U2 WOWED fans at their first-ever concert in India this past Sunday, December 15.
The Irish rock legends joined the likes of Beyonce, Coldplay and Bryan Adams in performing at the the D.Y. Patil Sports Stadium in Mumbai.
Playing to a packed-out audience said to be in the region of 35,000, the historic concert came as part of the final leg of the band’s The Joshua Tree Tour 2019 which started back in Auckland, Australia on November 8.
Legendary composer A.R. Rahman joined the band onstage to perform new track ‘Ahimsa’ in celebration of the band’s first ever visit to India.
The performance also featured the debut appearance of Rahman’s daughters - Khatija Rahman and Raheema Rahman, along with singer-songwriter Rianjali Bhowmick - all of whom also feature on the track.
The Joshua Tree Tour which has seen the band play to almost 3 million fans around the world in jut 66 shows throughout 2017 and 2019, taking in Europe, North & South America, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and long overdue first-time visits to India, Singapore, South Korea and the Philippines.
A.R. Rahman said: “Performing with U2 in Mumbai, in a way, was celebrating Mahatma Gandhi and his world revered faith, Ahimsa. We are touched by U2’s stand against injustice, for women empowerment and for goodness in this world.
“The collaboration with U2 on ‘Ahimsa’, comes at a very appropriate time, while the whole world celebrates 150 years of the Mahatma, the message of Ahimsa needs to reach every nook and corner.
“This is also a debut performance for my daughters, Khatija and Raheema, singing in a rock concert. I hope the people who came for the concert enjoyed the performance!”
Speaking about the band’s visit to Mani Bhavan – Gandhi’s former home - ahead of the show, Bono told the crowd –“‘We come to India as pilgrims… Like so many over centuries… We come in search of the great soul Gandhi…. We are students… you are our teachers…”.
‘Ahimsa’ – the Sanskrit word for non-violence – is the new track from U2 and A.R. Rahman celebrating the spiritual diversity of India and connects the ethos of U2 with the mastery of A.R. Rahman.
The collaboration was released less than one month ahead of U2’s first ever show in India with the arrival of The Joshua Tree Tour in Mumbai on 15 December 2019 and has peaked across all streaming partners in the region.