Bono took over The Late Show With Stephen Colbert Thursday (Nov. 3), delivering an episode-long interview and performing a special rendition of “With or Without You.”
Videos by American Songwriter
The U2 frontman joined Colbert to promote his new memoir, Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story. During the interview portion of the night, Bono talked about a wide breadth of topics, including the Beatles documentary Get Back, the state of America, and the attack on Paul Pelosi. “Some people look back and think America has had its heyday. No, it’s all coming for you. You’re just being creative,” he said about America. “America’s on its way. I’m just so excited to see where you take it.” He also touched on U2’s early days and their love of improvisation.
After wrapping up his chat with Colbert, he took to the stage to perform a rendition of “With or Without You” with the addition of spoken-word passages from the memoir. The musician opened the performance up with a monologue while a suite of strings began to swell. The track eventually built up into the iconic, anthemic chorus with the frontman belting out With or without you / With or without you. Watch the performance below.
The memoir is divided into 40 chapters with each one being a deep dive into a specific song. The Colbert performance sees him unveil the story behind the Joshua Tree track. Bono also created a unique drawing to go along with each song. To celebrate the book’s release, Bono has embarked on a book tour where he will discuss his and his bandmates’ storied career with both U.S. and European audiences. Find tickets, HERE.
U2 released its latest studio album, Songs of Experience, back in 2017. Earlier this year, the group paid tribute to the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday with an acoustic version of their War cut, “Sunday Bloody Sunday.” Bono later joined The Edge to perform a set at a bomb shelter in Kyiv in support of the Ukrainian people.
Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images