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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Watch: Irish rock band U2 performs in war-torn Ukraine, shares stage with Antytila

Performing at an underground metro station in Kyiv, U2’s Bono and the Edge hailed Ukrainians for "fighting for all of us who love freedom".

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: May 11, 2022 9:47:34 am
The two bands performed at a free concert in an underground metro station in Kyiv.

Legendary Irish rock band U2 performed for free at a concert in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, providing the people of the war-torn country the healing touch of music amid the ongoing conflict with Russia. And in a sweet gesture, they shared the stage with Antytila, the popular Ukrainian pop-rock band.

Performing at an underground metro station in Kyiv, U2’s Bono and the Edge hailed Ukrainians for “fighting for all of us who love freedom”. Despite the perilous conditions, the band informed on Twitter that they travelled to the country at the request of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The rock icons performed some of their evergreen hits in an intimate 40-minute concert before a small crowd gathered inside the Khreshchatyk metro station. Soon, Ukrainian musicians donning army fatigues joined the duo on stage at times during the show.

Antytila’s frontman Taras Topolia was seen singing with Bono, sharing his experience as he swapped musical instruments for weapons to defend his country. In a poignant performance, they covered ‘Stand by me’ and changed the lyrics in part to sing, “Stand By Ukraine”.

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“Tonight we came from Kharkiv to Kyiv at the personal invitation of world legend Bono, @u2 . We sang ‘Stand by you’ without rehearsal, only impromptu!” Antytila wrote on Instagram sharing a video of them.

Although Russia continues to carry out missile strikes across Ukraine, some life has returned to Kyiv even though air raid sirens sound regularly. “They can take your lives, but they can never take your pride,” Bono told the crowd according to Reuters.

Topolia, who earlier went viral for his video message to Ed Sheeran asking if his band can perform at ‘Concert for Ukraine’, was denied by the organisers in late March. The band which wanted to perform remotely from Kyiv were told they couldn’t as the concert had a purely humanitarian purpose but wearing helmets and holding arms would not align with the cause.

Although the concert did not work out, the association with Sheeran continued, and recently they collaborated to release an updated version of one of his songs, ‘2Step’. Topolia added a verse to the British musician’s song ‘2step’, and the music video was shot over various locations in Ukraine, demolished following Russia’s invasion, highlighting the struggles of refugees.

They also informed that all proceeds from the monetisation of videos on YouTube and royalties will go to charity Music Saves UA, a humanitarian campaign and fundraising project providing immediate relief to Ukrainians impacted by the war.

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