I clearly remember waking up on the day that U2’s “Invisible” was released, some seven years ago now, and immediately, eagerly going to my computer to see what goodies U2 had left for me overnight, like a kid on Christmas morning. This video thrilled me then and it still thrills me now. I’ve written in the past about how much I adore U2’s performance videos, especially the ones that simulate a live concert, and this video perfectly encapsulates all of the things that I love about such videos. It is difficult to break down exactly why U2 are so good at this type of thing, what makes them so exciting to watch perform, but I think that that is one of the keys…excitement. Every song at every show feels like a special event, with media attention and people screaming as they reach out to touch one of the band members, everything about it just feels big and grand and rousing. It is one of the most special emotions that I have ever experienced, to be a part of that feeling at the U2 concerts that I have gone to, and to get a similar feeling by just turning on my PC or my TV…that we live in an era where such things are just a button-press away…like Louis Armstrong said, what a wonderful world.
Some of my favorite moments in U2’s video for “Invisible” are: the reuse of the lit-up, hanging, circular microphone from the 360 Tour; each member of the band being captured at an instant that summarizes their personality, from Bono’s unbridled energy, to Edge giving the fist in the air at the end, Adam’s little hop-dance while he plays the bass, and that bit where Larry is caught in profile staring straight ahead, looking bad-a$$,clearly the bodyguard of the band. It is obvious to me that Mark Romanek, the director of this video, has some experience with the medium. This guy’s definitely got a handle on how to bring out the best of his subjects. I also get hyped up when I see Bono interacting with the audience, especially when he goes crowd-surfing. It has been a theme with this band from the very beginning that the singer, at least, wants to get as close to the audience as he can. Some nights, that means bringing people up on stage. Other times, and this has happened at U2 shows from the early days, it means Bono going out into the audience and connecting with people in that way. It symbolizes Bono’s reliance as an artist on his audience, literally placing his safety in the hands of what appears to be strangers, but what are really several of his closest friends. The images on the screen behind the band in this video are cool and interesting, but the real draw here is U2 being the fabulous rock stars that they are.
“Invisible” served to remind the world that U2 was still around, and opened the door on the Songs of Innocence era. Next week, we will happily march through that door into the first promo video from that album, “The Miracle (of Joey Ramone).” Thanks for reading.
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