Tribute band Acrobat sings Desire with U2
U2 tribute band Acrobat called to join band on stage during Toronto show
Prince Edward Island singer Gabriel Pate has not been off the phone since Monday night's U2 show in Toronto.
Pate fronts the U2 tribute band Acrobat, which was called up on stage by the band in Toronto this week and performed Desire as their heroes looked on, and occasionally joined in.
The band was standing close to the stage, and had been talking with U2's crew before the show. They thought there might be a chance of being called to the stage, but as the show continued Pate told his bandmates the chance had probably passed.
"I just said to the guys 'sorry boys it's not going to happen,' and no sooner had I said that than Bono strolls over to the edge of the stage and says you have the whole band here, OK let's do this."
The next six minutes are a blur for the 44-year-old IT worker now living in Toronto and other band members Martin Chorlton, Michael Wood and Mark Baker.
"I guess I should give you this," Bono said, handing Pate his mic and walking off to the corner of the stage. The other band members also handed over their instruments.
They left the members of Acrobat, who usually play a couple of shows a month, standing in front of close to 60 thousand fans.
"In a split second I was like, I can't screw this up, I gotta go for it," said Pate.
The crowd sang along, and so did U2 lead singer Bono, sharing the mic and harmonica-playing duties at the end of the song.
"I think that was an exceptional moment," Bono told the crowd as Pate and his band members cleared the stage.
After their appearance with U2, Acrobat's profile has taken a huge leap.
"We got a feature article in Rolling Stone and Spin. It's just crazy," said Pate.
"We've already got a number of pretty cool bookings in the works. We just heard from a lady in Asia, who books Asia, who wants to bring us over."
Pate said the gigs will have to fit around work and the family commitments of band members.