If you’ve ever visited the Sistine Chapel, you know it to be a place of solemnity. Silent as a sanctuary, the Vatican’s crown jewel is meant to impress upon visitors the sheer marvel that such a place even exists. Can you take pictures? Nope. Play music? Not in a million years. Wait, scratch that last part.
On Saturday, U2’s The Edge became the first rock musician to ever perform at the Vatican. The guitarist was invited to play for the members of Cellular Horizons, which is surprisingly not a cellphone company but rather a regenerative medicine conference. (Still waiting on the first cellphone company conference to take place at the Vatican.) Alongside an Irish choir, The Edge performed acoustic versions of U2’s “Yahweh,” “Ordinary World,” and “Walk On,”—as Pitchfork reports.
In a set with a decidedly religious tilt, the musician also covered Leonard Cohen’s “If It Be Your Will.” The Edge commented on his inclusion: “When they asked me if I wanted to become the first contemporary artist to play in the Sistine Chapel, I didn’t know what to say because usually there’s this other guy who sings.” In keeping with the performance’s pious themes, he could have meant God, but he probably meant Bono.
You can check out some fan-recorded videos below (apparently there are no longer any rules in the Sistine Chapel).
If you were in charge and could choose any contemporary musician to play in the Sistine Chapel, who would you pick? Or maybe you’d say, “Not on my watch! Sound waves might damage the frescos—Michelangelo forever!” Let us know where you stand in the comments.
IMAGE: U2’s Instagram