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The pair were invited by president Volodymyr Zelenskyy to give an acoustic concert in a subway station repurposed as a bomb shelter
By IQ on 09 May 2022
U2 band members Bono and The Edge yesterday (8 May) delivered an acoustic concert in one of Kyiv’s subway stations that have been repurposed as a bomb shelter.
According to a post from the band’s official social media, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky invited the pair to play in his country, which has been fending off an invasion by Russia since 24 February.
According to the Irish Times, the musicians started the set with ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ as the sound of air-raid sirens went off in the distance.
Elsewhere in the setlist were ‘With Or Without You’, ‘Desire’ and ‘Angel Of Harlem’. Before the latter, Bono told the crowd that there was “nowhere in the whole world that we would rather be in today than in the great city of Kyiv”.
The pair also covered Ben E. King’s ‘Stand By Me’, bringing up a Ukrainian soldier on stage to help them sing it, and changing the “me” in the lyrics to “Ukraine”. Musicians who have had to join the military in recent months also joined the band on stage throughout the set, including Taras Topolya, frontman of Ukrainian band Antytila.
During the performance, Bono also addressed the war that is ongoing in Ukraine and has taken the lives of 3,280 Ukrainian civilians as of Friday (6 May), according to the OHCHR. “The people in Ukraine are not just fighting for your own freedom, you are fighting for all of us who love freedom,” he said. “We pray that you will enjoy some of that peace soon.”
U2 aren’t the only musicians to perform in a bomb shelter as, in March, a string quintet performed to hundreds of residents taking shelter in an underground train station to mark what would have been the first day of Kharkiv Music Fest.
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