U2’s Bono and The Edge gave a surprise concert at a Kiev metro station on Sunday at the request of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The superstars performed U2 classics like “With or Without You” and “Angel of Harlem” along with a cover of Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me” – although they changed the lyrics to “Stand by Ukraine”.
“President Zelenskyy invited us to perform in Kyiv to show solidarity with the Ukrainian people and that’s why we came.” The band tweeted from his official account in a message signed by Bono and The Edge – who played acoustic guitar for the makeshift Subway concert.
The U2 frontmen apparently chose to perform at the central Kiev metro station because Ukraine’s transit stations have become de facto air raid shelters where residents can hide from Russian attacks.
Videos on social media captured the moving event in the capital of the Eastern European country.
Bono and The Edge were joined for part of the performance by Ukrainian band Antytila, whose member Taras Topolia joined the country’s military to fight off the Russians and can be seen singing in his military uniform.
Antytila recently worked with Ed Sheehan to raise money for the Ukrainian war effort.
The U2 performance comes a month after Zelensky delivered a special speech at the Grammys urging US musicians to use their platforms and talents to speak “the truth about” the war.
“Fill the silence with your music!” Selenskyj said at the time. “Complete it today to tell our story. Tell the truth about this war on your social networks, on TV. Support us in any way you can. Any – but not silence. And then peace will come.
“Our musicians wear body armor instead of tuxedos,” he added. “They sing for the wounded in hospitals. Even for those who can’t hear them. But the music will break through anyway.”
In March, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi rolled her eyes after reading a St Patrick’s Day poem by Irish musician Bono, which Zelensky proclaimed to be a modern-day version of Ireland’s patron saint.
“Ireland’s sorrow and pain is now Ukraine, and St. Patrick’s name is now Zelensky,” the poem concluded, equating the legendary Christian missionary with the war leader.