Last Wednesday Brett Harned and I took our wives to experience U2 playing at the Sphere. TL;DR: Wow! Magnificent! U2 is still amazing and the Sphere’s debut is incredible.
I have no doubt there are hundreds of articles and blog posts about the experience. Hell, there are bootlegs of the entire show bouncing around YouTube if you want to get a TikTok-sized glimpse. So I'll stick to a few unique observations.
In any other place—with the exception of Hong Kong—the Sphere would certainly dominate the city skyline. Tucked into Vegas it feels like a curious addition to the existing, over-the-top gigantic light features all vying for attention It will definitely dominate the televised coverage of the Las Vegas Grand Prix in a few weeks. The Sphere is a new, incredible wonder of the world and I hope to see more performances there in the future. Especially as they figure out how to really use all of the technology. Today it feels like playing a new game on a new game console (PS3 > PS4 > PS5). A huge improvement from the generation before, but the games only give a glimpse of what’s possible. The same will be true about the Sphere.
Having said that the show did not disappoint and U2 rocked—they haven’t lost a beat or a note. The band showed no signs of slowing down and it’s incredible to see how far they have come.
One pleasant surprise was the ambient music playing in the lobby (the sound was incredible there too). At first, I thought it was just any other chill mix, but after a few songs in it was clear these tracks were made from elements of Achtung Baby. Both Brett and I commented on wanting to buy an album but we did not find anything at the merch tables.
Back at home, I found some background and a full tracklist. Even better, someone posted Space Baby, the entire LP on YouTube. After a minute or two I was easily able to download the file, convert it to audio, and start playing on the HomePods. Now I just need to replace all of my lights with blacklight and I’ll have my own HomeSphere™. Joking aside, I hope U2 digs into their back catalog and produces more of these alternative takes on all the songs we love.
I wholeheartedly recommend the show and the entire experience. As I post this, U2 has added two more months to their residency. This is the perfect time for YOLO. You’ll be glad you did.