U2 guitarist The Edge rocks Sistine Chapel
The performer, whose real name is David Evans, sang four songs on April 30 night for about 200 doctors, researchers and philanthropists who attended a conference at the Vatican on regenerative medicine called Cellular Horizons. Backed by a choir of seven Irish teenagers, and wearing his trademark black beanie cap, he played acoustic guitar and sang a cover of Leonard Cohen’s If It Be Your Will, and versions of U2 songs Yahweh, Ordinary Love and Walk on.
The Edge, whose father died in April from cancer and whose daughter overcame leukaemia, is on the board of foundations working for cancer prevention.
He joked with his audience, telling them he was stunned when asked to play in chapel which was painted by Renaissance master Michelangelo in the 16th Century.
“When they asked me if I wanted to become the first contemporary artist to play in the Sistine Chapel, I didn’t know what to say because usually there’s this other guy who sings,” the musician said, referring to U2 front man Bono.
“Being Irish you learn very early that if you want to be asked to come back it’s very important to thank the local parish priest for the loan of the hall,” he said.
He then thanked Pope Francis and other Vatican officials “for allowing us to use the most beautiful parish hall in the world”.
The Edge dedicated his performance of Walk On, written in 2000 for Myanmar democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi when she was under house arrest, to Pope Francis, who he described as “the people’s pope”.