Amidst the ongoing violence and bloodshed at the hands of Russia, Ukraine got a bit of rock-fueled relief thanks to U2’s Bono and The Edge, who were invited by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for a surprise concert in Kyiv.
“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,” the musicians wrote on U2’s Twitter page.
Bono and The Edge performed an acoustic show with just a guitar and some mics in a subway station in the Ukrainian capital that has been converted into a makeshift bomb shelter. On the setlist were hits like “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “Desire,” as well as a cover of the classic soul song “Stand by Me.” Videos of the concert, which included Bono singing with Ukrainian soldiers, have made the rounds on social media.
“The people in Ukraine are not just fighting for your own freedom, you are fighting for all of us who love freedom,” Bono said during the show, according to France 24. “We pray that you will enjoy some of that peace soon.”
This isn’t the first time that rock bands have been called upon to provide some relief in the middle of a war zone. In 1994, Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson was called upon by a pair of United Nations personnel to hold a secret concert with his solo band, Skunkworks, in Sarajevo during the Bosnian War. The band’s journey in and out of the wartorn city, as well as recollections of the concert from Dickinson and the fans in attendance, became the basis of the 2017 indie documentary “Scream for Me Sarajevo.”
Watch clips of U2’s concert in the videos above.