Bono and The Edge: Tiny Desk Concert

Robin Hilton | March 17, 2023
It’s difficult to embellish the graciousness and good-natured humour Bono and The Edge brought to the Tiny Desk. When they first arrived at the NPR Music workplaces, Bono chatted on an imaginary phone, “The skill’s here! The mastery’s coming through,” poking fun at their own stardom, while carrying The Edge’s guitar. (The Edge called Bono the greatest roadie he’s ever had.) The two never stopped beaming, like two thrilled newbies overjoyed at the opportunity to play for somebody.

The performance was a preview of U2’s new album, Songs Of Surrender, featuring stripped-down versions of songs from across the band’s catalog. To help pull off a few reimagined songs from the 2000 album All That You Can’t Leave Behind, Bono and The Edge invited a teenager choir from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C., to become part of them. During rehearsals, Bono told the students to think of “Beautiful Day” as the sort of “post-drinking” singalong you would yell with friends after leaving a bar. He then hastily realized none of them are old enough to drink, before feigning a heart attack.

Journeying without any bassist Adam Clayton or drummer Larry Mullen Jr., Bono and The Edge made the journey from Ireland to the States in particular for the Tiny Desk, arriving in D.C. after five days of rehearsals at Bono’s New York apartment. When they settled in for the performance, they treated the workplace to four songs, which includes a profoundly emotional variation of “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of,” written for the late INXS singer Michael Hutchence, and a remodeled variation of “Walk On,” which Bono stated was motivated by and devoted to the residents of Ukraine.

“Beautiful Day”
“In a Little While”
“Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of”
“Walk On”

Bono: vocals
The Edge: guitar, vocals
Duke Ellington School of the Arts Choir: Petra Munter, Ayan Yacob, Kirsten Holmes, Jayla Norwood, Dyor Taylor, Jaylyn Pickney, Jevon Skipper, Joshua Jennings, Jordan Freeman
Patrick Lundy: choir director
Special thanks to: Sandi Logan (principal/HOS), Isaac Daniel (assistant principal)

Producer: Bob Boilen
Director: Joshua Bryant
Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin
Series Producer: Bobby Carter
Editor: Maia Stern
Videographers: Joshua Bryant, Kara Frame, Sofia Seidel, Michael Zamora
Audio Assistant: Alex Drewenskus
Production Assistant: Jill Britton
Tiny Desk Team: Suraya Mohamed, Marissa Lorusso, Hazel Cills, Ashley Pointer, Pilar Galván
VP, Visuals and Music: Keith Jenkins
Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann

#nprmusic #tinydesk #u2 #bono #theedge


  1. Fabulous!!

  2. Several of their Songs of Surrender are better than the original version, e.g. God will send his Angels. Also the new arrangement for The Fly is well, fly

  3. Gotta say no and no.

  4. Bono voice is mediocre without electronic enhancement

  5. RomanByTheRiverside

    Every U2 and Bruce Springsteen fan would follow these talentless globalist losers off of the cliff they’re walking toward. How did they ever make it big? “Every artist is a cannibal, every poet is a thief.”

  6. One of my all time favorites. Brought tears to my 67 year old eyes. Thanks Bono. Thanks Edge. 😎

  7. Matias Corvalán

    Absolutely BRILLIANT! MAGNIFICENT! Puro Arte

  8. What a nice rare little concert. Beautiful !

  9. Bono y Joe Cocker además de con el corazón siempre han disfrutado la música con sus manos.

  10. edge guitar model of Martin? someone knows?

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