U2 kicked off the European leg of their Innocence + Experience Tour Friday night at the Palasport Olimpic in Turin, Italy just as a flood of refugees from war-torn Syria posed agonizing humanitarian, logistical and political issues to European leaders. Throughout the night, Bono used his platform to beg for mercy on their behalf. “I’m not dangerous!” he said at the conclusion of “Bullet the Blue Sky.” “I’m in danger!”
The most dramatic change from the American leg of the tour came at the beginning of “Where the Streets Have No Name” when Bono sang an extended portion of “Zooropa.” The lyrics took on a whole new meaning in light of the refugee crisis. “And I have no compass and I have no map,” he sang. “And I have no reasons, no reasons to get back.” As the song began transitioning into “Where the Streets Have No Name,” Bono made his point more explicitly. “What do you want?” he asked the crowd. “A Europe with its heart and its borders closed to mercy? Or a Europe with its heart open? What do you want? A place called home.”
During “Pride (In the Name of Love),” Bono changed one of the lines to “one boy washed on an empty beach” in reference to the horrifying photo of a drowned young boy fleeing Syria that spread across the Internet this week. “I don’t know the answer to the refuge crisis,” Bono said near the end of the night. “But we must work together to find the answer.”
The tour continues with another show Saturday night in Turin and runs through mid-November, where it wraps up with a four-night stand at the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy in Paris. Right around that time, HBO is airing a behind-the-scenes documentary about the making of the tour along with a complete concert from the Paris run. There is no official word about additional dates, though the trek is widely expected to continue in 2016.