Saturday, May 28, 2011

Backup Dancers From Hell: Lifehouse - “Broken”

We start off with the band sitting in a car, with the lead singer already warbling and the rest of the band not doing much of value. The car doesn’t seem to be moving, but it appears that lots of other people are on foot, streaming past the car and headed in the other direction. Clearly, something is not right, above and beyond a certain band member’s refusal to brush his hair.

The camera finally moves around so that we can see the car is in the middle of a long tunnel. We can also see that something is just a bit odd about the lines of people walking around the car. We can’t quite put our finger on it, other than no one seems to be very happy, so we might be at a really big office party where attendance was mandatory and the people you already didn’t like have had too much eggnog.

The lead singer finally hops out of the car, intent on either determining the source of the crowd dissatisfaction or running somewhere to pick up his Chinese takeout while double-parked, not sure. Once he stands up, we can see that the entire tunnel is filled with these shuffling folk, and I get a flashback to the original “Dawn of the Dead” movie. You know, the gory one in the mall where bad things happen to people who shop at JC Penney. This doesn’t look good.

No matter, these people are rock stars and they’ve faced much worse. The rest of the guys jump out as well and start trucking along behind the lead singer. The camera lingers on the singer’s face, so we can study the complex emotions he’s apparently feeling as well as learn that he likes his hair with frosted tips. (Now is not the time to point out that he might need a touch up. They seem to be rather occupied at the moment.)

The next several minutes are pretty much the same thing, with the band working its way upstream in the crowd and nobody smiling. (I guess it never occurs to these guys that there might be a REASON why everyone is headed the other way. Me, I’ve seen too many horror movies, and I would already be running the other way, knocking down senior citizens in my panicked need to escape the vague monster who is eating people.)

At one point, the lead singer bumps into one of the strange people, and causes him to spill the contents of his briefcase. But instead of politely stopping to help with fluttering paper retrieval, the lead singer just keeps marching along, so he must be from Jersey. The lead singer bumps into several other people on his journey, but most of them don’t seem to notice. What is wrong with these people? Just shuffle, shuffle, look depressed. I don’t want to live wherever this is.

In the most horrifying moment of the entire video, a small girl drops her teddy bear and her wicked mommy won’t let her pick it up, forcing the little girl to leave her furry friend behind, with lots of rude people stomping on its head. That poor girl will be in therapy for years, eventually turning to drugs and breaking into the zoo late at night, wandering around and endlessly searching for long-lost “Bucky” in the bear cages.

Years later, the band finally makes it to the end of the tunnel, and we see that there has been a nasty car accident. While rescue people dash about and do their thing, the lead singer spies a woman standing near him, who is looking into one of the wrecked cars and seeing herself in the crumpled driver’s seat, dead. Then he sees another guy also looking at his own dead self.

Well then, this is one happy, festive video, eh?

The lead singer finally clues in, and dashes over to the worst of the cars, wrenching the door open so he can look inside. Yep, he sees himself taking more than just a nap. The lead singer turns and runs back into the tunnel, fighting through the trudging Dawn of the Dead people and scrambling to get to his car. When he does, he sees himself and the rest of the band still in the car. Lead singer guy starts banging on the windows to get their attention, but there must be a good song on the radio and they completely ignore him.

Then the lead singer is startled out of his daydream by a police officer banging on the same window, motioning that he can go ahead and pull forward. Nobody’s really dead, nothing to see here, move along.



Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

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