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U2’s lead guitarist The Edge became the first rock star to play in the Sistine Chapel on Saturday, performing an unplugged set with the backing of a young Irish choir. The musician, whose real name is David Evans, was invited to play in the 15th century chapel for the participants of a conference on regenerative medicine, which took place inside the Vatican. “When I was asked to perform in the Sistine Chapel I didn’t know what to say, because usually there’s ‘this other guy’ who sings,” The Edge told the audience, referring to U2’s lead singer Bono. “So it took me at least, well, 30 seconds to agree to it.” He played a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “If It Be Your Will,” and unplugged versions of the U2 songs “Yahweh,” “Ordinary World” and “Walk On.” He sang the tunes with the help of the Irish choir.
The Edge, whose father died last month from cancer and whose daughter overcame leukemia, 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 the chapel which was painted by Renaissance master Michelangelo in the 16th century. “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”.
Photo: Reuters / Max Rossi