Wednesday 26 October 2016

'Tonight we are all Parisians', says emotional Bono

Bono gets the crowd going in Paris
Bono gets the crowd going in Paris

Almost a month after the Paris terrorist attacks and there was an eerie silence outside the AccorHotels Arena in the Bercy area of the city last night.

U2 were coming to play just weeks after at least 130 people were killed in the attacks. Authorities were taking no chances, and armed soldiers and police paraded outside the concert venue all day yesterday. Weeks ago, a group of terrorists did the same at another venue, the Bataclan, as music fans gathered. But last night there was no bloodshed. The only thing shed was tears.

Bono remembered all who fell on November 13, saying: "Tonight we are all Parisians. The world is from Paris."


In the 20,000 capacity venue, there is room for 6,000 standing spectators - but no one took a seat if they had them.

"We stand together with the families who lost their families in Paris. We stand together with families in San Bernardino (California). We stand together with families with families in Beruit. We stand together before those with false ideologies of the God they serve," said Bono, before a rousing chorus of In the Name of Love.

The northside Dublin boys were originally due to rock Paris the night after it witnessed one of its darkest days. But the city was grieving and a decision was made to postpone their performance in memory of all who perished.

Sisters Elodie and Alizee Alexander from Lyon made the journey last night, and Alizee told us: "We were here on the night and remember watching the news, not knowing if the concert was going to go ahead the next night. It was very scary.

Elodie added: "We were trying to decide in our mind if we would go if it was on, but we are glad it was postponed. We have loved U2 since we were born, our father instilled their music in us."

As the Paris audience applauded for an encore, U2 belted out City of Blinding Lights, One and People Have The Power on a night that will always be remembered in Paris.

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