It used to be a very uncommon occurrence for U2 to perform a remixed version of a song from the stage. This changed famously in 2009 while U2 were on the 360 Tour. One of the highlights of that show, and the centerpiece of the set-list on that tour was a rendition of Redanka’s remix of “I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight.” In a move that I have always found curious, though, the members of U2 and their team chose to focus on an edit of the album version of the track for radio play and for promotion. Surely, there must have been some very casual fan who heard “…Crazy Tonight” on the radio and went to the U2 concert expecting to hear that version of that song. Indeed, many U2 fans might have spent forever wondering what the staging and performance of “…Crazy Tonight” might have looked like from under The Claw if not for this video. On the second night of the tour, in Barcelona, Spain, U2 performed “…Crazy Tonight” twice. Once, the first time, in its remixed form, and the second time in a version that was based upon the album cut. That second performance was filmed and large portions of this video make use of that footage, as well as other moments from that night.
The video itself is what one might expect, a collection of exciting moments from that night. We see U2 taking the stage, performing the song with their usual energy and charisma, and then exiting the stage. My favorite moment in this video occurs during Edge’s guitar solo, which is in itself a highlight of the song, as Bono stands near the outer rim of the main stage and leads the crowd in chants of “Ohhh! Ohhh!” The crowd responds appropriately, taking up the chant with fists in the air.
I like this video quite a bit despite the fact that there is nothing really unique or flashy about it. I started to say that there was “nothing special” about it, but the truth is that every time U2 takes the stage is special. I’ve gone on record in the past about my love for performance videos which show the greatest band to ever take a stage in their element, dong what they do best. Some day, when U2 is no more, we and our descendants will look at these videos in wonder and amazement, marveling at once was. I’m glad that U2 has left behind records such as this video. Not only are these videos wonderful promotional tools, serving to foster awareness of whatever U2 is up to at a given moment, but they are often tightly packed with symbolism and wonderful visual moments that we can view fondly for years to come.
Next week, I will be reviewing a bit of an oddity in the shape of a promo video for another remix, made for the 2011 anniversary set of Achtung Baby. Specifically, I will be looking at the very strange video for the Fish Out Of Water remix of “Even Better Than the Real Thing.” I hope you will join us then. Thanks for reading.
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