Irish musician Bono (L) of the band U2 performs with Ukrainian singer Taras Topolya (R) from Antytila band, who now serves in the Ukrainian army, in Khreshatyk metro station in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Sunday. Photo by Oleg Petrasyuk/EPA-EFE
May 8 (UPI) — Bono and The Edge of the British rock band U2 performed a surprise acoustic concert in Kyiv on Sunday at the invitation of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“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,” the musicians posted on Twitter.
The artists, who have together won 22 Grammy Awards as members of U2, performed for 40 minutes in a makeshift bomb shelter in the Khreshchatyk train station to a crowd of about 100 people as air raid sirens could be heard in the background, according to the Irish Times.
“Really there’s nowhere in the whole world that we’d rather be today than in the great city of Kyiv,” Bono told the crowd before belting out Angels in Harlem, according to a recording posted to YouTube.
“The people in Ukraine are not just fighting for your own freedom, you are fighting for all of us who love freedom,” Bono told the crowd.
Bono, from Dublin, also told the crowd of Ireland’s own conflicts and said he hoped the war in Ukraine would end soon.
Videos posted to social media show that Bono and The Edge performed Sunday Bloody Sunday and brought a Ukrainian soldier Taras Topolya to the stage to help them sing a cover of Stand By Me by Ben E. King.
Before becoming a soldier, Topolya was the singer for the band Antytila in Ukraine.
Other songs performed during the concert include U2 hits Sunday Bloody Sunday, With Or Without You and Desire.
After the concert, Bono and The Edge visited the grounds of a Bucha church where a mass grave was found in March after Russian troops withdrew to refocus efforts on eastern Ukraine, The New York Times reported.