I think the U2 bashing is ill considered and
actually a slight to the intended point of this thread
The point I wanted to highlight was that unknown musicians
can be appreciated without having to make considerations
for any perceived disadvantage that they work under.
U2 are just the archetypal "stadium band",
it's plain that what they do is fully adequate
to the requirements of that niche in the universe within which they find themselves.
Also, I've witnessed musicians play to a handful of people
who just want a purely musical experience, and they've
fulfilled their role just as well.
www.andybutler.com is where my own stuff is kept