U2 are the kind of band that revel in celebrating heroes of the past. Whether it’s Martin Luther King Jr. or B.B. King; Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen Jr. and Adam Clayton have always sought to shine a light on the titans of culture and music that paved the way for the generations that followed. During the most recent stop along their incredible Joshua Tree tour in Toronto, the Irish rockers paid tribute to another legend that we sadly lost last year, Leonard Cohen.
The band was amid the opening portion of the show, just before running though the entire Joshua Tree album, on a small stage out in the middle of the vast audience performing the song “Bad” when they slipped in a rendition of Cohen’s classic track “Suzanne.” As Bono told the crowd, “Tonight we hold onto some things, as you let go of others. I’m not quite sure how to let it go, but I know tonight I’m holding onto the music of Leonard Cohen, thinking about it today. It’s been on my mind. He’s an addiction I’m not ready to give up, so I’m going to sing this one to Leonard Cohen.”
For those that don’t know, Cohen was a Canadian icon; an inductee into that country’s Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, as well as a recipient of the Order of Canada, which is the nation’s highest civilian honor. He died in his sleep late last year on November 7, 2016. He was 82.
Watch the full performance of “Bad” and “Suzanne” above, or a smaller excerpt of Cohen’s song below.