During the show, the band powered through hits including "One" and "With or Without You"
U2 kicked off its U2:UV Achtung Baby Live at Sphere residency in Las Vegas on Friday night — and it was the "Sweetest Thing."
During the first of 25 shows — and U2’s first full live concert since 2019 — the band powered through a bevy of 22 hits, including "One," "With or Without You" and "Where the Streets Have No Name."
They also paid homage to Vegas with a performance of "Atomic City," having filmed the music video for the song in the city earlier in the month.
The Irish group, which features Bono and The Edge, leaned into Vegas themes at times during the show, having flashed images of Elvis Presley on the walls of the venue at one point. “Elvis has definitely not left this building,” Bono, 63, said during one moment in the show.
Many A-list stars were in attendance for the opening night, including Jon Hamm, Elizabeth Banks, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Orlando Bloom and Paul McCarthy.
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In addition to listening to the famed band, the thousands of fans gathered inside the venue marveled at the 16K wraparound LED screen, 167,000 speakers and even the five humanoid robots greeting guests in the foyer.
“What a fancy pad,” Bono said of the venue, which sits inside a 366-foot-tall orb just east of the famed Las Vegas Strip.
When it was first illuminated on the Fourth of July weekend, an American flag and fireworks were displayed. Since then, the exterior dome has transformed into a lifelike eyeball, basketball, moon, earth and pumpkin, among other objects.
The rock band took advantage of the visual capabilities, too, as members appeared on the walls of the venue inside bubbles, on split screens or in cubes.
Statements like “Believe,” “This Is Not A Rehearsal” and “It Could Never Happen Here” later flashed across the entire venue during "Even Better Than The Real Thing."
And at one point, while standing on his rotating microphone, Bono let fans in on a secret before singing "All I Want Is You," telling those in attendance: "I’ve never told anything this, but this song is an attempt to write a wedding song from a woman’s point of view."
U2’s weekend set marked the first time since October 1978 that the group has played a show without drummer Larry Mullen, who is dealing with health issues.
He was replaced by Bram van den Berg, the drummer of Dutch rock band Krezip.
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