U2 VidWorks – Walk On (European Version)

One of my favorite aspects of U2 is the friendship that underpins everything else that the band members do. This is especially true for watching the band perform live, where the friendship bleeds through in living color. Not only is that friendship a draw for me and other fans of the band, but watching the band perform live is enticing for other reasons, like the musicianship of the four members of U2 and Bono’s natural charisma which makes him the perfect front-man for a rock band. For the reasons that I have listed above, as well as several others, the European video for “Walk On” is a real winner. It shows a “day in the life” of the members of U2. First, we see the band members waking up in a hotel. Next, we see what I believe is a realistic session of meet and greet with fans, something that many of us hardcore fans have spent hours lining up for in the past. On a side note, it never fails to amaze me just how generous the members of U2 are with their time–shaking hands, taking pictures, and signing autographs with fans for hours-on-end. That generosity is on display in this video, and one can see just how happy the fans are to be meeting their idols.
The guys then spend some time doing interviews. For a lot of artists, even some members of U2, I think that interviews must get old. Seriously, how many times can one answer the same few questions over and over again? Fortunately, the band has Bono. I don’t think that Bono ever gets tired of talking, especially in the interest of self-promotion (or band-promotion). I mean that in the most complimentary way possible…I think that it is an endearing character trait, and part of what makes him so good at his job. Following the interview, the boys then head out for some refreshments, and they play a little bit of soccer on a beach. I really love this sequence in this video, because it shows the members of U2 as something other than rock stars. There are no fans disturbing them, no critics to impress, just some time together doing something that it appears they all enjoy.
This is followed by more fan interaction, then a drive through the city in a cool convertible. All of this action is viewed with a performance of the song “Walk On” in between the segments that I previously described. The video then ends with some shots of the poorer residents of the city. In the original video, the song itself is followed by an appearance of Aung San Suu Kyi, to whom the song is dedicated on the album. The remastered version, however, replaces her cameo with some text explaining that the video is dedicated to the “Rohingya people, whose human rights have been so persistently and brutally denied,” a great reminder of the song’s origins as a human rights anthem. All in all, a great U2 video, with lots of the elements that make the band great. Next week, we will be discussing the third video for “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of,” the final promotional video released from this album.

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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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