Reflections by Jim of different sorts—on music, nature, books, and sports
In the last few weeks I have attended two excellent concerts. On September 12 I saw U2 in Chicago, as they commenced their 360° tour—a predictably fine show by the beloved Irish foursome. This was my fifth time to see them live, and while falling short of the magic of the Joshua Tree tour (what could live up to that?), they remain the greatest live band on the planet. Also, last week I attended my first Kings of Leon show—at the Verizon Center in Noblesville, Indiana. Lead singer Caleb Followill said it was the biggest crowd they’d ever played for. Indeed, it was a sprawling sea of humanity, half of us slip-sliding in the muddy lawn area. K.O.L. played a strong 20-song set, living up to their reputation as the heir-apparent to U2’s throne. We’ll see about that.
Last week Amy and I were back in Chicago, this time for her best friend’s wedding. We stayed high atop the downtown Holiday Inn overlooking the Chicago River. Just outside our 17th story window an Orb Weaver spider (Araneidae family) was perched in the middle of a giant web, which we measured at 3 x 2.5 feet. Judging by the spider’s bulky appearance, s/he had managed to catch plenty of bugs way up there. Early the next morning I marveled at the massive buildings in downtown Chicago. In doing so, I looked through that Orb Weaver’s giant web, and then it struck me. Both were magnificent feats of engineering, and they shared some of the same structural features: footings, girders, and symmetrical design. And both ultimately testify to the genius of our common Creator.
I recently posted a review on David Kinnaman’s book unChristian, which has generated a lot of conversation in the last year or so. Among the authors responding to this book is Russell Rathbun, who has recently authored unChristian: Finding Faith in a New Generation. (Judson Press). I have been invited to participate in Rathbun’s blog tour, so I will comment on the book and interact with him the week of October 12. Rathbun is an emergent church pastor and author, so I’m very curious to see his response to unChristian. Stay tuned.
Finally, the major league baseball season is drawing to a close, and as I write this my Detroit Tigers’ lead in the American League central division has dwindled to one game, with two games left in the season for both the Tigers and the Minnesota Twins, who have been hotly pursuing them the last three weeks. Having had my baseball heart twice broken by the Twins—in ’87 when they drubbed Detroit in the ALCS and in ’91 when they squeaked by the Braves (also a rooting interest of mine)—I am quite keen on seeing the Tigers return the favor, if just for this season. Will they do it? Time, as they say, will tell.
I also saw U2 on tour not a couple of weeks ago in Boston. It was truly fantastic – dare I say they are better live than Radiohead? 🙂
The best part of the night was when we sang Amazing Grace. Never thought I’d get to sing that song with Bono. Pretty other-worldly. Despite my cynicism about his political involvements, I was impressed with the political threads that were weaved throughout the concert. Glad you got to see it as well!
Looking forward to that post on nuChristian with Russell Rathbun! Thanks for participating in the blog tour.