I’m not the first writer at RedState to point out that members of the smart set who analyze foreign matters and Russian president Vladimir Putin himself were betting on Ukraine crumbling within 72 hours of the sovereign nation being invaded on February 24. My colleague Streiff has made that fact the refrain of many of his pieces on the war (note that you will find the latest updates on the fighting in his two most recent articles from Saturday: “Ukraine’s Attacks on Snake Island Hint That Russia’s Black Sea Fleet’s Influence on the War May Be Over” and “Ukraine President Zelensky Sets His Terms to End Russia’s Aggression in Ukraine and Vladimir Putin Isn’t Laughing“).
And the reason for that is, at least in part, because of how very savvy Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is about rallying support for his cause through strategic media appearances and social media outreach like this and this and this–to both his own countrymen and the world at large. It’s with the understanding that culture is powerful, not only to reach outsiders but to buoy the morale of Ukraine’s military. God knows they could use it.
That brings us to the surprise visit and an impromptu concert from Bono and U2 this weekend in Kiev. The singer announced their arrival about eight hours ago on–unsurprisingly–Twitter:
President @ZelenskyyUa 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. — Bono and The Edge #StandWithUkraine
— U2 (@U2) May 8, 2022
Since then, a couple of clips of the performance have already started circulating on social media. This first one shows some Ukrainian soldiers adding their voices, while riffing on the classic rock tune written by Bill Withers, “Stand By Me” (which most people know from the version by Ben E. King):
— ReaⓁegia (@Real_Legia) May 8, 2022
Then there’s Bono, center-stage, singing one of the band’s massive ’80s hits, “With or Without You”:
— AUSTROHÚNGARO (@AUSTROHNGARO2) May 8, 2022
The Irish Times has more details on the “makeshift” concert, which took place in a Kiev subway station:
The sound of Sunday Bloody Sunday blasted out of a subway station in central Kyiv, Ukraine, on Sunday as Bono and The Edge took to a makeshift stage in a makeshift bomb shelter and performed a surprise 40-minute concert to a backdrop of air-raid sirens and war.
During the concert, the U2 frontman praised Ukraine’s fight for “freedom” and stressed that the fight being fought by the Ukrainian people was not confined to a relatively small geographical area but resonated across the entire world.
“The people in Ukraine are not just fighting for your own freedom, you are fighting for all of us who love freedom,” Bono told the crowd of up to 100 gathered inside the Khreshchatyk metro station, among whom were soldiers in military fatigues.
The publication added that Bono changed up the lyics to “(Pride) In the Name of Love,” though he spoke instead of sang the words to the song–a tribute to the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr:
“This evening, 8th of May, shots will ring out in the Ukraine sky, but you’ll be free at last. They can take your lives, but they can never take your pride,” he said.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the original, here’s the video version most GenX members have indelibly ingrained in our memories. Enjoy!