On the seventh night of the iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE TOUR, writes Cathleen Falsani, the band celebrated women—mothers and daughters, (she)roes and partners and co-conspirators—who inspire and elevate their music—and are the hope of our collective future.
From early on in the 26-song show (see the complete setlist here), women were on the band's mind. 'Gabby Giffords, right in front of you!' Bono yelled during 'Beautiful Day'—a shout out to former Arizona Congresswoman and gun-control advocate Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head in an assassination attempt in 2011. Giffords, who was in the audience Tuesday night, tweeted her thanks to the singer with a video clip of the name-check.
During the nearly two-and-a-half-hour show, Bono also publicly thanked his mother, Iris; his wife, Ali; and their daughters Jordan and Eve, as well as Edge's wife (and native Los Angeleno) Morleigh Steinberg, who is an artistic collaborator of the band. Edge and Morleigh's daughter Sian is featured in videos during the concert and is one-half (with Bono and Ali's son Elijah) of the iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE silhouette logo.
'Women of the world, take over. Because if you don't, the world will come to an end—and it won't take long,' Bono sang, quoting the lyrics of 'Women of the World,' the anthemic lullaby popularized by Jim O'Rourke that plays during the intermezzo before the encore.
Bono then introduced the audience to a new hashtag—#WomenOfTheWorldTakeOver—and an initiative of the ONE Campaign to grow a global movement to close the gender gap for women and girls living in poverty.
'There are 130 million girls in the world who don't go to school because they're girls. And I think we can turn that around if we concentrate and make it a priority,' he said.
'Shit happens when people get organized, especially when women get organized. I know that much,' he said. 'My daughters remind me—all our daughters remind us—that there's a lot of problems in the world but we're not going to solve them without using our full brain power. Not just half the brain power of this planet. So that's what #PovertyIsSexist is about. It's not just a hashtag.'
ONE started the Poverty is Sexist movement to make sure the world's most vulnerable women and girls are at the heart of the fight for equality, and to pressure world leaders to break down the barriers and sexist policies that hold them back. In addition to helping those 130 million girls who are not in school get the education they deserve, ONE also is mobilizing millions of people to pressure world leaders to expand bank account access to 100 million women, and help prevent 20,000 new HIV infection in women this year worldwide.
Earlier in the day, in an appearance on The Ellen Show, Bono and Edge talked about the #WomenOfTheWorldTakeOver and the One #PovertyIsSexist campaign. (Graphics from that campaign appear on the barricage screen before and during shows on the iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE TOUR.)
Ellen and her studio audience recorded a video themselves singing 'Women of the World', and the band invites fans to record themselves singing the song and post it to their favourite social media platform with the hashtag #womenoftheworldtakeover.