'Renewing Our Vows'
The U2:UV third night at Sphere an unabashed love fest.
The band's third Sphere 'date' with fans on Thursday was an ecstatic experience for everyone involved.
At turns fun and funny, touching and inspirational, the band (its lead vocalist in particularly flirty mood) took an audacious spin through 22 songs from five albums and their new single, 'Atomic City. A show, as Bono put it, that is 'a distortion pedal for the mind'.
What did Bono Say
To Brigitte, the fan he brought up on stage to take a ride on the Jack-and-the-beanstalk bed-sheet balloon tether: 'You know that we're kinda married? This evening, we're renewing our vows with the band and the U2 crowd….In the vows, you gave us a life that we could never have imagined, and in return, our vow is that we wouldn't be boring bastards.'
As Brigitte sat in the balloon swing: 'If I was really cool, I'd risk my own life. Instead, I'm risking Brigitte from Paris. It's beautiful... take the balloon, Brigitte from Paris. Au revoir. A bientot. A demain. Merci….That was beautiful. Thank you so much!'
'Edge, have I been caught in the crime of show business? A show business crime?' To which Edge responded: 'Yes.'
'We're gonna take a break from 'Achtung Baby' … it's a little intense. So, courtesy of Brian Eno, we have this turntable stage. Ah, we have a whole life courtesy of Brian Eno. Give it up for Brian Eno. A whole artistic life.'
To Bram van den Berg (sitting in for Larry): 'Are you Larry Mullen's representative on Earth — just askin'?' To which Bram responded: 'No. He doesn't need one, does he? But I've got the microphone. I just want to say that I'm very, very, very proud to sit at Larry Mullen's drum stool, and to thank all U2 fans for sticking up for me because I know it's a big deal. Thank you.'
'Nice work,' Bono said to Bram later, adding a deadpan: 'But you can't sing.'
Following a rendition of 'Desire' that had the arena on its feet Bono introduced 'Angel of Harlem' with a little extra context about the album where it appeared, Rattle and Hum: 'That beat was Bo Diddley. And us white boys from north County Dublin didn't know what a Bo Diddley beat was. Truth is we didn't know much about American music, we didn't know much at all. So, at the end of the '80s, we tried to educate ourselves about these extraordinary artists. A lot of them were Black, a lot of them were Blues — it was a whole world we didn't know. R&B, then we went into country music. And we made an album about our explorations, which is a ballsy move. It's like fanboy stuff. Anyway, the audacity to write a song, about Billie Holliday…'
To Edge's brother, Dik Evans, another 'mad scientist' who helped his kid brother 'blow up' their back garden in Dublin and also co-built their first electric guitar.
To Eddie Vedder and his wife Jill McCormick Vedder, he dedicated 'All I Want Is You', saying: 'I tell you who's Elvis to me: Eddie Vedder is Elvis to me. And his missus, Jill, your Priscilla'
On The Socials
'A temple of stone and steel. The Spirit says “Come, come all who serve above and below, Come all believers and all who don't know”… “There's room for everyone. Everyone. Everyone! EVERYONE!! #U2UVSPHERE' — @timneufeld on X
'@U2 & @SphereVegas absolutely knocked it out of the park last night. The visuals weren't just jumbo-sized eye candy, they were all meaningful, creative, and immersive. The sound alone is worth the price of admission. It was a truly transcendent experience.' — @johnlucchetti on X
“I'm ready to say, I'm glad to be alive.” Pretty speechless. Incredible night. Grateful I get to go back…#U2UVSphere @u2' — @therevadam on X
We asked some of the folks who helped organise fan events in Las Vegas — including our 'Zootopians in The Zoo Bar' from 4 p.m. tonight at the Zoo Station exhibit inside the Venetian Resort and Casino — that are happening around the main Sphere shows, - to send us a few words right after the show :
Aaron from fan site U2Songs.com: '”Atomic City” is an ear worm that follows you out of the venue and into the streets of the town it was named for. Such a great night, from the dance party going off up front, to the beautiful visuals of “Beautiful Day” — what a night!'
Scott from the Glasgow-based U2 tribute band December, who flew to Vegas from Scotland for this week's shows (and a few of their own): 'I needed the cathedral in Las Vegas. That's why we came from Scotland. Bono promised it and the band delivered. Renewal of vows between the band and the tribes. Love shed abroad between the old and new friends in the audience….This band and their music lifted me up as they have done since this album was released — 4,000 miles was so worth it. Thank you U2.'
Local Vegas DJ Jason who uses the moniker 'Velvet Rebel' when spinning the discs, was still trying to catch his breath après show: 'Send oxygen!...Hard to imagine what can ever top this show.'
If you were at the show in Vegas, add your own review and upload your photos here.
Photo credit: Rich Fury