Skip to content

Bruce Springsteen and Chris Martin Join U2 for World AIDS Day Concert

World Aids Day, Kanye West, Surprise Concert, Times Square, U2

U2 were always supposed to headline the “surprise” World AIDS Day (RED) concert in New York’s Times Square Monday night, but frontman Bono wasn’t able to perform, as he’s still recovering from a nasty bike accident. Luckily, U2 have friends in high places: Coldplay’s Chris Martin and New Jersey legend Bruce Springsteen filled in, joining other all-star performers Kanye West and Carrie Underwood in Manhattan for a rollicking good time for a good cause.

Martin seemed to know he couldn’t fill Bono’s lofty sunglasses, as he wore a T-shirt that said “SUBSTITU2,” but he admirably opened with U2’s “Beautiful Day,” and followed it up with a similarly high-flying performance of “With or Without You.” Underwood then sang a couple of her country hits, before Yeezus himself launched into an intense 9-minute-long medley of some of his biggest songs, including “Jesus Walks,” “Black Skinhead,” and “Stronger,” before closing with “Touch the Sky.” (West’s performance starts at about 27:20 in the video above.)

Finally, U2 took the stage again, this time joined by the Boss himself, who absolutely aced the anthemic “Where The Streets Have No Name.”

Segments raising awareness about AIDS aired between the sets, including a video appearance by President Barack Obama. Former President Bill Clinton was there in person to kick things off with an empowering speech. “This year for the first time ever,” he said, “more people were put on life-saving medicine than were diagnosed with AIDS,” though he implored the audience to continue to do their part to end the virus. According to Reuters, an injured Bono called the former president to personally ask him to do the introduction. Watch the whole show above.