Patti Smith Appears in Concert with Her Megafans — U2 — to Sing “People Have the Power”

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Last night, U2 surprised audiences — in perhaps a less arbitrary way than having Javier Bardem don a boa and grind up on Bono — by having Patti Smith come onstage and perform her revolution-fantasizing 1988 song, “People Have the Power” with them.As Rolling Stone explains, they have been playing Patti Smith’s original recording of “People Have the Power” on their Innocence + Experience tour before they come onstage — and have, over the years, incorporated pieces of it in their actual live performances —and Bono claimed after Smith’s performance last night that they “wouldn’t be in this band without” her. Indeed, this likely wouldn’t have been a post without her, either.

U2 had been sneakily — at least in a way that diehard Smith fans might have noticed — hinting that Smith might be joining them by switching into Them’s “Gloria” (which Smith covered on Horses) at the end of their own same-titled but completely different track (off their album 1981), and then later transitioning from “Bad” into Smith’s/Them’s “Gloria” once again — which is when Smith finally joined them onstage to sing “Gloria” and “People Have the Power.”

Watch the performance: