At Friday's first of two weekend shows in Manchester, England, U2 closed by paying tribute to the victims of the 2017 Ariana Grande concert terrorist attack.
Bono dedicated the final number, "13 (There is a Light)," to the 22 people who lost their lives last year. Before the band launched into the song, he told the crowd “This is a prayer for the safety of your children.” Some of the performance was captured on video that's been posted to YouTube.
Earlier in the show, U2 gave shout-outs to a number of influential Manchester musicians, including their pal Noel Gallagher, whose video of "It's a Beautiful World" they used as walk-on music. Bono also told the crowd, "Blessed is the baby Noel, born to this place.”
He also gave a separate name-check to Oasis, as well as The Stone Roses, The Chemical Brothers and the late Joy Division and New Orderproducer Martin Hannett (pr: HAN-et), who also produced the first U2 single, "11 O'Clock Tick Tock." Bono closed his tributes by saying “Thank you for what you have given us.”
On a political note, the band seemed to strongly reject the idea of Britain's Brexit from the European Union. During "Get Out of Your Own Way," they projected giant EU and Union Jack flags on the crowd, as well as the banners of other European nations. At one point Bono referred to the "blessed Europe we still share" and called Manchester "still a great European city."
U2 have London shows Tuesday and Wednesday, before closing out their European Tour in Belfast on Saturday. (NME)