Patti Smith Makes Surprise Appearance at U2 Show in Paris
Fans at U2’s December 6th concert at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris were shocked when they saw legendary punk rocker Patti Smith walk on stage. Smith joined U2’s famous frontman, Bono, for a powerful performance of “Gloria” and “People Have the Power,” both songs written by Smith.
Her appearance trounced earlier rumors that Eagles of Death Metal, who were playing at Bataclan Concert Hall during the November Paris attacks, were to be the surprise guest. Smith had joined U2 on stage once before, at an October concert in London.
The concert was the first of two gigs that the band was playing at the AccorHotels Arena (the second took place on December 7th), as part of their HBO special, iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE: Live in Paris. The band was originally set to record the special on November 14 and 15, but were forced to postpone due to the attacks.
U2’s presence in Paris was one of the most talked about visits since last month’s terrorist attack that killed 130 people in the capital city, as many local concert venues are struggling to maintain attendance and the city itself is working to strengthen morale.
Throughout the evening, U2 paid tribute to the victims of the Paris attacks and San Bernardino shootings by displaying their names in red, white, and blue across the megatron. Bono told the crowd, “We stand together with the families who lost their loved ones in Paris. We stand together with families in San Bernardino. We stand together with families in Beirut and Istanbul.We stand together before those with false ideologies of the god they serve.”
During the encore, Bono wrapped himself in the French flag and sang “Ne me quitte pas,” (Don’t Leave Me) by French singer Jacques Brel.