It was the inspiration of the moment to go online and buy a ticket for the concert U2 were having in Stockholm tonight. Skipping the part with “I will starve for a month because of this”, which I can totally live with, I fast forward to saying that it was the best decision I could take. OK, everybody knows U2, they are the cool dudes who’ve been playing on TV since forever and the singer is that guy who’s an activist, right? Well, right, but I don’t do them justice if I say just that about them.
I went to their concert blindfolded and expecting to hear all those amazing love songs that bring tears to everybody’s eyes (you know, “With or Without You”), and all those hits that make you jump and clap (“Vertigo”) or fill you up with optimism (“Beautiful Day”) and I totally forgot about politics. So no wonder that I was bewildered when all of a sudden I woke up in the middle of my thesis all over again. Then I remembered where I was and what band I was watching and I couldn’t take my eyes of the display and I couldn’t stop listening carefully just to make sure that I don’t miss anything. Of course I couldn’t do that because I am a sucker for music and if it sounds good, and it did, I get lost in it, and I did.
The whole concert was an intertwinment of love and politics, a display of good music and oh my, do you have any idea what The Edge can do with a guitar? And out of all the instruments, why must Larry be a drummer? You can barely see him from behind his drum set. Leaving the joke aside I am pretty sure I was at a rock concert, but next time I’d go to see them just to identify, extract and analyse every political hint they sneak in their show, besides the so very obvious political messages that Bono has no stress in presenting on stage. Along the obvious visuals related to politics, the EU star formed out of floating corpses, (a 5 second moment accompanied by the EU anthem sung in a megaphone by Bono), the #RefugeesWelcome message, we also got politics-related speeches, Sweden got its praise for its policies, we were asked if we want “An Europe with its heart open or an Europe with its borders closed to mercy” and were told that “It is always impossible until it is done”, as Nelson Mandela used to say. And then, in the middle of “Pride” one boy got washed on an empty beach. A wordplay, a change in lyrics, a reflection of reality, in case we forgot about it, though I doubt we did.
I don’t know if I was at a rock concert or at a Media and Politics lecture but it was an experience. I will have to see if I can make something out of it personally, and hopefully people go home with a little bit more after an U2 concert. Just something more to think about should be enough. But not all concert was politics, we got our share of hits, riffs and sing-alongs. And Bono still hasn’t found what he’s been looking for, he said it himself.