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Review: U2 Live at the Sphere-Las Vegas, NV – By: Tim McDonough
Review: U2 Live at the Sphere-Las Vegas, NV - By: Tim McDonough

Review: U2 Live at the Sphere-Las Vegas, NV – By: Tim McDonough Written by Staff on February 29, 2024 As we approached the entrance to the Sphere from where our Uber driver had dropped us off, our previous sense of this being a singular experience was validated. The structure is well, spherical with a glass surface that is constantly displaying images and videos across its vast surface. Upon entry into the venue, we were greeted by numerous friendly personnel, who were happy to direct us to where we needed to go. The merch table was our first stop and offered the usual assortment of exorbitantly priced “official U2 Sphere gear”, which of course we had to purchase. We grabbed a bite to eat and drink and conversed with several other fans, who had also traveled a distance, Texas, California and West Virginia for the show. Then it was time to step on the escalator and head for our seats. I’m not going to lie, my stomach did a slight barrel roll, when I saw just how steep the incline was from our seats to the floor, but the sensation eased by showtime. The opening “act” was some DJ, who a variety of familiar tunes at sped up tempos, or with an annoying click track behind them, from a booth mocked up like a vintage sedan all lit in neon. But enough prelude… “Achtung Baby” was the focus of the evening, which has never been my favorite U2 album, although it does contain several of their more iconic songs. And they played all of those and many others (see setlist), quite well and with enthusiasm. Despite this being one of their final shows of this residency, they were not mailing it in by any measure, they were engaging, appreciative of the crowd and the opportunity to play this incredible venue. And this venue is unlike any in the country if not the world at the moment. The visuals projected on the walls and ceiling are breathtaking, beautiful, and occasionally disorienting. Pictures and video really can’t fully capture the experience. At more than one instance during the show, it truly feels like the walls and ceiling have disappeared and you are immersed in another dimension. I’ve been blessed to have seen U2 several times over the years, and while this wasn’t their best performance, it was a very good one in a space that will likely redefine what live music performance can be for the foreseeable future. Set List I Could Have Lost You (snippet) / Zoo Station The Fly Even Better Than The Real Thing Mysterious Ways / My Sweet Lord (snippet) / I Feel Love (snippet) One / Love Me Tender (snippet) Until the End of the World / Paint it Black (snippet) Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses Landlady (snippet) / Tryin’ to Throw Your Arms Around the World All I Want Is You / Walk On The Wild Side (snippet) Desire When Love Comes To Town Love Rescue Me Acrobat So Cruel Ultraviolet (Light My Way) Love Is Blindness / Viva Las Vegas (snippet) encore(s): Elevation / My Way (snippet) Atomic City Vertigo Where the Streets Have No Name / All You Need Is Love (snippet) With or Without You Beautiful Day / Gloria (snippet) / Blackbird (snippet) / Glorify (snippet)

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