The U2 duo took part in Songs From an Empty Room, a fundraiser for crew members who haven’t been able to work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to appearing on the show, the singer and guitarist helped by donating more than $230,000 to Minding Creative Minds and the Association of Irish Stage Technicians Hardship Fund, the beneficiaries of the event.
As Bono explains in the video of the performance, he and his longtime bandmate chose the classic song as a tribute to their roadies, who often play “Stairway to Heaven” as they’re setting up U2’s equipment.
“Irish road crew — best in the world, that is for sure,” the singer says. “We can say that — and the U2 group, we’ve been all over the world and that is well known. There is one annoying aspect of Irish crew, though, that has to be said. Wherever you go in the world, whatever venue you’re playing — whether it’s the Olympia or 3 Arena or Madison Square Garden — you walk into the venue and it’s a big moment, and you’ll hear a song that we said, ‘We’ll never, ever play this.’ And that’s right: ‘Stairway to Heaven.’ These professionals believe they play this better than the band. And you know, it might be true.”
Bono then proceeds to sing the first couple of verses before getting tripped up, at which point the Edge gets him back on track. “It makes me wonder … if they’re not right,” the singer quips. “They can play the tune better.”
You can watch the video below.