Mass rallies may be banned while France is under a state of emergency, but that didn’t stop 20,300 fans from filling Paris’ AccordHotel Arena on Sunday evening. They were there to see U2, who had postponed their previously scheduled two-night stint at the venue following the November 13th terrorist attacks. Bono and the boys returned for a triumphant performance on Sunday, and they brought along a special guest.
Though Eagles of Death Metal were rumored to guest at the show, it was instead Patti Smith who appeared for the show’s finale. Like she did back in October during U2’s London show, Smith joined Bono for a snippet of her classic “Gloria” before transitioning into “People Have the Power”. Although this may have been the same thing they did at that London date, the song clearly resonated with more power on this particular night in this particular city. Check out fan-shot footage below.
“Grief is like a wound that never fully closes,” Bono said in a stirring speech to the audience. “I am still feeling it and I was 14 when my mother left me but she left me as an artist and this wound became an opening into another world and I found these three (pointing to his band). Rock n’ roll saved me, these men saved me, you saved me.”
“We can’t save you but our role tonight is to serve you. We have the privilege to be your servants this evening,” said Bono before dedicating a song to his mother, “Iris (Hold Me Close).” The band went on to play their greatest hits, “Where The Streets Have No Name,” Beautiful Day,” “With or Without You” and “Bloody Sunday.”
This wasn’t the first time Smith has performed “People Have the Power” in Paris since the attacks. Just a few days earlier, she joined Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Flea for a stripped down version of the song.
There are also still rumors that EODM may appear for U2’s Paris gig on Monday evening, when HBO is filming a new concert special.