The Missing Amsterdam Video for “You’re The Best Thing About Me”
Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2019-07-29)
Two years ago U2 filmed a video in Amsterdam for “The Blackout”, but they also filmed a second video while they were in Amsterdam. That video was for “You’re The Best Thing About Me.” And while details are short, we are able to tell you a few things about the filming. The video was filmed at the first of two concerts in Amsterdam at the Amsterdam ArenA. But filming took place outside of the concert as well. Fans were notified of the filming of the video, which was called by the name “Best Thing” on signage around, and outside of the venue.
The basic plot line of the video involved two young girls. We would have seen them getting ready for a concert together, and lip syncing to U2’s new song while they got ready. One of the girls decided on an outfit that had the lyrics for “You’re the Best Thing” on the back of her coat, the line “The best things are easy to destroy” with a broken heart graphic. The front of her coat reads “You’re the best thing about me”.
The video would follow the two girls traveling to the concert, including shots of them spray painting a stenciled logo around the city. This logo, the same as the back of the coat, would read “The best things are easy to destroy”. Multiple stencils could be found around the venue, and one can be seen below. The girls were also filmed as they entered the venue in Amsterdam at approximately 5pm in the afternoon, as the GA queue was being let into the stadium. Filming was also done of a young man entering the venue.
IMAGE: “Best Thing” Stencil in Amsterdam
Once inside, before the concert began, there was additional footage filmed. This took place near the edge of Adam’s side of the stage, and included footage of one of the girls (not the girl with the coat) holding up a sign, and a young man holding up a sign in return. This was done in one of the seated sections of the venue and the sign the girl was holding up included lyrics as well, saying “I can see what you can’t see”.
The other girl, is chosen by Bono to climb on stage and dance while her friend is having a conversation with a boy in the audience. She was filmed coming from Adam’s side of the stage, and was carried to the front of the barrier, where fans had been told in advance to allow her through. She was lifted onto the stage, and became part of the show, dancing to “Mysterious Ways”.
The girl who joined U2 on stage was Joia Mendes, a Dutch photographer who works in fashion, including some modelling and acting. She was hired to appear in the video.
The jacket with the lyrics for “You’re The Best Thing About Me” might have gone unnoticed, however, the song had leaked a year prior, and eagle eyed fans caught the references to the new song. She also seemed at ease on the stage, and spent considerably more time dancing around and having fun and less time paying attention to the band, which many pulled on stage would do. She was dancing frenetically to the song and having a fun, and Bono watched her throughout the performance with a big grin. The stage prop camera that allowed a dancer to take a photo and place it on the big screen was present and was used.
When the performance was finished, Mendes was escorted off the stage and did not return to the crowd. From what we can piece together, the video would have featured the two girls going to the concert together, and one would be pulled on stage to dance, while the other was involved in some sort of romantic entanglement with a guy in the audience, communicating back and forth with him using large signs containing U2 lyrics.
Unfortunately the video was not ever released, so we do not know the full story of what it would have looked like, or what the full plot line of the video would be. Were the two in the crowd a couple? Had they split?
It’s not the only “lost” video from the campaign for Songs of Experience. While visiting Mexico City in October 2017, the band took to the rooftop of the Reforma building in central Mexico City. The roof was decorated with many items from Mexican culture, including dancing skeletons. The video was filmed by Jonas Åkerlund, and edited by Danny Tull. We have been told that the video for “Get Out of Your Own Way” shot there was not used as they had reused several skull props that had been used in shooting the James Bond film Spectre and proper permission to reuse these skulls was not granted by the artists who had created them. This lack of permission later posed a problem with the release of the video, and the Reforma newspaper reported that the video was “dead.”
We hope that U2 are able to release these two videos at some point in the future, even if it is to show a work in progress. We are told that the Experience and Innocence tour video will be announced this fall, and will be released in November. The band filmed the final concert of that tour in Berlin with David Mallet’s Serpent Productions last November. Mallet was involved in directing the U2: PopMart Live from Mexico City video. Perhaps these missing videos can find a home on the tour release. The band often adds videos from the album promotional campaign to the tour video released to support the album.
You can see Joia Mendes on stage with U2 in Amsterdam in this video by the team at U2gigs.com:
Related News Stories:
- 2017-07-31 U2 film for the “Best Thing”
- 2017-10-05 “Get Out of Your Own Way” (Mexico City Video)
- 2018-11-14 Ready for What’s Next: Get Out of Your Own Way Video Information