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The Sphere, a new Las Vegas venue that is the world’s largest spherical shaped venue, opened its doors to the public on September 29, 2023, with a sold-out concert by U2. The venue, which is 516 feet wide and 366 feet tall, is taller than a football field is long and features walls of video screens that envelop the audience in a visual embrace. Everyone is talking about the U2 Sphere concert. Here’s what you need to know about the U2‘s opening night at the Sphere.
Opening Night For The U2 Sphere Residency: U2UV Achtung Baby Live
The first night of U2:UV Achtung Baby Live at Sphere opened with a video montage that showcased the Sphere’s capabilities, with images of the desert, the city skyline, and the band itself swirling around the audience. Then, U2 took the stage and launched into a high-energy set that included a mix of new and old songs.
U2 Sphere Set List – Opening Night
The band will likely mix up their set list during the U2 Sphere residency, but this was the set list for their opening night: U2:UV Achtung Baby Live At The Sphere Las Vegas (Sept 29, 2023)
Achtung Baby Set
- Zoo Station (with an a cappella intro)
- The Fly
- Even Better Than The Real Thing
- Mysterious Ways (first time they have played this live since 2017)
- One (with Prince’s “Purple Rain” and Elvis Presley’s “Love Me Tender” snippets)
- Until the End of the World
- Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
- Tryin’ to Throw Your Arms Around the World (first time U2 has played this live since 1993)
- All I Want Is You (dedicated to Larry Mullen, Jr.)
- Desire (dedicated to Paul McCartney)
- Angel of Harlem (mix with Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic”)
- Love Rescue Me (played by only Bono and The Edge)
Achtung Baby Set
- So Cruel (first time U2 has played this live since 1992 )
- Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
- Love Is Blindness (first time U2 has played this song since 2006. Featured snippets from “Viva Las Vegas” by Elvis Presley.)
- Atomic City (new song)
- Where the Streets Have No Name
- With or Without You (with snippets from The Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love”)
- Beautiful Day (with snippets from The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “Blackbird”)
A Star-Studded Affair
Opening night of the U2 Sphere concert was a huge event. Over 17,000 people filled the Sphere and joined U2 on this epic musical journey. Among the attendees was a who’s who of the entertainment industry. There was a star-studded gathering with the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Connie Britton, Jon Hamm, Bryan Cranston, Oprah, LeBron James, Matt Damon, Andre Agassi, Ava DuVernay, Josh Duhamel, Jason Bateman, Aaron Paul, Oscar de la Hoya, Henrik Lundqvist, Flava Flav, Diplo, Dakota Fanning, Orlando Bloom, and Mario Lopez all in attendance.
Why U2’s Drummer, Larry Mullen Jr., Was Missing From The Stage
Onstage were Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton, and fill-in drummer Bram van den Berg. U2’s drummer, Larry Mullen Jr., is sitting out the band’s 25-date run at the Sphere because of health issues. Noted his absence, Bono explained that these were the first shows U2 has ever played without Mullen Jr. since 1978. Bono added a dedication for the song “All I Want is You” to Mullen who is also the band’s founder.
An Incredible Mix Of Music And Visuals
The concert was a visual and sonic feast, with the band playing a mix of hits and new songs. The video screens displayed stunning visuals, including everything from surreal landscapes to abstract art. The sound system was also top-notch, providing a clear and immersive listening experience.
“What a fancy pad,” Bono remarked, when referencing the visual technology providing the band’s visual backdrop for the evening.
The Sphere’s screen was used to great effect throughout the show. For example, during “Even Better Than the Real Thing,” the screen displayed a collage of images from Las Vegas, including Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and the Bellagio Fountains. The effect was dizzying and intoxicating.
U2 put on a high-energy performance, with Bono and the Edge moving and dancing around the stage. The band played a mix of songs from their entire career, including classics such as “Desire,” “With or Without You,” and “One.” They also played a song from their upcoming album, the lead single, “Atomic City.”
How long will U2 be at the Sphere?
How long is U2 in Las Vegas? U2 is doing a 25-show music residency, called U2:UV Achtung Baby Live at Sphere. Wish you were there for opening night? You are not alone! Even though the Sphere seats 17,500 people, the U2 Sphere shows will likely all sell out! U2 Sphere Las Vegas tickets are already selling for thousands of dollars each on secondary markets.
The Mix Of Amazing Music And Visuals Creates A Jaw-dropping Opening Night Concert At The Sphere
Overall, U2’s opening night concert at the Sphere was a success. The band played a great show, and the crowd was enthusiastic throughout the concert, singing along to the hits and cheering for the new songs.
It was also a night of “firsts” for the band.
- It was the first U2 show without Larry Mullen, Jr..
- First concert for U2 with Bram van den Berg on drums.
- The first time the album ‘Achtung Baby’ was performed in full at a show.
- And the first performance held at the Sphere
It is clear that the Sphere is a world-class venue that will provide a unique and unforgettable experience for concertgoers. I wonder how other Las Vegas venues will try to adapt and compete. The Sphere will be a powerful draw for both artists and audiences for years to come.
I’m gettin’ bloggy with it.