At U2’s gig at New York City’s famed Apollo Theater Monday night, June 11, frontman Bono dedicated a song to Anthony Bourdain, the late chef and TV personality who committed suicide last week at the age of 61.
“It’s hard to lose a friend, to lose a mate. This band has been through that, and music lost some great people who gave up on their own life, and that makes it kind of harder,” the singer began his onstage tribute, according to People, alluding to the 2017 suicides of singers Chris Cornell (Soundgarden/Audioslave) and Chester Bennington (Linkin Park).
“Fashion [referring to Kate Spade, who also committed suicide last week], and now this great storyteller, who I’m sure had stories he couldn’t tell us,” continued Bono. “To Anthony Bourdain and his friends and family, this is a song inspired by a great, great, great friend of ours. His name is Michael Hutchence.”
U2 then poignantly performed “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of,” which was written in memory of the late INXS frontman who, in 1997, also died from a suicide.
“I just knew that if Michael had hung around an extra half an hour, he would have been OK,” Bono once said about the tune, according to Rolling Stone. “I feel the biggest respect I could pay to him was not to write some stupid, soppy [expletive] song. So I wrote a really tough, nasty little number, slapping him around the head. And I’m sorry, but that’s how it came out of me.”
The track, originally featured on U2’s 2000 album All That You Can’t Leave Behind, is considered one of the band’s best and even won a Grammy award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals in 2002.
This was the Irish rock band’s first appearance at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York. CBS News reported that the invite-only show, mainly for SiriusXM subscribers, was attended by about 1,500 music lovers, including notable audience members such as musicians Jon Bon Jovi, Harry Belafonte, and “Little Steven” Van Zandt, tennis legend John McEnroe, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and businessman Rande Gerber and his model daughter Kaia Gerber.
The Apollo concert will be broadcast on U2’s SiriusXM limited-run channel, The U2 Experience, beginning Wednesday, June 13, at 5 p.m. ET. The station can be found on channel 30.
U2 is in the midst of the Experience + Innocence tour, which has dates in the East Coast through July 3.