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Dublin: 16 °C Wednesday 12 August, 2020

U2 played an intimate gig in London for the firefighters who responded to Grenfell Tower

They also paid tribute to Jo Cox who was murdered by a terrorist last year.

Royal visit to Canada - Day 3 Source: Chris Jackson

ON FRIDAY NIGHT, U2 invited the London firefighters who helped to fight the blaze at Grenfell Tower to a private concert during their soundcheck. It took place before their sold out show with 82,000 attendants at Twickenham.

Tower block fire in London Source: David Mirzoeff

NME reported that 48 firefighters and family members showed up to the concert that celebrated 30 years since the release of U2′s album The Joshua Tree. Noel Gallagher (whose band was supporting U2) also watched the show from his mixing desk.

Tower block fire in London Source: Dominic Lipinski

Professional cameras were not permitted during the rehearsal, but phones were.

One viewer shared a video of the rehearsal to Periscope that shows one of them sipping on champagne while they enjoy the show:

If the video will not play, you can watch it here

In total, they played eight songs including Where The Streets Have No Name, Vertigo, Mysterious and I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.

Apart from the length of the show, it otherwise was pretty similar to the full show, with the visuals being used throughout the bands performance. According to The Independent, they even invited a woman named Louise on stage to dance with Bono.

Fans were pretty impressed by the lovely gesture.

In a concert the following night, U2 paid tribute to Labour MP Jo Cox who was shot and stabbed last year during the EU referendum campaign.

Jo Cox shooting Source: PA Archive/PA Images

Bono had worked with Jo Cox on the Make Poverty History campaign and dedicated the song Ultraviolet (Light My Way) to the politician. “She lived her life championing the lives of others” he said to the crowd at Twickenham.

Bono encouraged tolerance towards immigrants by saying the lines from Jo Cox’s maiden speech to Parliament which have become iconic in the wake of her death; “We have more in common than that which divides us.”

Brexit referendum - Tribute to Jo Cox Source: DPA/PA Images

He said “Us Irish are immigrant people, and of course we came [to Britain], we thank you for giving us safety and sanctuary for all these years. We hope it won’t stop.”

Earlier this year, The Edge spoke about The Joshua Tree and said “It seems like we have come full circle from when The Joshua Tree songs were originally written, with global upheaval, extreme right wing politics and some fundamental human rights at risk.”

U2 in concert - Twickenham Stadium Source: David Jensen

At several points throughout the show, Bono paused to acknowledge the victims of the attacks in Manchester and London over the last few months.

For an encore, the band performed Don’t Look Back In Anger with Noel Gallagher, the song which became an anthem for people in Manchester after the shocking events at Ariana Grande’s concert in May.


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About the author:

Kelly Earley

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