My main point was not being able to care that much about them. I did try expanding the point last week, but....I didn't care enough to bother. Or get into a daft conversation really just based on a difference in opinion.
The point sdb makes about their earlier work, which did have amazing passion, drags me from my lethargy. He also mentions Geldof. Live Aid was responsible for a lot of good things but it spawned stadium rock...sorry the detestable stadium rock. Formerly good bands (U2 and Simple Minds are the best examples) start to write towards the idea of playing their songs to 25,000 people. That would be the "manufactured" part of the equation.
I still prefer a gig with 25 other people than 25,000; where the most important requisite is that your lighter is full of fluid. A stadium flu of people who are there for the event rather than the music. SO bands go for a BIG sound to fill it. What's that got to do with good music? Simple Minds especially were an innovative electronic band turned Frankenstein monster.
So the point about the difference between pre-Live Aid U2 and post-pomp rock U2 is a good enough one to make me re-write a post I couldn't be bothered to finish a week ago.
EDIT: for clarity's sake re- "manufactured overwroughtness". Manufactured here refers to the overwroughtness not the band. I know U2 weren't manufactured as a boy band (I feel dumb for even stating that). The excruciating portentous "feeling" they pushed into so many of hose mid-period songs is like nails on a chalkboard. That they started out so fresh and powerful only makes the comparison worse.