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U2’s Bono and The Edge perform in Kyiv bomb shelter

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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Grammy Awards ’22: Ukraine, Foo Fighters and more

In a Grammy Awards ceremony that featured a video plea from Ukraine’s president, as well as a tribute to Foo Fighters dummer Taylor Hawkins, artists including Olivia Rodrigo, Silk Sonic and Jon Batiste scooped the top prizes.

The 64th event was held last night (3 April) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas after a three-month delay due to the Covid-19 surge in the US.

Jazz musician Batiste won album of the year for We Are, while Rodrigo won best new artist and best pop album.

Silk Sonic, a joint project between Bruno Mars and rapper/drummer Anderson .Paak, took home both the record and song of the year prizes for Leave The Door Open.

This year’s Grammys presented one of the most open fields in years, with the “big four” categories expanded to include 10 nominees each.

The ceremony featured performances from Silk Sonic, Gaga, Rodrigo, Lil Nas X, Billie Eilish, J Balvin, BTS and more

Other winners included Lady Gaga, Doja Cat and Foo Fighters, who picked up three a little more than a week after their drummer Taylor Hawkins was found dead in his Colombia hotel room at the age of 50.

Presenter Jimmy Jam accepted the prizes in the band’s absence, “with prayers to their loved ones”.

Elsewhere, in a pre-taped message, Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky urged musicians to “fill the silence” left by Russian bombs “with your music”.

“Tell our story,” he said. “Tell the truth about the war on your social networks and TV. But not silence.”

His speech was followed by a performance by John Legend, accompanied by Ukrainian musicians Siuzanna Iglidan and Mika Newton, and poet Lyuba Yakimchuk.

The ceremony also featured performances from award winners Silk Sonic, Gaga and Rodrigo, as well as Lil Nas X, Billie Eilish, Chris Stapleton, J Balvin and K-pop stars BTS.

A full list of award winners can be found here.

 


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