The Songs Of My Life: U2 – Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of

I wouldn’t call myself a U2 fan. There are certain U2 songs that I like, but I never go out of my way to listen to them. Yet in the year 2001 – long before U2 would annoy millions of people by putting their new album on everyone’s iPhone – when I was at the tender age of 14, one of their songs came to mean a lot to me. That song was Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of.  

Released on 29 January 2001, I was the second single from U2’s tenth studio album, All That You Can’t Leave Behind. According to a Rolling Stone interview with Bono from November 2005, the song is about the suicide of his close friend Michael Hutchence, the lead singer of INXS. It’s written in the form of an argument where Bono tries to convince Hutchence that suicide is foolish. 

It’s a row between mates. You’re kinda trying to wake them up out of an idea. In my case, it’s a row I didn’t have while he was alive. I feel the biggest respect I could pay to him was not to write some stupid soppy song, so I wrote a really tough, nasty little number, slapping him around the head. And I’m sorry, but that’s how it came out of me. 

Wenner, Jann S. (3 November 2005). “Bono: The Rolling Stone Interview”. Rolling Stone. No. 986. pp. 48–67, 102–103.

As a 14-year-old, I was unaware of what the song was actually about. The original reason I fell in love with it was due to the music video released for the song. Three versions exist, and the version that I fell in love with was the original version (also known as the US version). It features an American football game where a placekicker keeps reliving a field goal he missed that would cost his team the game. The video ends with the linebacker, now a postman, as an old man. He kicks the ball and scores. 

This video captivated me and my brother. It used to play on either TMF or The Hits music channels quite a lot, and always around the same time of day. This happened to be not long after we finished school. When we got off the bus, we’d run towards our home to turn the TV on and catch it before we missed it. We’d then sit there with grins on our faces while we watched it.  

I’m not sure why we loved the video so much. Watching it back today, it’s well shot and the story it tells is relatable to us all. No, I don’t mean that we all go through missing a kick at school. But we do all go through something that went wrong that we keep playing over and over in our heads.  

The more I watched the music video and listened to the song, the more I came to connect with the lyrics. As a teenager, I suffered from social anxiety. I would repeat conversations I’d had with other people over and over in my head. I’d wish I’d said something different or been a bit more approachable. Like a lot of teenagers, I obsessed over how people perceived me, and I wanted people to like me. But my social anxiety prevented me from being the real person I wanted to be. It also meant that I could come across as unapproachable and disinterested in involving myself in social activities with others. I tried to avoid social situations because I got anxious thinking about them.

There were so many moments during my teenage years when I’d get stuck replaying the same situations over and over in my head, wishing I’d done something different. Wishing I’d talked to that girl, or wishing that I hadn’t gotten so pissed off at someone and ended up having an argument over nothing. I always seemed to be ‘stuck in a moment’ rather than forgetting about it and moving on with my life. The lyric ‘don’t say that later will be better’ was always me saying I’ll come out of my shell when I’m ready, rather than going and doing something about it right now. 

These days, I’m far better at dealing with and moving on a lot quicker than I used to. That social anxiety is still around, but it’s not half as bad as it used to be.  

This song reminds me of darker times in my life, but it’s a positive thing as I know I ended up getting through it all to achieve the great life I have today. It also reminds me of having a connection with my brother and bonding over something we both enjoyed. That’s why I love music. It reminds you of periods in your life and the connections you shared with others. 

Bands To Watch: Meet Me @ The Altar

I’m over the moon that pop-punk seems to be undergoing a big revival at the moment, mostly fueled by Generation Z and amplified through platforms such as TikTok. The golden era of pop-punk is filling the ears of a new generation, influencing new bands and proving that singing about teenage-angst will obviously never die amongst teenagers. I’m probably going to write about that at some point, but for now I thought I’d launch a new series called ‘Ones to Watch’ and highlight a pop-punk band that I’m really loving right now. I hope to use this series cover relatively new artists that I’ve found in my voracious need to consume new music.  

Anyway, let’s meet Meet Me @ The Altar. 

The story of how Meet Me @ The Altar formed pretty much sums up how Generation Z lives their lives, as the band was formed completely over the Internet, with each member living in different US states. This thoroughly modern journey began in 2015, where guitarist Téa Campbell found the YouTube channel of Ada Juarez. Ada has been pumping out excellent drum solo covers of pop-punk classics on her channel since she was 14. The pair bonded and vocalist Edith Johnson would join them in 2017 after an audition where she sang Paramore’s All I Wanted.  

As they lived in separate states, they had to work on music remotely. They would also fly to Orlando to do basement shows, telling Louder: 

“I don’t even think there was ever a day where we didn’t talk to each other,” says Johnson. 

“It felt right though. Sometimes in life you have obstacles, and this distance just happened to be the thing we needed to overcome in order to do what we love. We never complained and we’re seeing those sacrifices pay off now,” she adds with a grin.” 


Their track Garden was released in 2020 and was well received, appearing at a time when we were all needing a little emotional support during an incredibly shit year dominated by a pandemic. From there, a record deal by Fueled by Ramen followed. Earlier in 2021, they released their Model Citizen EP and also went on a US tour with Coheed and Cambria (a band I absolutely adored as a teenager).  

The Model Citizen EP is brilliant, kicking off with the infectious ‘Feel a Thing’, a song that is constantly stuck in my head (in a good way). It’s also accompanied by a retro-inspired music video where the band go into an arcade and get sucked into a game. Cue some charming retro video game inspired graphics, with the band lovingly rendered as characters in a side-scrolling brawler.  

It’s also very refreshing to see a fully female pop-punk band and one made up of women of colour too. The pop-punk scene has mostly been dominated by chino-clad white men, from the early days through the 2000’s. A sizeable amount still put out pop-punk tracks in their 40’s that can sound a little dull and uninspired (see Green Day’s latest output). I’m not saying you can’t do a good pop-punk song when you’re older, but it is a musical genre that tends to be better with young and fresh bands like Meet Me @ The Altar, as well as connecting with a younger audience too. Plus, those older bands have made the pop-punk genre a little stale in the last few years. 

My teenage years may be long gone, but the energy that Meet Me @ The Altar put out makes me feel like one again. These newer pop-punk bands remind me of being 19 and sitting on a train at 7am in the morning on the way to university in Leeds. They always helped put me in the right mood, especially when I was half-asleep at that time. Those bands were also a big part of my identity at the time and helped me cope with the world. As much as I never want to back to how I was back then, as I’ve changed so much, I know that things would have been a lot harder without music like this. So, I hope that bands like Meet Me @ The Altar can help a new generation come to terms with who they are. I wish them massive success!