U2 announced the dates for their upcoming residency at Las Vegas’ Sphere at the Venetian venue on Monday morning (April 24). The veteran UK Rock and Roll Hall of Famers will kick off the U2: UV Achtung Baby Live at Sphere run on Sept. 29, marking their first live run of gigs in four years.
The band first revealed that they would be performing at the cutting-edge building during a Super Bowl commercial in February, with singer Bono and guitarist The Edge peeling back the creative process behind the run in a new interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe. The Sphere gigs will take place on Sept. 29, Sept. 30, Oct. 6, 7 and 8.
In the interview, the pair roll up to the enormous rounded building, the largest free-standing structure on the Las Vegas Strip as Lowe describes the venue as a new Wonder of the World. “There’s nothing like it, it’s light years ahead of everything that’s out there,” Edge says as he shakes hands with the team finishing work on the arena, the only place where the group will perform songs from 1991’s Achtung Baby.
The allure, according to Bono, is that unlike most arenas and stadiums major bands play, the Sphere is built for music and art, not rowdy sports contests, complete with a photo-real highest-possible resolution series of screens that will envelop attendees. “So this building was built for immersive experiences in cinema and performance,” he says, with Edge noting that the sound has been designed as a priority from day one. In fact, unlike most arena shows, when you go see a gig at the Sphere there are no speakers, Bono says, because the entire building is a speaker that Edge notes envelops you in a “completely immersive” sound.
“Depending on where you are in the venue you’ll get your own very unique show,” the Edge promises, describing how the venue will allow the band to deliver Atmos-level sound in a live setting.
Fans can register now for the Verified Fan presale here; fans who previously signed up for Verified Fan for UW are automatically registered for the chance to join the presale. Registration for Verified Fan will close on Wednesday (April 26) at 10 a.m. ET. Fans selected to get an access code will be able to participate in Verified Fan presale starting on Thursday (April 27). Ticket prices begin at $140 and will reflect all-in pricing, which means the listed price is the full out-of-pocket cost including taxes and feeds. According to a release, the large capacity of the Sphere will allow for 60% of tickets to be priced under $300.
In a statement, Bono, Edge and bassist Adam Clayton – drummer Larry Mullen Jr. is sitting out the dates, with Bram van den Berg filling in — said, “U2 hasn’t played live since December 2019 and we need to get back on stage and see the faces of our fans again. And what a unique stage they’re building for us out there in the desert… We’re the right band, ACHTUNG BABY the right album, and Sphere the right venue to take the live experience of music to the next level… That’s what U2’s been trying to do all along with our satellite stages and video installations, most memorably on the ZOO TV Tour, which ended in Tokyo 30 years ago this fall.”
Guitarist The Edge added that the Sphere — which includes such futuristic technology as a 16K x 16K LED display inside the main venue bowl that wraps up, over and around the audience to create a fully immersive experience — is more than just a new venue, but also a “gallery,” with U2’s music slated to be projected all over the walls.
“The beauty of Sphere is not only the ground-breaking technology that will make it so unique, with the world’s most advanced audio system, integrated into a structure which is designed with sound quality as a priority; it’s also the possibilities around immersive experience in real and imaginary landscapes,” Edge said of the 17,500-capacity building with multi-sensory 4D video technology. “In short, it’s a canvas of an unparalleled scale and image resolution and a once-in-a-generation opportunity. We all thought about it and decided we’d be mad not to accept the invitation.”
For now, the band has only announced the initial run of shows. But in speaking to Lowe, Bono suggested that depending on the audience’s reaction and their experience on stage, “I think it’s going to be hard to get us out of here.”
The U2.com presale is open now through Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET, while the general onsale (if any tickets remain) will begin on Friday (April 28) at 10 a.m. ET on Ticketmaster.
Watch the trailer for the Sphere shows and the Lowe interview below.
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