We didn’t think we’d see another video this month that could match the joy and exuberance of James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke ride with Rod Stewart (and briefly, A$AP Rocky). But we were wrong.
Thanks to The Edge and Adam Clayton dropping by New York’s The Cutting Room on Wednesday night, unannounced, to perform a couple of songs with local U2 tribute band Unforgettable Fire (celebrating on that night their 20th anniversary), there is now a second July video that matches the giddy rock idol-music fan flow of 70-year-old Stewart grooving to his own music and reminiscing with his driver about the days of throwing TV sets out hotel room windows.
What makes these two videos so special?:
1) The unabashed fandom of Corden for Stewart and Unforgettable Fire for U2.
2) The audience reactions. In The Late Late Show case, it’s a laugh and cheer track of the best kind. In the U2 video, the standout is a member of the audience who can be heard exclaiming “Oh my God!” ten times in a row once he realizes what is happening.
3) The genuine pleasure taken by Stewart, The Edge and Clayton, and expressed throughout.
4) The little moments. At one point in the U2 +2, tribute Edge (Mick Normoyle) poses for a photo with the real Edge. In the CK video, Stewart goes one hilarious step further with Corden when the two are talking about his hair.
As Rolling Stone associate editor Andy Greene explains, the members of Unforgettable Fire initially thought that the special surprise on-stage visitor was The Edge’s famed guitar tech Dallas Schoo, which would have in itself been a tremendous honor. But Schoo turned out to be just the decoy.
Extra props to Unforgettable Fire lead singer Tony Russo for handling it all with such verve, grace and Bono-like flair.