Author Topic: Video Commentary: Every Breaking Wave, MTV EMAs (2014)  (Read 375 times)

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Offline laoghaire

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Video Commentary: Every Breaking Wave, MTV EMAs (2014)
« on: July 23, 2018, 07:40:30 AM »
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Every Breaking Wave, MTV EMAs (2014)

I know people are split on whether they like the pop or acoustic version better. But this performance basically killed me. The whole thing was phenomenal, but Bono's singing, while not entirely flawless, was so incredible I couldn't even breathe the first few times I saw this. And I'd be seeing comments all over the Internet saying Bono couldn't sing anymore and I would just shake my head.

In my opinion, Bono is Superman in this performance.

Edge's piano introduction is perfect. There's a slight change to the end of the intro section that is better than the album acoustic version. I really like the camera work here too, a slow zoom out from Edge to reveal Bono in the frame, standing there, all five foot six inches of rock god calmly waiting to fill the whole room with his power.

He steps up to the mic and begins. The quality of his voice is resonant and rich, but he is just slightly sharp of key.

The "fallen" in "every fallen leaf" is divinely delivered with a puff of visible air pushed from his lungs. It's a sign of what's to come. He also nails "winter wouldn't leave it alone," a line that has such gorgeous meter.

Ok, here we go. He steps back to deliver the first chorus. On the first "If you go," the crowd goes wild, because it's incredible.

Bono makes a gesture to the sound engineer to turn something up but I don't hear the change. Maybe it's just to the IEM.

The rest of the first chorus is incredible, though he misses a bit on the "swept off our feet" line, his voice squeaking a bit on the last word. But now he's all cleared up and ready to blow everyone away.

He backs off the mic before the second verse, and the crowd tells him how wowed they are. His mouth creeps up into a smile at this.

The orchestra comes in. The lighting is fantastic. The smoke is otherworldly, like we've paused time to consider things. The light streams out like a revelation. The camera work is terrific.

"To live without intimacy" is sung with exquisite vulnerability.

The positioning of the camera during the "Captain's voice" line puts a spotlight in the frame, shining on Bono's face, suggesting that very Captain inclining and hearing his cry.

"Like every broken wave" is just masterful. Each and every line, every single word, is sung with phenomenal emotion, vulnerable here, powerful there, supplicating here, determined there. Nothing is just plain old sung. Every breath is a masterpiece.

Adam comes in but he's not in frame yet. Shortly we'll spot him sitting inconspiciously near the orchestra and cutting his usual angular shapes.

Second chorus is breathtaking. Bono could sing "Are we sooooooooo" and that would have been wonderful. But we get "Are we soooooooooo-ooooo-oooooooooo." He drags every bit of himself out. It's not enough for him to say, here, take this. He says, take this, and this, and this, and I found a bit more over here too, have it. The carotid artery in his neck is going nuts.

He loses track of the lyrics, and it's somehow perfect, like he is so consumed by what he is expressing his words just jumble up. He gestures helplessly. It's so fitting.

Larry's silhouette approaches the drum. Bono lifts his hands and mirrors Larry's drumbeats. Probably Larry rolled his eyes at this, but it is a cool visual effect. The crowd goes wild. The light gets more intense, to blinding. The bridge's staccato verse is dramatic, Bono's quick breaths sounding like he's fighting the waves and gasping for air.

Final chorus. Peak dynamics from every musician.

How much air does it take to deliver that "If you goooooooooooooooo" at full power? That is Superman standing there, blowing the room away. It's so powerful that when he finishes his output and breathes in again for "your way," he nearly staggers. His arms push out for balance to compensate. He gives it all and then some.

"Are we sooooooooooooooo" - His breath shoots out visibly. The artery on his neck bulges. His hands flap around. The thing he is doing with his voice is consuming his entire body.

Beautiful Adam shot in all his angular glory.

"And stop chasing" - Bono's arms move out to the waves, almost blindly; the motion is one of exhaustion. The less he fights it, the less there is to fight, and he lowers his arms peacefully.

Larry finishes his part, and lays down his sticks calmly.

The big finish. Bono can sing the safe note, but he braces his right hand against himself and his left hand picks the note out of the air - another octave, which he holds steadily, resolutely, peacefully, unwaveringly, for 8 or 9 seconds.


Offline popsadie

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Re: Video Commentary: Every Breaking Wave, MTV EMAs (2014)
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2018, 08:11:53 AM »
Beautiful description of an amazing performance. I've always been taken by this performance as well.