U2 has always been a political band, having spoken out against violence, oppression, and corruption in the past with countless great hits over the years, so it’s no surprise that Bono had a few words to say about the way America is heading while performing.
Throughout the concert, Bono was outspoken for his distaste of the Trump administration but was hopeful in his message that both sides, liberals and conservatives, the left and right, need to come together, cooperate, and fight hatred in all forms.
Similarly, U2 were also promoting a campaign for women’s and human rights, citing that there could be no equal rights until everyone was equal.
For many of the songs and in-between the setlist, videos were played that were meant to demonstrate the turbulent times we’re in at the moment, particularly one instance where children were seen going to school and essentially living with military-grade helmets.
Additionally, Bono did not hold back on commenting on controversial immigration enforcement and the gun violence epidemic that has been at the core of the news in recent times.
While he was playing one of his characters, MacPhisto, which is essentially a devil-like figure, he alluded that the devil had come back to ensure children were locked up in cages and allowed for children to be shot and killed in their schools. Clearly, he was implying that there is some form of inherent evil in the current US political climate and its perceivably inflammatory, even dangerous rhetoric.
Regardless of his one-sidedness in his view on Trump, he recognized that there is an overarching fight for how America is to be defined for years to come, so the Irish rocker called on both sides to speak out against extremism, violence, and suppression of democratic values.
Bono had even dedicated the band’s performance of “One” during his Newark, New Jersey show, to journalists and how vital they are as the backbone to American democracy instead of enemies of the American people as Trump has described them in the past.
Say what you will about Bono being an activist just for the publicity while up on his high horse from his nice home in the south of France, but he is, and always has been, making use of his platform and free speech to encourage change and help others.