Before I get into the meat of this week’s article, I just want to leave a quick note to say “happy birthday” to my personal hero, the best front-man in the land, Bono. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get into it.
The range of years from 2004-2005 was a good time to be a U2 fan. There seemed to be no end to the cool stuff happening, and this week’s video, “City of Blinding Lights,” is another in the string of excellent promotional materials from the band that we fans were treated to during that period. I have written in the past about how some of U2’s best, most exciting videos are the ones that showcase the band performing live. That sentiment has been seconded by band members themselves, who have made comments like “live is where we live.” U2 has recorded lots of great songs and albums over the years, but one has not really experienced the band at the height of their powers until they see U2 live. In such times as we find ourselves in right now, recordings of the band performing live will have to suffice, and this video is one that I would recommend to a fan who is missing live U2. The video is exciting, emotional, fun, and all of the other things that make U2’s live shows as awesome as they are. In fact, I was thinking today while I was preparing for this article that the directors do such a phenomenal job with this video that I would love to see them take a crack at a long-form U2 concert video. I don’t think that Alex and Martin are a team any longer, so it will probably never happen, but…I still think it would have been cool. Some of my favorite moments in this video are of the crowd reacting to the band and the music, which is one element that makes U2 concerts so awesome. Being there with thousands of your closest friends, people that you have probably never met before, but sharing emotions and joys that I can’t explain here is one of the reasons we go to concerts in the first place.
“City of Blinding Lights” is one of those songs that takes on a whole new aspect when performed live, especially with its shout-along chorus. The song is almost like a throwback to “Where the Streets Have No Name,” or even “Pride (In the Name of Love),” songs that audiences love to sing along with. There are some great shots of the band in this video. We even get treated to a quick clip of Adam playing the keyboards at the start of the song, but most of the best sequences are of the crowd. Another thing that I love about this video is that the band members are clearly having a good time. I love to watch people performing who want to be there. It is also worth noting that this video sounds fantastic. Do yourself a favor…strap on a good pair of headphones, find this video on YouTube, and prepare to be amazed.
Next week, I will be focusing on “Original of the Species,” which Bono has called the “best song on the album.” Will the video live up to that hype, or will it fall flat? Look us up in another week and find out what I think. To add your two-cents to the conversation, please leave a comment down below.
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