Blessed are the bassists, for theirs is the kingdom of awkward facial expressions.
So I went to a “U2charist” service on Sunday. In a word: meh. OK, so that’s not officially a word. But all in good time. C’mon, if Meriam-Webster recognizes “w00t,” I get to validate “meh.” Besides, U2charist is quite a little buzzy pseudoword, ain't it.
Anyway, my thoughts. I think the service I attended with my friend and coworker Wendy really lacked atmosphere. In a fairly small and bright room that formerly served as a library, the U2charist failed to move me (toe-tapping and swaying aside), wasn’t uplifting and it didn’t bring me closer to God. Not that I expected all or any of that. It was just flat.
I imagine in a dark, old chapel with dimmed lights and candles, a U2charist could be really cool or — even better — a powerful experience. A huge screen for projecting the DVD footage, a media person controlling the media (the pastor at St. Alban’s was doing double duty) and a gaggle of die-hard U2 fans — all would help the experience. I'd even suggest not using old "Rattle and Hum" and recent concert footage. I think U2 songs playing over projected, powerful images of faith, humanity, strife, etc. would be preferable to performance footie of Bono and Co.
As a musician and fringe member of the ADD generation, I was too focused on what kind of bass The Edge plays on "40" (one of Adam Clayton's Lakland basses, for the record — Clayton plays one of "David Howell Evans' " 1970s era Strats to complete the switch in roles on the "War" track).
So, I think the U2charist is too much entertainment, not enough God. It might be OK for others, but it’s not for me. However, the offering does go to a good cause, so I don't feel like I wasted an hour. It's worth checking out.
For more info on the phenomenon, check out my friend and former coworker Mike Plunkett’s write-up at The Norman Lear Center.