Celebrating the 30th anniversary of their breakout album The Joshua Tree, rock legends U2 sat down with Jimmy Kimmel last week to reflect on their success. During the conversation, the Irishmen admitted their deep love and respect for America, whose “physical landscape” inspired the record and whose “psychological” and “spiritual” landscapes inspired their careers.
“We love America… For Irish people, America is the promised land. And I feel like an annoying fan sometimes following America into the bathroom with the liner notes,” Bono joked to Kimmel. “We love this country and we love the landscape. It’s not just the physical landscape. It’s the psychological landscape. It’s the spiritual landscape.”
With that, the group launched into a surprise performance of their hit “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” during which the scripture-tinged lyrics were sung with a gospel-inspired tone that had the entire audience on its feet.
“Thank you for letting us into your lives over these years,” Bono said as the band got ready behind him. “We want to play for you now a gospel song with a restless spirit.”
“He will lift you higher and higher/ He will lift you up when you call/ He will bring you shelter from the storm/ I believe in the Kingdom Come/ Then all the colors will bleed into one/ Bleed into one/ But yes, I’m still running/ You broke the bonds/ And you loosed the chains/ Carried the cross of my shame/ Oh my shame, you know I believe it,” the audience sang.
The overt biblical message of the classic rock song may come as a surprise to band’s more casual fans, but the group—particularly Bono—has been quite open about their Christian faith.
As Faithwire reported, Bono was a part of a four-part video series from Fuller Studio titled “Beyond the Psalms” earlier this year, in which the rock legend sat down for a candid conversation about the state of world and the role art and the Bible play in it.
In the videos, Bono reflected on the power of the psalms and lamented how little they appear in Christian music. He also encouraged young artists to be “brutally honest” because “you can’t please God in any other way but to be brutally honest.”
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