U2 VidWorks – Walk On (North American Version)

While not quite as excellent as the video we covered last week, Kevin Godley’s European version of the promo video for “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out of,” this week’s topic, the North American version of “Walk On” is another winning effort from U2, who found themselves on a true creative roll following their “reinvention” for the All That You Can’t Leave Behind album. The main premise of this video seems to me to be the fact that we are all the same, despite our many outer differences. Things such as race, religion, geographic locality, and so on don’t figure into the equation as much as some of seem to want to believe. Instead, what is really important, what ties us all together, are the internal similarities. Things we can all relate to, like getting bullied or family problems, and how we deal with those problems. I like this video because it demonstrates the sameness that we all have inside of us. The video does this by showing a variety of people, Asian, Latino, Black, White, and so on, all confronted with the same problems. One person flickers into the next as quickly as the eye can adjust, but the scenarios stay the same. A strong example is the young boy who is pushed down to the ground by a group of bullies. As he hits the ground, he becomes a middle-aged man. The man then has to find the inner strength to push himself back up to his feet and carry on with his life. “Walk On” is a song of inner strength, originally written for Aung San Suu Kyi, but one that everyone can relate to.
Another thing that I like about this video is the fact that all of the band members get their chance to shine. Even Adam, who is featured less than the others, appears enough that we get a glimpse of the stability he provides, both on his side of the stage and as a human being in the band itself. Larry, Edge, and Bono all figure prominently in the interpersonal switching that takes place in this video, and the video is stronger for the fact that it doesn’t just focus on Bono. That said, the singer does carry some of the strongest moments in this video. There is a great emotional scene toward the end when Bono and several other people are seen ripping their t-shirt open from the collar on down. This is a great, aggressive moment that is born of frustration we all can feel at the unfairness of life. Another highlight from Bono comes at about 1:40, when, as he sings “stay safe tonight” he stares into the camera, and the look in his eyes speaks volumes. It is a virtual fist-bump of encouragement for all of us who are watching. “Don’t give up” the singer exhorts us, and we can all feel it.
I’m excited for next week because we will be covering my second-favorite video of all time, U2’s “Elevation.” If you are interested, please check back in another week. Thanks for reading, and make sure to leave a comment below, letting us know how you feel about this week’s focus video.

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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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