Artist News Gigs & Festivals

Bono and The Edge perform in Ukrainian bomb shelter

By | Published on Monday 9 May 2022

Bono and The Edge perform in Ukraine

Bono and The Edge last night performed a 40 minute acoustic set in a bomb shelter in Kyiv, after accepting an invitation from Ukrainian president Volodmyr Zelenskiy.

The musicians played to around 100 people in a subway station currently being used as a shelter from attacks on the city. In a statement, the musicians said that Zelenskiy “invited us to perform in Kyiv as a show of solidarity with the Ukrainian people and so that’s what we’ve come to do”.

The set included U2 hits such as ‘With Or Without You’, ‘Desire’, ‘Angel Of Harlem’ and ‘Vertigo’, as well as a cover of Ben E King’s ‘Stand By Me’ performed with Taras Topolia, frontman of the band Antytila, who recently also appeared on a remix of Ed Sheeran’s ‘2step’, while also fighting in the Ukrainian army.

During the performance, Bono told the audience that of all the great cities around the globe there was “nowhere in the whole world that we would rather be in today than in the great city of Kyiv”.

“The people in Ukraine are not just fighting for your own freedom, you are fighting for all of us who love freedom”, he said. “This evening, 8th of May, shots will ring out in the Ukraine sky, but you’ll be free at last. They can take your lives, but they can never take your pride”.

Various pieces of footage of the show recorded on mobile phones have already made it online, although it also appears that the set was being filmed for professional broadcast.

Bono and The Edge were later seen visiting sites around Kyiv, The Edge telling reporters – according to Sky News – “Musicians and poets and writers do have a part to play [in opposing Russia’s attacks on Ukraine]. We work with our music and our words. We’re not politicians. But we can speak to the horror of what we’re standing in the midst of, and just say ‘it’s wrong’. So we’re here to bear witness to it”.

U2 reportedly met Zelenskiy before he became president of Ukraine, and his invitation to come to the country came after they sent him a poem set to music. That poem was also recently read by Speaker of the US House Of Representatives Nancy Pelosi during a St Patrick’s Day lunch.

Watch Bono and The Edge perform ‘With Of Without You’ and ‘Stand By Me’.