Video: U2 – “Atomic City”
Single out now.
U2 is a band. Four people. The same four guys for over forty years. We all give them a lot of shit — and they deserve most of it — but their longevity is remarkable.
You know what else is pretty cool? This song. Forget the flashy video, forget Bono’s purple glasses, forget all the hype you’ve been hearing about the giant LED sphere in Las Vegas. Just listen. How great is Edge’s riff? Sounds a little like early Smiths, a little like classic Blondie. It’s good!
The lyrics, despite being interpreted as just an ad for their Las Vegas residency (“I’m front row in Las Vegas / And there’s a big one on tonight”), contain some of the funniest lines Bono’s written in years.
Come quick, come soon, comme ci comme ça
Let me dive into your eyes and blah blah blah.
I was happy to see Larry Mullen behind the drums after essentially sidelining himself since covid. But then I found out that while he played on the recording and he’s obviously in the video, he won’t be playing live with the band in 2023. He’s still recovering from surgery to mitigate injuries sustained from 40+ years of being a drummer.
Adam Clayton told the Irish Star that Mullen “is taking his health very responsibly and he wants to come back, he wants to be able to have a long career and continue his drumming. So, he is taking care of those injuries.”
I hope so. U2 is one of the only major bands I’d like to see live that I never have. But without Larry Mullen, I wouldn’t bother. We’ve asked this question lots of times on this site over the years regarding the Who and Steely Dan and the Rolling Stones, et cetera, ad infinitum, but without those four guys is it even really U2?
I enjoyed that thing with David Letterman that Bono and the Edge did on Disney+. It was cool to see those two reinterpreting their songs and hanging out in pubs and goofing with Dave. But it wasn’t U2.
Replacement drummer Bram Vandenberg can surely play the parts. And I’m sure they’ll put on a good show. But unless Mullen gets better and comes back, I’m afraid I might have missed my chance to see U2.