Two members of the Irish rock bank U2 played a surprise concert inside a subway station located in Kyiv, Ukraine as a show of support for the country’s fight for freedom.
“President @ZelenskyyUa 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 — Bono and The Edge #StandWithUkraine” the rock stars shared on the band’s official Twitter account on May 8.
— U2 (@U2) May 8, 2022
The 40-minute concert happened on the platform of the Khreshchatyk subway station in front of a small crowd of about 100 people on May 8, according to Reuters.
“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 audience.
Reports from the concert said the U2 pair performed a number of the classic songs, including “With Or Without You” and “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” the band’s famed song about 1972’s Bloody Sunday incident, where civilian protestors were killed by armed British soldiers in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, during The Troubles.
A video posted by journalist Kristina Berdynskykh on Twitter gave the world a glimpse of what the local audience got to experience in the Kyiv metro:
— Kristina Berdynskykh (@berdynskykh_k) May 8, 2022
Bono also shared the subway platform stage with Ukrainian singer Taras Topolia, giving a rousing rendition of Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me” that changed the refrain to “Stand By Ukraine in this clip shared by Good morning, Ukraine, a Twitter user dedicated to sharing content directly from the country:
Kyiv metro. Just the legendary Bono from the band U2 sings with Taras Topola.
We are unbreakable. We are invincible. The whole world supports us.
Glory to Ukraine! 🇺🇦#Bono #U2 #StandWithUkraine #Artists pic.twitter.com/7QqoQ1jVtr
— Good morning, Ukraine (@good_ukraine) May 8, 2022
Following the concert, Bono stopped to visit a church in the city of Bucha, according to a report from The New York Times. After Russian troops withdrew from the town, a mass grave was found, and Bono came to pay his respects.
U2 has been showing solidarity with the people of Ukraine on social media since the conflict began. In April, they noted that the number of people who have fled Ukraine roughly matches the population of Ireland and asked their followers to support Stand Up For Ukraine, a relief effort for refugees of the war:
World leaders must stand up and stand by Ukranians now … those who are fighting and those who have fled … and stand with refugees everywhere who have been forced from their homes and their lands. #StandUpForUkrainehttps://t.co/KOq9K42Xpm@GlblCtzn
— U2 (@U2) April 8, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Bono and The Edge for their support in his nightly video address to the country, Reuters reported.