Larry Lootsteen - Conestogo, Ontario, Canada
Okay, so I don't believe in God. But I, I, believe in love. Stop. And this is the one aspect of U2 that fascinates me most. On faith, music, God, love, connection - concepts that don't always exist well together in the continuum, U2 somehow manages to blur the lines for all. Atheists and agnostics tend to have that love-hate relationship with the faithful but U2's music transcends the lines.
Here you have a band that has been pretty open about where they stand. Most musicians either embrace that Gospel and their music tends to get pocketed into Country, Gospel, Faith-rock or whatever. Those bands do not sit at the head of the line with the masses. Or bands will never discuss it no matter what their beliefs so they can appeal to that broader base.
And then you have U2. Faith on their sleeve and fans of every stripe. And I know this question has been asked and discussed for decades. Why? What is it that makes a band that is so open about their faith and that you can see it so much of the time in their music, appeal to people no matter what they believe?
Is it the music? Is the music just so much better that it erases the boundaries that usually exist? Maybe.
Is it the fact that despite their faith that they are still willing to question? They are willing to scream out at the outrages in the world and ask God how he could allow such atrocities. Is that it?
Is it a simple matter of passion? it's hard to arge that U2's passion is boundless and infectious.
What about their live shows? Is it that ability to get 80,000 people fired up and involved something that goes outside the stadium walls and into the DNA of those who experience it?
Can you pick just one? Or is it all of it? And the obvious response would have to yes, it is all of it. We could probably sit here and pick out bands that have some of thse things in spades. But how many bands with such an open faith have ALL these elements? I can't think of more than one.
I have never had faith. I have actively pursued it at times. I've never been able to get past the issues I have with belief. That's me. But U2 has been my favourite band for decades now and their faith is something that brings a different level to their music. It is layered in and out of faith. They have managed to be open and honest, subtle and unassuming, questioning and angry, prayerful and worshipping all in the same song at times.
U2's faith is attractive to me. It adds that depth to the music, the lyrics and the performance. And the beauty is that I don't have to believe to embrace it, experience it, feel it. And maybe that is what it really is. The spirit and the intent is pure and given without pretense, sales or expectation. And something I can truly believe in.