Opportunities Squandered: Why the Closing Ceremony of the Olympics Sucked | County Grind | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida


Opportunities Squandered: Why the Closing Ceremony of the Olympics Sucked

The 2012 Summer Olympics have wrapped. Finally. No longer we will all be imbued with the tales of athletic heroism, dramatic finishes, or shattering defeats that NBC has essentially shoved down our collective throats for the past few weeks.

As things in London return to normal and cleaning crews extricate the Olympic Village of an allegedly staggering number of rubbers used to keep future Olympians from swimming to zygote gold, one question lingers on the minds of British music fans everywhere: What the fuck happened with that closing ceremony? 

The ceremony certainly included a few fantastic displays of why Great Britain is viewed as a beacon of light for music, fashion, and art. For example, Queen guitarist Brian May's playing was simply devastating, and his solo feature was as powerful as anything that happened within that arena the entire night.

Annie Lennox sailed in on her ghost ship with the same grace and talent that she has always possessed, and even pushing 70, the remaining members of the Who rocked the arena like it was Leeds all over again. Ray Davies finally got the big stage he has always deserved when he performed the Kinks classic "Waterloo Sunset," and Eric Idle's performance was super funny, though Idle could punch a puppy and somehow still make us laugh. 

Yet it felt as though a great deal of British cultural and musical royalty was properly ignored. Important artists were simply missing, and the "mashup" concept probably should have been disqualified in the prelims.

We'll start with Mike Rutherford of Genesis performing a Pink Floyd song. Though there is obviously no ill will between Rutherford and the members of Pink Floyd -- as he has performed with various Floyd alum over the years -- watching a founding member of another wildly important, prog rock pioneering group strum along to "Comfortably Numb" behind a singer/songwriter, Ed Sheeran, born in 1991, feels just plain wrong. Even with Floyd's Nick Mason on drums. 

Next, we were given a solid montage of David Bowie's greatest hits only to be fed a recorded feed of "Fashion" as models wrapped in gold foil pranced off of floats. We understand the importance of Brit fashion, and though the fashion show itself wasn't particularly bad, the physical lack of Bowie took the piss right out of the big buildup. We find it really hard to believe the Olympics couldn't manage to bring the Thin White Duke out of retirement or at least find a suitable scab to "pay tribute" to his work, as that appeared to be the gist of the night. 

Like how Jessie J was selected to perform the Queen tribute. And even with George Michael in the building (for those of you who don't recall, Michael swung his nuts all over this Queen classic at the original Mercury tribute). Yes, J sang well -- of that, there is no argument -- but, there are just so many people better(cat)-suited to pay homage to one of the most revered bands of all time than a flavor-of-the-week pop singer, as British as she may be. 

Jessie J also sang her hit song "Price Tag," featuring a chorus of "It's not about the money, money, money" from the plush bowels of a $443,000 Rolls-Royce. Ironic, no?
The only reference to the Rolling Stones the entire night was Bianca May Jagger's prison bar grin. The Stones said they were "out of practice" when initially asked to perform, but we find it really hard to believe that a band that has been performing some of the same songs since 1962 couldn't sort it out in time for the gig, especially given the fact that former tax exile Mick Jagger is now a knight.

We would discuss Russell Brand's extremely childish take on the Beatles

in detail, but apparently he's very funny, and the kids just love him.

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David Von Bader

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