Over the weekend, rumors started spreading that the Palm Desert band Eagles of Death Metal would return to Paris on Sunday to open for U2. The group, which was performing onstage at the Bataclan last month when terrorists stormed in and murdered dozens, had vowed to return to the scene as a show of unity against the terrorists.
That Sunday set didn't end up happening, a fact that U2 confirmed prior to the concert in a tweet. "We're back in Paris and it's great to be here. Some people have been saying that Eagles of Death Metal will appear on stage with U2 tonight. This is not the case. We have another surprise guest planned for tonight's show," the note read. That ended up being Patti Smith.
On Monday, members of Eagles of Death Metal were caught on camera at the Paris airport, prompting a new round of speculation. Night two of U2's concert at the AccordHotel Arena will be broadcast on HBO on Monday, after all, and Bono and band have never been known to shy away from center stage. Add in that there's a behind-the-scenes connection — both are affiliated with the same PR firm — and the signals for a grand Eagles of Death Metal return seem too obvious to ignore.
That night, Eagles of Death Metal joined the band onstage at the AccorHotels Arena. Appearing live from the stage on U2's own channel on the live-streaming app Meerkat, Bono introduced the band saying, "These are our brothers, our fellow troubadours and they were robbed of their stage." The two bands then combined on a cover of Smith's "People Have The Power," and Eagles of Death Metal closed the show with their song "I Love You All the Time."
U2 was slated to perform two Paris concerts on Nov. 14-15, but canceled them after the Bataclan attack on Nov. 13. Since then, the band has been a behind-the-scenes supporter of the Eagles of Death Metal. According to Blllboard, U2 has given the band access to their plane and bought them new cellphones.
The HBO broadcast will begin at 6 p.m. PST.
During the Sunday concert, Bono offered eloquent words about art, music and its role in healing wounds. "Grief is like a wound that never fully closes," he said. "I am still feeling it and I was 14 when my mother left me but she left me as an artist. And this wound became an opening into another world."
Gesturing to his band mates, Bono said: "Rock 'n' roll saved me, these men saved me, you saved me. We can't save you but our role tonight is to serve you. We have the privilege to be your servants this evening."