U2's Achtung Baby live at Sphere in Las Vegas wows fans and celebrities alike - Hindustan Times
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U2: ‘Elvis has definitely not left this building,' a grand kickoff to 'UV Achtung Baby live at Sphere' in Las Vegas

Sep 30, 2023 09:48 PM IST

U2:UV Achtung Baby Live at Sphere, U2's new residency in Las Vegas, kicked off with a bang, featuring 22 hit songs.

U2's thrilling residency, ‘U2: UV Achtung Baby Live at Sphere,’ debuted in Las Vegas on Friday night with a spectacular start.

General view of the opening night of Sphere ahead of Irish rock band U2's show at The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, on September 29, 2023. (Photo by Ronda Churchill / AFP)(AFP)
General view of the opening night of Sphere ahead of Irish rock band U2's show at The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, on September 29, 2023. (Photo by Ronda Churchill / AFP)(AFP)

The band performed 22 hits, including ‘One,’ ‘With or Without You’ and ‘Where the Streets Have No Name.’

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The band also paid tribute to Vegas with a rendition of ‘Atomic City,’ which they had filmed in the city earlier this month for their music video.

The Irish group, consisting of Bono and The Edge, also incorporated some Vegas themes into their show, such as displaying images of Elvis Presley on the walls of the venue at one point.

“Elvis has definitely not left this building,” Bono, 63, said during the show.

The premiere evening drew a host of celebrities, including Jon Hamm, Elizabeth Banks, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Orlando Bloom, and Paul McCartney. Attendees were also captivated by the impressive features, such as the colossal 16K wraparound LED screen, an astounding 167,000 speakers, and a welcoming committee of five humanoid robots stationed in the foyer to greet guests.

“What a fancy pad,” Bono said of the venue, which is located inside a 366-foot-tall orb just east of the famous Las Vegas Strip.

The exterior dome has changed into various objects since it was first lit up on the Fourth of July weekend, such as an American flag, a basketball, a moon, an earth, and a pumpkin.

The rock band also used the visual capabilities of the venue to enhance their performance, as they appeared on the walls of the venue inside bubbles, on split screens, or in cubes.

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They also flashed messages like ‘Believe,’ ‘This Is Not A Rehearsal’ and ‘It Could Never Happen Here’ across the entire venue during ‘Even Better Than The Real Thing.’

And before singing ‘All I Want Is You,’ Bono shared a secret with the fans: “I’ve never told anything this, but this song is an attempt to write a wedding song from a woman’s point of view.”

U2’s weekend show was the first time since October 1978 that the group has played a show without drummer Larry Mullen, who is dealing with health issues. Bram van den Berg, the drummer for the Dutch rock band Krezip, stepped in as his replacement.

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