Heart." As she was joined in harmony one by one by her bassist, fiddler, and guitarist, the raw harmony and connection pulled a little bit of heaven onto the stage.

The night ended with sweet yet blaring "The Last Day of Our Acquaintance." Her "musical yells" (don't know what else to call them)are filled with so much more than just singing the is from this deep place of being a woman on a journey and overcoming things that every day normal non-rock stars encounter. A woman who has lived in some rather dark places having battled bipolar disorder. A woman who created her own label so that she could record Theology the way SHE wanted to, not some mainstream music producer. "Theology is an attempt to create a place of peace in a time of war," said Sinead. "It is my own personal response to what has taken and is affecting everyone around the world since and including September 11, 2001. I want to be very clear - there is no message. No preaching. Nothing deep and meaningful the artist wants to say, nothing trouble making. I simply wanted to make a beautiful thing, out of something beautiful, which inspires me."

I read this recently.
"I am interested in the cause of rescuing God from religion" Sinead

I like that....and in many ways I think we all need to be rescued.

1 comment:

kat said...

glad she lived up to all your expectations.

i think for a lot of us we have distinct memories of "nothing compares 2 u" and the impact it had in our lives. i can distinctly remember one campaign trip where my friend and i escaped to the back of the cadillac where we listened to the song over and over again. given the way she made me feel back then, i can only imagine how moving she is live.

glad you got to witness it first hand.