U2 VidWorks: I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

One of my favorite music videos ever is the one for U2’s hit song “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” The video is spontaneous feeling, full of fun and, yes, joy, a word that is often used to describe the music that U2 was recording around this time. The band members appear to be loose and having a good time, and there is something infectious about watching people enjoy themselves while making music. I believe that that is one of the magical things about U2’s live shows, in fact. The members of the band all enjoy what they are doing, and it shows. The same idea holds true with the music video for “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”
This video was filmed in Las Vegas, immediately following U2’s first concert in that city. I guess Vegas really is one of those cities that never sleeps, because this would have been pretty late at night, likely into the morning of the next day, and there is no shortage of people on the streets for Bono to interact with. Here we get the great pleasure of watching Bono’s charm in action, as he schmoozes with the denizens of Las Vegas, freely distributing his kisses to females, even busting out some dance moves as the video progresses. There are tons of great moments in this video, including the aforementioned kisses, but also the shy smile that Bono graces the camera with as he is singing the first verse of the song, while everything is still in black and white. There is another great moment that occurs as Bono spreads his arms, and the video switches from black and white to full, glorious color. I also enjoy the brief shots of Larry and Adam singing the song’s chorus, especially Adam, who hams it up magnificently. There is another moment where a cop rides by on his motorcycle, and I can almost see Edge thinking, “Please don’t hassle us!” Of course, we will never know what took place between shots, but it seems that the officer was a good sport as he even allowed himself to be filmed for the video.
This video was directed by Barry Devlin, who had previously done a pair of pseudo-live videos for U2, those being the promo videos for “Bad” and “A Sort of Homecoming.” It impresses me how different this video comes off as feeling from those other two, particularly the video for “Bad,” which is very intense and powerful. This video carries just as much weight, but it is a feather-light sort of weight, full of charm and wit and freedom. I know that for much of the time period that was the late 1980s, U2 weren’t having a lot of fun; indeed, they are still criticized for taking themselves too seriously and not being fun enough, but this video demonstrates exactly how much amusement the band can conjure up. As I said earlier, this is one of my favorite videos ever filmed, probably second only to “All Because of You,” and Barry Devlin did a great job of filming and capturing the band’s high spirits during this shoot.

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broadsword

Ever since I realized as a kid, while poring over the liner notes of the Bob Marley - Songs of Freedom boxed set, that writing about music was a viable career choice, one of my greatest desires has been to write about U2. The band has been a major part of my life for as long as I can remember, and I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to contribute a little something to the fantastic online community that's been built around the band.

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