U2 returns to rock Paris with a song

PARIS - U2 FRONTMAN Bono wrote a song about the Paris attacks ahead of a defiant return on Sunday to the French capital for gigs.

But the Eagles of Death Metal, whose show was targeted by the extremists, did not make their rumoured appearance at the weekend performance.

The Irish rock band cancelled their shows in Paris which were due to start the day after the attacks on Nov 13 that left 130 people dead.

But they quickly rescheduled them and appeared at the 16,000-capacity AccorHotels Arena in the French capital on Sunday. They were to perform yesterday too, with a chance that the Eagles of Death Metal could make an appearance.

Bono told concertgoers on Sunday: "If you love liberty then Paris is your hometown. We have a few words to speak on the loss you are feeling tonight, I guess grief is like a wound that never closes."

At the concert's end, the names of victims from the attacks were displayed in blue, white and red on a huge screen.

U2 guitarist The Edge said in an interview with CNN: "We think of music as the sound of freedom.

"We think rock and roll has a part to play, so going back to Paris to us is not just symbolic. I think we're actually starting the process of resistance, of defiance against this movement."

He was referring to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group that carried out the killings.

In the same interview for CNN, Bono recited lyrics from a new song called Streets Of Surrender that touched on the violence.

He said he had started writing the song for Italian singer and long-time friend, Zucchero.

The lyrics include the lines: "Every man's got one city of liberty, for me it's Paris, I love it.

"Every time I get lost down these ancient streets, I find myself again. I didn't come here to fight you. I came down these streets of love and pride to surrender."

The song also touches on the refugee crisis.

The worst of the violence took place at the Bataclan music venue, where 90 people were killed during a gig by the Eagles of Death Metal.

Rumours had been circulating in the music press that the band would join U2 on stage in Paris, though neither camp confirmed the appearance.

Bono told CNN that ISIS' ban on music was perverse.

"Think about the idea of outlawing music. A child sings before it can speak. It's the very essence of our humanity," he said.