'Rock 'n' roll, the sound of freedom'

27 Jan 2024

'Rock 'n' roll, the sound of freedom'

The band returned to Las Vegas Friday night with a few surprises up their sleeves for the final run of shows at the Sphere.

'Sweetest Thing' joined the U2:UV setlist for the first time, Bono was at the piano, Adam was sporting a moustache and the band covered Crowded House's 'Don't Dream It's Over'.  

Snippets peppered through the 22-song set included 'Paint It Black' by the Rolling Stones, 'Into the Mystic' by Van Morrison and 'Blackbird' from the Beatles'.


What Bono Said 

Before 'Don't Dream It's Over': ''Freedom is a word we throw about. I certainly throw it about...but it's the word that probably all of us in this building are holding on tightest to tonight….Rock 'n' roll is the sound of freedom. Liberation. Politically, sexually, spiritually: Freedom. And that's all I wanted to say about what's going on in the world right now. Let's hold on to that very tightly. Don't let anyone take that away from you'.

Introducing the band before 'Desire': 'This is U2's first manager – the first person to believe we might have something to manage. He is sporting a magnificent moustache this evening. Ladies, our very own Tom Selleck. On bass tonight, Adam Clayton'.

Turning to Bram to ask whether he had anything to say, the drummer remained shtum, answering with a drumbeat, to which Bono responded: 'Larry'd be proud'.

After playing keys on Sweetest Thing: 'I fell off me bike. Haven't been able to play. It's pretty good.'

Shout Outs

To Daniel Lanois, the band's longtime friend, collaborator, and  producer of several of their albums, often alongside Brian Eno, whose head, Bono said, resembles the Sphere. 'We have his brain surgeon here tonight: Daniel Lanois is in the house. We have Danny to thank for the inner dialogue that is Achtung Baby'…. 'Danny Boy' Lanois got a second shout-out during 'Elevation' when Bono said: 'Do we believe in Danny Lanois? Yes we do'.

To Bob Ezrin, the Canadian producer, musician, and co-founder with Edge of the Music Rising charity, during 'All I Want Is You': 'Thank you, Bob.'

After 'Don't Dream It's Over': 'That's for Neil and Tim Finn's mother Mary from Kilmallock in County Limerick.'

To TV presenter Cat Deeley, 'Cat Deeley, have you seen my keys?' 

On the Socials

'Dang, you go Edge!! Best backup vocal in the business!! #SoCruel #U2UVSphere' — @TheeeEdge on X

'I did NOT have #AdamClayton with a mustache on my bingo card for 2024, but I ain't complaining @u2ladyfly #AdamClayton #U2 #U2Uvsphere' — @AdamsKimono on X

'Agora há pouco, Bono nos encantou ao tocar piano durante a performance de "Sweetest Thing" (English translation: Bono delighted us with playing piano during the performance of "Sweetest Thing”) #u2 #u2sphere' — @U2Wolves on Instagram

'The DREAM AIN't OVER~ZOO!! Amazing cover of #DontDreamItsOver … melted me down ~ Thank You #Bono and #TheEdge!! /We need this cover published ASAP!!!' — @OrlitaGabrielle on X

From Zootopia/U2 Faniverse

'Moment of Surrender into Streets is like chicken noodle soup for the soul'. — mich40

'If that waistcoat doesn't make a comeback...' [It did.] — AvANiceDay

'Poll tonight: Will Bono find his keys? Yes | No' [He didn't.] — Sherry

'Bram has a space baby T-shirt!' — Canadanne

If you were at the show in Vegas, add your own review and upload your photos here.

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