After their concerts were postponed following the recent Paris terror attacks, the Irish band is back and fans finally got to see U2 in Paris. The Irish band dedicated songs to the victims of the recent Paris terror attacks.
As reported by the Inquisitr, the band was forced to postpone their U2 in Paris appearances in the wake of the November 13, terrorist attacks, which killed 130 people, including 89 concertgoers at the Bataclan concert hall. The U.S. band Eagles of Death Metal were playing at the Bataclan at the time it was stormed by the gunmen.
U2 was set to play on the nights of November 14, and 15, as part of its iNNOCENCE +eXPERIENCE tour, but with the state of emergency in France following the terror attacks, the band postponed the concerts.
The band later stated that nothing will stop them from appearing in Paris and kept their word, as the rescheduled concerts began on the night of December 6, and will culminate in a second concert on the night of December 7. In Paris there was tight security at the time of the rescheduled concerts.
ABC News reported security was tight when U2 performed at the AccorHotels Arena in what is considered to be the first large-scale cultural event in the City of Lights since the November attacks. All people entering the venue underwent full body searches and there was reportedly a heavy police presence outside the building.
As reported by the New York Times, Bono, front man for the Irish Band told the audience in French, “Tonight we are all Parisian,” adding, “If you love liberty, then Paris is your hometown.”
Towards the end of the set, Bono retrieved a French flag from the crowd in the stadium and draped it over his shoulder.
After the tour concludes Monday, HBO will be scheduling a broadcast of the second performance by U2 in Paris at 9 p.m. Eastern.
While some media reports said U2 would be joined onstage by Eagles of Death Metal, just before the show U2 posted on the band’s website, “This is not the case. We have another surprise guest planned for tonight’s show.”
That surprise guest turned out to be Patti Smith, who closed the U2 in Paris concert with her 1988 song “People Have the Power,” the lyrics of which include, rather appropriately, “The power to dream, to rule/To wrestle the world from fools.”
— Pitchfork (@pitchfork) December 7, 2015
Bono was interviewed before the concerts in Paris and said how important it was for the band to return to the stage as quickly as possible.
“Terrorism relies on people being terrorized, and we were not going to be. We felt the biggest and the only real contribution we can make at moment like that is to honor the people of Paris, who brought us the concept of liberté, égalité, fraternité.”
Throughout the concert Sunday night, Bono made references to Paris and a five-song encore opened with the song “City of Blinding Lights,” dedicated to the victims of the Paris terror attacks. Huge screens at the back of the stage displayed images of Paris by night, followed by the names of the victims of the November 13 attacks.
— Declan Pierce (@DecPierce) December 6, 2015
Bono concluded with lyrics from the Jacque Brel song “Ne Me Quitte Pas” (“Don’t Leave Me”).
During the concert by U2 in Paris, the band also touched on other important topics, referring to the recent attacks in San Bernadino, to HIV, the war in Syria and the European migrant crisis, with the hashtag #refugeeswelcome flashing up on the screens on the stage at one point. At that time there was also a song about the refugees, with Bono saying: “What do you want? A Europe closed on its heart or open to compassion and mercy?”
It turns out very few fans were deterred from attending the rescheduled shows by U2 in Paris as of the 34,000 tickets originally sold for the November shows, only 2,000 were refunded and then resold.
Watch the video below to see Patti Smith performing “People have the Power” with U2 in Paris on Sunday night.
[Photo via AP by Thibault Camus]