Just weeks after that unforgettably corny poem almost made the world turn against him, Bono has offered some appeasement with a powerful concert in a Ukraine bomb shelter.
Accompanied by his U2 bandmate The Edge, the pair performed for just under an hour in a Kyiv subway station, praising the country’s citizens for continuing to fight for their freedom against Russia. Classic U2 anthems like ‘With or Without You’ and ‘Angel of Harlem’ were sung with gusto by the Irish visitors.
“Your president leads the world in the cause of freedom right now… the people of Ukraine are not just fighting for your own freedom, you’re fighting for all of us who love freedom,” Bono told the crowd of around 100 people gathered inside Khreshchatyk metro station.
Throughout the concert, Bono intermittently shouted rallying calls to the Ukrainians between songs. “This evening, 8 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,” he said at one point.
— U2 (@U2) May 8, 2022
Bono and The Edge were also joined by Ukrainian singer Taras Topolia for an acoustic version of the beautiful Ben E. King song ‘Stand By Me’. After the performance, Topolia had a strong message for world leaders: “I’m asking you to help our president and our diplomacy to extract Ukraine’s soldiers from Mariupol,” he said, referencing the Ukrainian city that has suffered some of the war’s worst fatalities and damages.
Topolia previously made headlines when his band Antytila worked with Ed Sheeran on a remix of the pop star’s song ‘2Step’ while Topolia was with the Ukrainian army fighting the war.
Bono and The Edge aren’t the only celebrities to be spotted in Ukraine recently. Sean Penn was already in the country making a political documentary when Russia first invaded, the Hollywood icon going so far as to say that he considered “taking up arms against Russia.”
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Check out Bono and The Edge’s concert in Kyiv:
"Graliśmy w różnych miastach, ale nigdy w tak wspaniałym jak #Kijów"
W kijowskim metrze Bono z zespołu U2 zaśpiewał z ukraińskimi żołnierzami "Stand by Ukraine"
— Biełsat (@Bielsat_pl) May 8, 2022
In the epicenter of global history. Bono from @U2 on the metro station in Kyiv singing for Ukraine. Such a historical moments to show solidarity and pay global attention on putin’s invasion. Please repost and stand with Ukraine by pushing your govts to help us with weapons/money pic.twitter.com/j5aKrkPS60
— Serhiy Leshchenko (@Leshchenkos) May 8, 2022