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Achtung Baby!: U2 gig on Berlin subway

December 7, 2017

U2 frontman Bono and guitarist The Edge were in Berlin on Wednesday, treating fans on the city’s subway system to an impromptu mini-concert. The musicians were promoting their first album in three years.

Berlin U2 fährt U2 - Irische Rocker spielen im Berliner Untergrund
Image: picture-alliance/Radioeins/A. Caspary

U2 play concert on Berlin U-Bahn

U2's Bono and The Edge took a ride on the Berlin U-Bahn on Wednesday, traveling a few stops before getting off the give a live performance on the platform.

The pair boarded a special train with fans at the city's Olympic Stadium, near the western end of the aptly-named U2 underground train line, alighting at the Deutsche Oper stop to play the short set.

As well as playing one song from their new album "Songs of Experience," they also performed two of their best-known hits, "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "One."

Local radio station Radioeins, which drew lots to distribute tickets for the ride, said some 120 fans went along for the ride.

Read more: U2 album 'Songs of Experience': Time for retirement?

Public transport company BVG tried to live stream the event on Facebook, but their efforts were scuppered by technical difficulties.

The band has something of a history with Berlin, having recorded much of their 1991 album Achtung Baby at the city's Hansa studios, seeking inspiration at the time of German reunification.  One track from that album, "Zoo Station," was inspired by the Berlin Zoologischer Garten rail and underground station — West Berlin's main train hub at the time the Berlin Wall fell.

Release date Trumped

The band had completed their album in November last year, but decided to delay release and give it a revamp to reflect the changed political climate after Donald Trump's election as US president.

U2's lead singer Bono has had had a tricky couple of months. Weeks before the release of the album, he was among a raft of wealthy figures named in the so-called Paradise Papers showing how individuals park money in tax havens to avoid tax.

U2, which is known for staging one-off concerts in public places, also ruffled feathers with the free release of their 2014 album "Songs of Innocence." The fact that the album was forwarded to all of the music platform iTunes' half a billion users was deemed presumptuous by many.  The latest album is being distributed in more conventional style.

rc/sms (dpa, AP)