U2:UV Achtung Baby Live At Sphere

Oct 14 2023
Las Vegas, NV, US / Sphere
with Pauli the PSM

'Manufactured light.'

Eighth show at Sphere is a rambunctious affair, and a marriage proposal is on the table.

'Irish spirit is in the house!' Bono announced early, 'And it's in flirtatious form. Let's get married later!'
'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For' replaces 'Angel of Harlem' in the 22-song set, which also includes snippets of Buddy Holly's 'Not Fade Away', Van Morrison's 'Into the Mystic', 'When Two Tribes Go To War' by Frankie Goes to Hollywood' and Donna Summer's 'I Feel Good'.

What Bono said

The lead vocalist was in a chatty mood, particularly between putting the 'Trying To Throw Your Arms Around The World' balloon away and introducing  'All I Want Is You.'

'I'm not quite sure of the symbolism of the balloon, but I think it's got to burst, is the point. And I must say it takes a lot of work and a lot of clever people to make that magic trick work,' he reflected. 'The people who built this place… we asked the builders and the engineers and the clever people, would they go for a drink with us back in May, and we found a place called Bahama Breeze – you can go to the Caribbean just like that! Anyway, I might have brought a few balloons home from that.  On that occasion we didn't get married IN Las Vegas, we got married TO Las Vegas….'

'Sphere has been a great gift to our band. It could be a cave, it could be a club in Berlin in the '90s, an Elvis megachurch. Later it will be a cathedral of the natural world…but really, it's all just manufactured light without the thing that happens [between] U2 and our audience', he said. 'It's a bonding. It's deep and it's lasted a long time. And for those of you who are new… would you let us put a ring on it, on your finger? You, younger ones... or older ones.'

Shout Outs

'To Terry World', a reference to Terry Lawless, legendary keyboardist and programmer.

From the socials

'Best choir in the world singing again with the best band in this & any other universe! Still haven't found... but we did & found everything we were looking for. #U2 #U2Sphere #U2UV' — @HerzensSonne22 on X '

10/13 Sphere-trying to wind down. I've heard 5 of the 6 shows played…and have been screen grabbing thinking I could leave the alone seeing the show in person. No such luck. Nothing I've seen or heard about #U2/UV compared. I thought I was ready, I'm seriously speechless!' — @BernheimBiz on X

'Question: how can you be inside and outside at the same time? Only @U2 and #SphereVegas know. Incredible!' — @dananews3LV on X

 'Replete. My cup is full and runs over. The U2 show at Sphere Las Vegas astonishes, thrills, uplifts, delights, and also holds rapt with an improbably tender intimacy. You can hear Bono whisper - the sound is so pristine and clear - and even sip his water, it seems. Edge is alchemical. Adam is so funky and my insides vibrated to his bass. Larry, love and miss you, hope your recovery is coming along; Bram, you are doing great!! Congratulations to the inspired crew and team for creating a next wave masterpiece….'  @Ashley_Judd on Instagram


'I think Bono is having too much fun with these songs during this segment....   Having the video for this is really nice.' — SFTV

 'Super silly mood tonight!' — Canadanne

'Nice ending there!  Can't wait to find out about that mystery song from the turntable portion of the concert.' — U22009

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


U2:UV Achtung Baby Live At Sphere - Beautiful Day
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My first U2 Concert!
Have been a fan of U2 since first hearing "Gloria" on MTV way back when and have traveled with your music through the years since. Finally able to make it to one of your shows. The Sphere made it wonderful place to see the show. Booked a room at the Venetian - flew into Vegas, took a cab to the hotel, walked to the show, experience of a lifetime, walked back to the room and a cab ride back to the airport! Achtung Baby is one of my favorites and was glad to hear all of these songs live. So many great ones. Especially glad to hear "All I Want is You" and even more so when you also played "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" - thrilled to sing along with you and everyone else. The close out of the show from Elevation, Atomic City and Vertigo rocked right into the highlight of the show with "Where the Streets Have No Name' and a beautiful close out with With or Without You and Beautiful Day. Thank you for a great show and great memories. Glad to be able to check a U2 concert off of my bucket list!
U2-UV: From The Judas Kiss to Kneeling i
U2's UV Achtung Baby Live was a magical mystery tour through my soul, a trip through the garden of Eden, the leaving of paradise, the betrayal of Judas, the moment of surrender, and the city of lights. Before the opening note, it placed me in the Parthenon, later made into a cathedral. As I looked up, I saw a dove flying above, a foreshadowing of what was to follow, but I, like the haunting Sean Nos, began the show lost, disoriented, and singing, Where are you hiding from me? Though once a comic character, The Fly now symbolizes despair. When you are lost, you tire. You tire of searching; you tire of never being found. When Bono puts on his Fly shades, he is past the point of caring if he will ever find what he is looking for. It is a report from Hell, but he is having fun there. He relishes sliding down the surface and flying the crimson sky. The opening sings a siren song, seductive, dangerous, and ultimately deadly. U2 does not stay in the shadows, however. The moments following the opening scene lack the seductive darkness of the opening numbers of The Fly and Even Better than the Real Thing, indicated by the removal of the fly shades. We are now out of the depths and back in the heaven-tinged mire of ordinary mortals. Still, even in this in-between land, all is not well. Mysterious Ways and Trying to Throw Your Arms are joyful interludes, but Until The End of the World still rages upon a scorched earth, and One reminds us that we, “Hurt each other and do it again.” Set in this context, it felt more confessional than celebratory. As Bono has stated, Achtung Baby is a heavy album, and as such, they gives the audience a break before the side two assault. At my show, it was the Rattle and Hum suite of All I Want Is You, Desire, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, and Love Rescue Me. Although I loved this part, it felt a bit outside the narrative, though the lyric changes in Love Rescue Me connect. The last line, “The ruins to the right of us, they look a whole lot like us,” pushes me back into recognizing the part that I play in the darkness permeating existence. If side one sets up the despair driving us to human and cosmic trespass, side two admits that betrayal has consequences, a point hammered home in the confessional better known as Acrobat. This song is a cry in nearly complete darkness, and it hit me hard. Right now, in the morass of my betrayal, I need the cup of salvation terribly, but it remains out of my reach. Even the following salves of "So Cruel" and "Ultraviolet" offer no respite from regret. Slight lyric changes shift the blame from you to I, reinforcing the sense that I, not anyone else, am to blame for my trespasses. When the guitars and vocals of Ultraviolet desperately and beautifully claw for the light, they still admit that we lie together in whispers and moans and feel like checking out. Before I entered Sphere, the baby reminded me this was not a rehearsal. Love is Blindness drives this point home. Actions have consequences. In this case, the consequences kill the soul. Love is Blindness is exquisite suicide. It is divorce. It is the final cut of the cord between not only man and woman but man and his maker. I have always noted allusions to Judas in this song, “Take the money, honey, blindness." These allusions, coupled with the visual metaphor of corruption and death in the black butterflies that swallow up the sky, drove me to my knees. In the sky and soul-cutting solo of Edge’s weeping guitar, I saw my unredeemed heart as it was, littered with malice and murder. I needed the night wrapped around me. I needed blindness. Still, as Bono repeated the mantra, Viva (live) Las Vegas, I sensed that death would not have the final say. I would live again. This sliver of light began the last act of the show, a journey back to life, but it wasn’t easy. Remember, actions have consequences. Elevation plays in the sky still swallowed in symbols of sin, and the Sinatra snippet, “My Way” bridges into Atomic City with a nearly ominous admission that “we did it our way.” Atomic City is a rocker that, like Vertigo, has cosmic consequences, and I felt like tonight, I came here for a fight, nearly front row in Las Vegas, a fight for my mind and heart. The answer lies in the last line of Vertigo. Love teaching me to kneel. It was at this moment that the keys to the cages of the previous song became clear. At the end of Vertigo, Bono transitioned into Moment of Surrender, and the darkness disappeared. This was not an accident. Freed by confession and surrender, I found myself prostrate at the gates of the streets with no name, a gate that opened with a tunnel of light as the climax of With or Without You rang out into the crowd. I once was lost, but now was found in the love and forgiveness of home, my true home of heaven. Of course, the famous prayer implores that we bring heaven to earth, which is what happened when the steel and neon bones of Sphere blossomed into a cathedral of the new creation, a creation no longer groaning. After the flood, the colors did come out. Hope is a winged bird, and as I walked out to the invigorating unreleased “Glorify” and sang along to “What a Wonderful World,” I felt it stir in my now wide-awake soul.
Incomprehensible Joy
The U2 show at Sphere is one of the most incredible experiences. One thing stands out above all the amazing technology and music and that’s the palpable feeling of joy. Sometimes we get lost in the troubles and sadness of the world and forget that there’s just as much joy out there. This show reminds us that joy is an act of defiance.
The Feel of a Small Venue in the Enormou
I was semi-prepared for the immense size of the Sphere but was struck most of all by the SMALL size of the stage. It made the show simultaneously feel like a small-venue gig and the biggest rock show of all time. Over the years, I've gotten used to looking from one side of the arena to the other to watch individual members of the band but here the entire group was in close proximity and I could take them in as a group. The 3-song opening salvo hearkened back to Zoo TV's sensory overload without feeling like a completely rehash of 1992 (although I would not have minded if it had
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