- 27 Jul 20
Both bits of musical history were made as part of the Songs From An Empty Room fundraising extravaganza
In addition to generously donating €200,000 to the Songs From An Empty Room fighting fund, Bono and The Edge represented U2 at Saturday night's RTÉ 2 gig with a stab at the intro to 'Stairway To Heaven', which was intended as a bit of craic, but now has fans clamouring for a full cover of the Led Zep classic.
First performed live on March 5, 1971 in Belfast's Ulster Hall, 'Stairway...' is commonly used by road crews to test the PA with guitar techs unable to resist doing their best Jimmy Page impersonations before their employers turn-up.
"There is one annoying aspect of Irish crew, it has to be said, which is wherever you go in the world, whatever venue you're playing, whether it's the Olympia or the 3Arena or Madison Square Gardens, you walk in and you'll hear a song that we said we'd never ever play... that's right, 'Stairway To Heaven'... and these professionals believe they play it better than the band. And, you know, it might be true..." Bono deadpanned before The Edge launched into that riff.
In a separate contribution, Adam Clayton reflected that "as a young band, you are only as good as the crew supporting you... they will leave a bigger impression on the people you need to impress than you will."
The numerous other highlights included The Cranberries' Noel Hogan performing 'Linger' with Danny O'Reilly from The Coronas on piano and vocals, and the most celestial of string sections.
To donate €4 to the Minding Creative Minds and the Association of Irish Stage Technicians (AIST) Hardship Fund, text SONGS to 50300. You can watch Songs From An Empty Room back on the RTÉ Player.