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How U2 Lent a Hand to Eagles of Death Metal After the Paris Attacks

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U2 had been in Paris for a few days and were about to film an HBO special when gunmen opened fire at an Eagles of Death Metal concert during last month’s deadly terrorist attacks.

“U2 doesn’t have a history of canceling many shows,” frontman Bono told the New York Times about rescheduling the concert in an interview this week. “I suppose the Irish in us just doesn’t want to give in to terrorism. We’ve had it all our lives.” (The song “Raised by Wolves” from the band’s most recent album, Songs of Innocence, was about the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings.)

But after canceling its slated shows, the band turned its attention to helping Eagles of Death Metal, getting them new phones and offering them a ride on their plane, though its members made other arrangements.

“The best thing we could do for our fellow musicians was to buy them phones,” Bono said. “I spoke to Julian [Dorio] and to Jesse [Hughes]. But that was the best thing, Jesse said, just getting the phones to be texting and all the stuff that you do—social media—to find out what’s going on. Their phones were in the venue.”

The band says their rescheduled concert, which typically includes a simulated bomb explosion, hasn’t changed since the cancelation.

“If you were to write a script for Paris, and if it was U2 playing, you’d come up with a show similar to what we have,” he said. “That’s the funny thing. But it’s not only joy as an act of defiance; it’s business as usual as an act of defiance. This is not a concert for heroes. This is just: Do your thing. That’s what the French want us to do. We’re doing what we’re told.”


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Write to Nolan Feeney at nolan.feeney@time.com