U2 Plays Free Acoustic Gig In Dublin

Irish rockers U2 joined Nobel Prize laureate Aung Sang Suu Kyi in Dublin on Saturday, where they were both presented with the Freedom Of Dublin City award by Lord Mayor Mary Freehill.

The band was honored for its music success as well as its efforts on behalf of such global campaigns as Live Aid, Amnesty International, Greenpeace, and, more recently, the Jubilee 2000 program to cancel third world debt (see "Bono, Bob Geldof, Others Appeal To Pope For Debt-Dropping Support").

While picking up the award during a formal ceremony at Dublin's Smithfield market, Bono told the crowd, "If there is one idea that this city treasures above all others, it is freedom."

The U2 frontman also spoke out against potential legislation that seeks to curb the recent rise in foreign immigration. "We come from a tribe of refugees, and now it's our turn to welcome the refugees. That is the real test."

Immediately following

the event, U2's Bono the Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen took to the stage for a brief, four-song concert, even though the band's manager, Paul McGuinness, had previously said that U2 would not be performing (see "U2 Balks At Reports Of Free Dublin Concert").

After playing stripped-down versions of "All I Want Is You," "Desire," and "The Sweetest Thing," U2 closed its set with "One," a song Bono dedicated to David Trimble and John Hume, the negotiators attempting to get the troubled Northern Ireland peace accord back on track.

Aung San Suu Kyi was also honored with a Freedom Of Dublin City award for helping foster democracy and women's suffrage in Burma. Kyi won a democratic election in Burma in 1990, but was never allowed to take office, as the military subsequently staged a coup and established a dictatorship.

As part of the ceremony, Kyi and members of U2 also signed Dublin's Roll Of Honour, which lists the names

of the previous recipients of the Freedom Of Dublin City award, including John F. Kennedy, Nelson Mandela, and Mother Teresa, among others.

U2 continues to work on a new studio album, tentatively due out in either September or October, and has contributed a pair of new songs, including "The Ground Beneath Her Feet," to the soundtrack for "The Million Dollar Hotel" (see "Bono Talks 'Million Dollar' Film, Album").