London, England – Martin Garrix has released his collaboration with Bono and Edge. The music video was filmed mostly in England, and the song, as promised, is a rousing stadium anthem in the vein of Beautiful Day. Abounding in positivity, the song is clearly a post-COVID “we-can-do-it” dirge. “We’re a million volts in a pool of light/Electricity in the room tonight“, Bono croons in an understated intro, before the song explodes into a coldplay-esque burst of stadium pop.
Fan reaction so far has been mixed. Garrix fans have already given the youtube upload over 1.2 million views, and 265k likes from 750k views on Instagram. U2 fans have been pointing out that this song channels the same pop genre that U2 has been pushing to diminishing returns for the last 20 years and doesn’t break new ground sonically. If anything, it’s their most naked effort to date to channel the spirit of 21st century pop music.
The music video, shot on a rooftop in London, sees Bono and Edge reflecting on the impact of COVID on Europe, set against a backdrop of fans returning to stadiums. Meanwhile, it channels a moment where Irish sporting history overlapped with U2 history, by including the moment from the 2001 Slane Castle concert when Bono donned an Irish flag and said “close your eyes and Imagine it’s Jason McAteer!” McAteer scored the winning goal for Ireland in a 2002 World Cup qualification match just a couple of hours before the 2001 show, and an aged McAteer appears next in the video, along with images of European kids playing football in various places across the continent.
While fans will no doubt have little confidence this pop song will knock White Stripes classic Seven Nation Army off its stadium anthem pedestal, they can at least rest assured that the name “U2” will be on the lips of the 500 million people who will watch the EURO2020(1) tournament in the summer. Hopefully, some of them will like what they hear and ask “what else have they got?”