U2 star performs Sistine Chapel’s first ever gig

Legendary U2 guitarist The Edge played the first ever rock concert under the famous frescoes of the Sistine Chapel.

U2 star performs Sistine Chapel's first ever gig
The Edge played a concert in the Sistine Chapel on Saturday. Photo: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images/AFP

The 54-year-old guitarist, whose real name is David Evans, was in Rome over the weekend to attend a Vatican conference on regenerative medicine called 'Cellular Horizons', Ansa reported.

On Saturday night, he took time out from discussing medicine to perform a mini-concert for a crowd of 200 researchers, scientists and philanthropists who were also attending the event.

Backed by a choir of seven teenagers from Ireland, Evans delivered a short acoustic set, belting out the Leonard Cohen hit “If it be your will” before performing the U2 classics “Yahweh”, “Ordinary love” and “Walk on.”

During his set, Evans thanked Vatican officials for giving him the chance to perform at the chapel which he described as “the most beautiful parish hall in the world”.

The chapel is world famous for its 16th century frescoes by Renaissance master Michelangelo.

“Being Irish you learn very early that if you want to be asked to come back it's very important to thank the local parish priest for the loan of the hall,” he joked.

Evans then dedicated his final song, “Walk on”, to Pope Francis, who he briefly met on Friday. He described the Pontiff as “the people's pope.”

The guitarist, who lost his father to cancer in April and whose daughter Sian successfully overcome leukaemia in 2010, sits on the board of several foundations working to cure cancer. 

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Body of missing American tourist found in Rome’s River Tiber

The body of a missing 21-year-old tourist was found in the River Tiber on Thursday morning, according to media reports.

Body of missing American tourist found in Rome's River Tiber

Elijah Oliphant, from Dallas, Texas, was on holiday with his family in Rome when he went missing several days ago.

Oliphant’s parents reported his disappearance after he left his hotel room shortly after midnight on May 24th and did not return.

Hotel security footage showed him leaving the premises wearing a white undershirt and pyjama bottoms, which he was wearing when he was found.

Oliphant’s corpse was reportedly spotted by passersby near the Ponte Sisto bridge in Rome’s Trastevere district around 10am on Thursday morning. His body was positively identified by his parents.

Members of the fire brigade and river police who recovered the body say there were no obvious signs of violence, but an autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death. Trastevere police are reportedly investigating the matter.

The Oliphant family had arrived in Rome for a holiday on May 23rd. When Elijah went missing the following day, his parents launched an urgent appeal to help find their son.

His disappearance was featured on the missing persons television show, Chi l’ha visto (‘Who’s seen them?’) on May 25th.

Several foreigners have been found drowned in the Tiber in recent years, though there are no indication that any of the incidents are linked.

In 2016, the body of 19-year-old American student Beau Solomon was recovered from the river.

Rough sleeper Massimo Galioto was charged involuntary manslaughter in the case, but was ultimately acquitted in 2020.

Prosecutors said that Galioto pushed Solomon in the course of a violent argument. Galioto’s defense team acknowledged that the two had argued but said the student had accidentally slipped.

In May 2019, 37-year-old Imen Chatbouri, a former athletics champion from Tunisia, was found dead in the Tiber after a night out. CCTV footage later showed she had been pushed from the Ponte Sisto bridge.

A then-26-year-old man whose advances she had rejected earlier that evening was convicted of her murder in November 2021.