Personally, I think a bit too much was made of the whole Hyde Park shutdown of the recent McCartney and Springsteen concert. As a great fan of both musicians, I find it a relief — a favor, really — that the power was shut off before the famed duo entered into an encore medley of “Twist and Shout / La Bamba,” (yes, I’m serious). From a cultural standpoint, much has been made of Britain’s “excessively efficacious decision,” as stated by London Mayor Boris Johnson. Others have ruled it a class issue and “note that Hyde Park is near some of London’s wealthiest residents, and there’s long-standing tension between those residents and tens of thousands of rock fans who jam the park for large-scale concerts.” (a quote from this LA Times article)
I, however, have an altogether different and unsubstantiated take on why the concert was shut down before the finale — the British penchant for understatement wouldn’t allow two such colossal forces of 20th Century music to end their performance with a canned medley of “Twist and Shout” and “La Bamba”. The UK sense of propriety and good taste simply wouldn’t allow it. I, for one, am very thankful to whoever had the good sense to know when to flip the power off.
On another note, many people are upset over the choice of bands to play the Olympic Opening Concert in Hyde Park: Duran Duran, Snow Patrol, Paolo Nutini and others. And here’s the real kick, while Sir Paul and The Boss had the plug pulled at 10:30PM, the stalwarts of rock playing the Olympic gig have been given the greenlight to howl until 1AM. Besides the fact that these bands, good as they may be, are relatively insignificant when compared to the monumental pantheon of rock and roll acts to emerge from the UK. Where’s The Who, Led Zepplin, The Police, Radiohead, Coldplay or even Adele when you most need them?