U2’s Sphere Concert Gave 5 Out-Of-This World Moments
via Livin Life Live / Youtube
U2’s UV Achtung Baby Live Las Vegas residency kicked off on Sept. 29 at the Sphere, a new venue known for its immersive wraparound video system. The band used this groundbreaking technology to deliver impressive and sometimes even disorientating visuals. These moments highlight how U2 took full advantage of Sphere’s groundbreaking capabilities to deliver an unforgettable concert experience.
Here are five of the most dazzling moments from U2’s first show at the Sphere:
The concert kicked off with U2 delivering an ethereal a cappella introduction on an almost empty stage. As the first song from Achtung Baby started playing, a colossal stone wall behind the band began to tremble and fracture, accompanied by a shower of dust. Brilliant white lines, stretching from floor to ceiling, soon appeared, crisscrossing the entire venue. A vast collage of assorted TV static patterns and live footage of the band gradually replaced the expanding white lights, eventually enveloping the entire screen.
“Even Better Than the Real Thing”
The third song of U2’s opening performance at the Sphere showcased the venue’s ability to distort reality in the most spectacular way. Elaborate visuals behind the band spun in a vertical cycle throughout the song, giving everyone in the audience the sensation of being on a massive Ferris wheel. This effect mirrored that used in the song’s original music video.
“Tryin’ to Throw Your Arms Around the World”
Even though the Sphere’s enormous video screen was mostly shrouded in darkness during the song, a blend of animation and real effects conjured up one of the night’s most unforgettable visuals. What looked like a series of sheets tied together dangled from the digital depiction of a white balloon hovering above the spectators. Bono, after guiding a string around the stage for a significant portion of the song, invited a lady from the audience to take a swing.
“Where the Streets Have No Name”
Following a 16-song primary set featuring songs from Achtung Baby and Rattle and Hum, U2 began a six-song encore with a trio of their more recent hits: “Atomic City,” “Elevation,” and “Vertigo.” However, no U2 concert would be complete without a few anthems from The Joshua Tree. The crowd erupted in cheers as the opening notes of “Where the Streets Have No Name” filled the venue. A sweeping time-lapse image of a desert provided a stunningly cinematic backdrop, occasionally causing the audience to remind themselves that they were, in fact, still indoors.
“With or Without You”
U2 performed another track from The Joshua Tree, set against the backdrop of a rocky island gradually submerging into the sea. In a moment reminiscent of Pink Floyd, they were encircled by water as a mysterious dark orb floated towards them. As it spun, a white circle that resembled the Death Star materialized in the center, eventually engulfing the entire stage with a series of stunning patterns.