Bono and the Edge, frontmen for the Irish rock band U2, performed a surprise concert in Ukraine yesterday. The two rock stars traveled to Kyiv, where they put on a concert in the Khreshchatyk metro station to show solidarity with the embattled Ukrainian people. The surprise show came at the request of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
“President [Zelenskyy] 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,” the band tweeted on Sunday, May 8.
The small concert took place in Ukraine’s capital, where — just two months after invading Ukraine — Russian forces recently abandoned their efforts to seize the city. The concert also coincided with the return of US diplomats to the American embassy in Kyiv.
Bono and the Edge played a medley of U2’s biggest hits, along with a unique rendition of “Stand by Me” that notably replaced “Me” with “Ukraine.” The rock stars were joined by several Ukrainian soldiers in uniform who helped sing the ballad.
This isn’t Bono’s first gesture of support for Ukraine. The Irish superstar penned a poem likening Zelenskyy to Saint Patrick in March, which Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi performed on Saint Patrick’s Day. Bono has a history of using his stardom for philanthropic work, including campaigns for AIDS relief and curbing extreme poverty across Africa.
The same day that half of U2 was raising spirits in Ukraine, Russia hosted an elaborate military parade where Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed Russia was waging war “for our people in Donbas, for the security of Russia, our homeland.”