If injured Bono was in the market for top-notch understudies, the U2 frontman certainly found what he was looking for in New York.
"The Boss" Bruce Springsteen and Chris Martin of Coldplay stepped in for Bono, who is recovering from a serious bike accident, at a concert honouring World Aids Day.
Bruce performed Where The Streets Have No Name and I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, alongside U2's Adam Clayton, The Edge and Larry Mullen Jr in front of several hundred fans, who stood in the rain in Times Square.
Aside from highlighting the fight against Aids, the night's other theme was supporting Bono, 54. Bruce said he hoped he was recovering in Dublin, and after performing, Chris told the crowd: "Sending my love to Bono."
A bicycle accident in Central Park last month left Bono with multiple injuries, including a facial fracture involving his left eye socket, plus a broken left shoulder blade and left elbow. He underwent a five-hour operation.
Chris, who wore a T-shirt that read "Substitu2," sang Beautiful Day and With Or Without You.
The concert, billed U2 Minus 1 - Live in New York Tonight, also featured a pregnant Carrie Underwood and Kanye West, who was energetic when he performed hits including Jesus Walks, Power, and Stronger.
Former US president Bill Clinton opened the concert, saying Bono requested he do so.
"I got this email from Bono today recuperating in Dublin, and he said I had to come here tonight to do this intro," Mr Clinton said.
"Twenty-six years ago we could have never had an event like this on World Aids Day because to be diagnosed with Aids was the death sentence. A few years ago when Secretary of State Clinton said that we could end Aids, a lot of people didn't believe it. But this year for the first time ever, more people were put on life saving medicine than were diagnosed with Aids."
He later earned a loud cheer when he said: "We are going to win this fight."
President Barack Obama appeared in a video that played on a large screen in Times Square.
"We're closer than we've ever been to achieving the extraordinary - an Aids-free generation," he said. "We got to keep fighting, all of us."
U2 announced the concert on its website yesterday.
"This year is a World Aids Day like no other," Bono said in a statement from Dublin. "The world reached a tipping point in the fight against Aids - more people were newly added to life-saving treatment than were newly infected with the virus. A lot of people are calling it the beginning of the end of Aids."
The website also said Bruce and Chris "graciously donated their time and talents to save the World Aids Day event from cancellation".
Bank of America presented the free concert, and said it would donate three million dollars (£1.9m) to the (RED) organisation which Bono launched as a global brand to raise funds to fight Aids.