by Jon Bream, Minneapolis Star Tribune
The Rolling Stones vs. U2. Mick vs. Bono. Keef vs. the Edge.
Who is the world's greatest rock 'n' roll band? Baby boomers might argue the Stones. Gen Xers might advocate for U2.
Last week, this baby boomer had the rare opportunity to see these iconic bands on back-to-back nights: the Stones on Tuesday in Milwaukee, U2 on Wednesday in Chicago.
How were the shows? Outstanding. Was one better? Yes. Which band was the greatest? I'll answer that later. First, impressions and experiences.
Just given their ages, the four Stones, 68 to 74, have to be in the autumn of their 53-year career. U2, a quartet ages 53 to 55, are in midcareer -- year 39, to be exact -- sort of like the Stones in the mid-1980s. U2 is coming off two slow-selling, hits-devoid albums, the latter of which, "Songs of Innocence," resulted in bad karma because it was sent for free last year to hundreds of millions of iTunes users, some of whom saw it as unwanted spam.