The Irish band U2 gave a free, 20-minute concert at the Brandenburg Gate last week to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. But MTV, which organized the event as part of the MTV Europe Music Awards, erected a 6-foot-high "sight barrier" so only the 10,000 people lucky enough to snag a ticket could see. Angry fans protested -- was it stupid of MTV to build a wall to keep people out of a concert celebrating the collapse of an infamous wall? (Watch U2 perform "One Love" at the MTV concert in Berlin)
How could MTV think this was a good idea? Fans and tourists certainly noticed the irony, says the Associated Press' Kirsten Grieshaber. "This is ridiculous," said frustrated Canadian fan Louis-Pierre Boily, 23. "MTV probably wants people to watch it on TV to get their ratings up."
"Outrage over wall blocking free U2 Berlin concert"
Hey, it was a fitting backdrop: "Talk about living up to the theme of the evening!" says Alex Young in Consequences of Sound. MTV says the barrier was necessary for the safety of the audience, and to help neighboring shops and restaurants go about their business during the show. But maybe recreating the Cold War atmosphere -- fans even tried to tear down the new wall -- wasn't a great PR move.
"U2 plays a free Berlin Wall concert behind the backdrop of a different wall ..."
Who cares? The show was boring: It was a "momentous occasion," says Britain's Inside Gossip, but MTV's European Music Awards show celebrating German reunification was "dull, drab and very disappointing." U2's attempt "to rock it" at the Brandenburg Gate fell short. So take heart, all you fans left frustrated on the streets of Berlin. You didn't miss much.
"Europe Music Awards 2009 was a spectacular ... BORE"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 10 things you need to know today: September 30, 2014
- How liberals are unwittingly paving the way for the legalization of adult incest
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why the Chinese military is only a paper dragon
- The troubling persistence of eugenicist thought in modern America
- Libertarianism's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea
- Are hedge funds doomed?
- How the Simpsons/Family Guy crossover revealed the worst of both shows
- Obama's politically lethal credibility problem
Subscribe to the Week