Bono reaches out to her on the screen but she slips away, out of his grasp, to the stars.It is a deeply moving glimpse into the heart of an artist, delving plaintively into the past.
He’s looking strangely familiar during ‘Desire’, which rocks along with game-show graphics and a mirror ball, and all is revealed before ‘Acrobat’.
It’s the return of Mac Phisto, brought to life with the use of a cheap i Pad face mask, bringing back “deceit and vanity", all the better to confirm that truth is – as the band’s lyric video for ‘American Soul’ has already posited – indeed dead.
A characteristic of recent U2 albums is that all of the elements might not make complete sense at first, but once you see tracks preformed live, their charms coalesce. The screen dissolves to a night-time map of Dublin, just in case you’re still missing the message, the longing for home. HAPPY TO GO BLIND ‘Beautiful Day’, ‘All Because Of You’ and ‘I Will Follow’ are all part of the one sequence, and it’s Edge who drives it along.
His guitar goes from cathedral-sized chiming, to down on the floor crunchy, and is particularly ferocious on ‘I Will Follow’ – earlier in the day, Bono joked that the guitarist had been sound checking it for about 12 hours and you can hear why. If that weren’t enough to get us salivating, we also get snatches of Jimmy Cliff’s ‘Many Rivers To Cross’ and, of course, John Lennon’s ‘Mother’, which is followed by a segue from ‘The Ocean’ to ‘Iris’, complete with precious home movies of Bono’s mother, his "few beautiful, magical memories”.
It is much more than that, of course – but there are elements of musical theatre here, as if the band were playing around with the shape of the show that might eventually go on the road when they have foresworn on the travails which large scale touring imposes.