U2 delivered a politically charged version of “Get Out of Your Own Way” at the 2018 Grammy Awards, braving the cold to perform outside with the Statue of Liberty looming majestically behind them. The band pre-recorded their performance Friday night on a barge in the Hudson River.
The proximity of the Statue of Liberty helped drive home the call-to-arms nature of “Get Out of Your Own Way,” which includes dire warnings about the state of democracy. “The face of liberty’s starting to crack,” Bono sang. “She had a plan up until she got smacked in the mouth.” Adam Clayton’s chugging bass line was the engine pushing the song forward, while the Edge played his usual uplifting riffs on guitar and Larry Mullen Jr. added emphatic punctuation on his cymbals.
At the end of the performance, Bono picked up a megaphone to announce, “blessed are the bullies, for one day they will have to stand up to themselves.” The performance ended with the singer raising his megaphone in the air, striking a pose that mimicked the Statue behind him.
“Get Out of Your Own Way” appears on the band’s chart-topping 2017 LP, Songs of Experience, which isn’t eligible for any awards at this year’s ceremony as it arrived after the Grammys’ September 30th cut-off date. The record, a companion piece and spiritual successor to 2014’s Songs of Innocence, ranked Number Three on Rolling Stone‘s 50 Best Albums of 2017 list.
Throughout their career, U2 have earned 47 Grammy nominations and won 22. They most recently earned a Best Rock Album nod for Songs of Innocence in 2015, and The Joshua Tree entered the Grammy Hall of Fame the previous year.
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U2 spent much of 2017 playing arenas on their massive anniversary tour celebrating 1987 blockbuster The Joshua Tree. On May 2nd in Tulsa, the quartet will kick off another round of tour dates – a sequel to their 2015 Innocence + Experience trek.