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Bono Praises 'Australian Spirit' In The Face Of Widespread Bushfires During Oz Tour

Irish rockers Bono and U2 have paid tribute to the Australian spirit and firefighters battling bushfires across the country in a moving concert at Sydney.

Bono has praised the "Australian spirit" and paid a moving tribute to his late friend Michael Hutchence on the anniversary of his death at U2's show in Sydney.

Thousands held their lighted phones in the air as the frontman dedicated the band's 2001 hit Stuck In A Moment to the INXS singer, describing him as an "awe-inspiring man".

Some of Hutchence's loved ones were in the audience, Bono said, as he told the crowd "one of your country's brightest lights" had gone out 22 years ago. "He was a light for me, he was a light for a lot of us," Bono said.

Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jnr from Irish rock band U2 perform during their Joshua Tree tour at the SCG in Sydney, Friday, November 22, 2019. IMAGE: AAP

The Irish band rocked the sell-out crowd at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Moore Park on Friday, the fourth show of the Australian leg of their Joshua Tree 30th anniversary tour.

The Joshua Tree anniversary tour opened in 2017 with dates across Europe and America.

Fans sang along in full voice as Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen Jr and Adam Clayton worked their way through the full tracklist of the critically acclaimed 1987 album as well as more recent hits, including Beautiful Day and Elevation.

Bono has saluted the firefighters battling unprecedented bushfires across the country at concerts in other Australian cities, with the band even stopping to personally thank a firefighting crew they ran into at Melbourne airport earlier this week.

IMAGE: Getty Images

On Friday night, he said those he had met embodied the spirit of the nation.

"Men and women, volunteers, leaving their homes and families to protect other people's homes and families. They felt like the Australian spirit alright," he said to huge cheers and applause.

This is U2's first tour of Australia since their 360 tour in 2010.

A second date in Sydney on Saturday and a stop in Perth on Wednesday will close out this section of the tour before the band moves on to Singapore.