The crowd that jammed the Ontario Theater last night to hear the New Wave band Bow Wow Wow and U-2 didn't leave disappointed.
A sizable segment of the audience clearly came to welcome Bow Wow Wow to Washington, and to pogo the night away in rhythm to the British band's relentless dance music. Like Adam and the Ants, Bow Wow Wow has borrowed the African Burundi beat and stages a colorful if hardly exciting show. Fifteen-year-old Annabella Luwin isn't much of a singer, but her chants and broken phrasing are well-suited to the tribal rock rhythms the band favors, and she's a tireless performer. The rest of the band, featuring three percussive-minded instrumentalists and two dancers who, oddly enough, dress and move like they were just released from the cages at the Whiskey A Go-Go, played supporting roles with similar energy.
U-2's music, on the other hand, had a much wider and more lasting appeal. When lead singer Bono Hewson didn't have the crowd dancing in the aisles, lead guitarist "The Edge" had them mesmerized with lavish droning figures and dreamy tonal affects. Lyrically, neither band had much to say for itself, but words obviously mattered little.