U2:UV: Three in February

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2024-02-23)

I’ve just returned from a second trip to Las Vegas to see U2:UV. While away, time was limited, and we are playing a bit of catch up on our write ups for those three shows. The good news is we’re ready to publish those, and they are included below.

But I’d like to take a few moments to share my thanks for the week I just had in Las Vegas. So many fans have come up to me to say hello through the last week, and I want to thank you for sharing your time with us. The kind words we heard about U2Songs were greatly appreciated. We love hearing how you use the site, what you think of the site, and love that many of you shared that we had your trust when it comes to what we publish. That means a lot to all of us who work here at U2Songs. And we’re also happy to have played a role in building the U2 fan community over time. A huge thank you to those who popped by when we gathered in Zoo Station with The Garden Tarts, and The U2 Tattoo Project, and for all those who said hello along the way.

Mike Long used to work with us at U2Songs for many years. Mike worked on the lyrics section, and transcribed most of what you see there. He passed a few years back. We are still missing him. Over the weekend a good friend of his found us at Zoo Station and said hello. We got to share memories of Mike, and it felt like he was along for the ride this weekend. Mike always liked to hang out in the back corner keeping an eye on the site, and it felt like he was watching over us this weekend. It made the weekend feel extra special.

In Vegas, I was surrounded by people I knew far less when these shows started. The community is still under construction. New friends were made, new faces added to those that I know. Thank you for those who shared their day and nights with me this time along. I had an incredible week. And to those I missed while in Vegas, there will be a next time.

I enjoyed the shows I saw back in October. But U2 are at a different level now then they were back then. The band seem to be comfortable and relaxed. They seem to be having the time of their lives on that stage. They are in great form right now. I’m not sure what walked through the room on Saturday night, but there wasn’t a dry eye around me at times. There was a connection between band and fans that I’ve rarely seen. Maybe there were no real surprises that night in the set list, but it was one of my favourite performances I have seen any artist give. And seeing Bram fighting back a few tears, seeing so many fans in tears as he left was a beautiful moment as well. The Thursday night and Sunday nights shows had their own moments, from the spotlight turning to Pricilla Presley, to the band’s version of “Peace on Earth” on Sunday and the lovely moustache campaign kicked off by Sherry Lawrence which brought some humour to a bit of a more somber show.

The week before, the band played Super Bowl weekend, and by all reports there were few long-term fans around. This past weekend, originally sold as the final shows of the residency, the fans were back. You couldn’t turn around without seeing someone that you knew. It made for some fun days, some fun nights, and quite a bit of missing sleep.

Only four shows remain until the end of these shows. The next two will be filmed for a film that will initially be shown exclusively at Sphere. From the extra cameras appearing last weekend, some of the filming has already started. Sunday, additional filming was being done both inside Sphere and at locations around Las Vegas. After the Sphere shows wrap up? The crew is buzzing that the band are preparing for a tour in 2025, likely to start in summer. The tour will start outside of North America, and things point toward a European start. If all goes well in the recording studio, we should hear about tour dates going on sale in late 2024. Start saving your money. It’ll be here quicker than expected. Everyone does point out the new album has to be completed first, and that any preliminary planning for a tour is just that, planning, and will be reliant on a new album coming out. We suspect that the album is further along than any of us expect. The band, including Larry Mullen, are due to start in studio in mid-March to wrap up the work.

Now onto our write ups of the last three shows. We do these for every show. If you’ve attended a show at Sphere you can see what we shared in our show archive for that particular show. The three below will be added in shortly.


2024-02-15: Sphere, Las Vegas, NV

Songs: Zoo Station / The Fly / Even Better Than the Real Thing / Mysterious Ways / One / Until the End of the World / Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses / Tryin’ to Throw Your Arms Around the World / All I Want is You / Desire / When Love Comes to Town / Don’t Dream it’s Over / Acrobat / So Cruel / Ultra Violet (Light My Way) / Love is Blindness // Elevation / Atomic City / Vertigo / Where the Streets Have No Name / With or Without You / Beautiful Day

Snippets: Drive My Car / Let’s Dance / My Sweet Lord / I Feel Love / Love Me Tender / Sympathy for the Devil / Paint it Black / Red Rain / Landlady / Live Forever / America / Viva Las Vegas / My Way / Moment of Surrender / Gloria / Blackbird

This show is the 34th of 40 shows that U2 will play in total at Sphere in Las Vegas. Unlike most shows in the run this show is a Thursday night due to a scheduling change made necessary by the upcoming Presidents Day holiday. This is only the second show of the run held on a Thursday night.

This was one of the three final shows planned for Sphere, stopping the residency at 36. However, 4 additional shows have been added. Regardless many have decided to stick with their plans to see these shows and the week is one that’s sees hundreds of fans in Vegas for these shows. Tonight’s show sees the middle section made up of Rattle and Hum songs (“All I Want is You”, “Desire”, “When Love Comes to Town”, as well as U2’s cover of “Don’t Dream it’s Over”.

Bono heads into “Even Better than the Real Thing” speaking about this being a Thursday night, “Hello hello hello. How are you? Are you good? Not good enough. I wish to cancel Thursday nights, tonight could be any night we want it to be, could be a birthday, could be a wedding, I’m going to take New Year’s Eve personally.” Bono also does a short introduction to the band starting out the song, “Why are we? Who are we? I know who you are. You’re The Edge. I know who you are. You’re Adam. And him? Haven’t I seen you somewhere before, apart from last night? Wham bam thank you Bram!”

After a beautiful version of “One” Bono moves into the lyrics of “Love Me Tender”, one of many nods to Elvis in the early part of the show. On the screen, we’ve seen night after night an image from Elvis and Priscilla Presley’s wedding. She’s in the house to see the performance tonight, but it isn’t mentioned that she is there just yet.

Tonight during “Tryin’ to Throw My Arms Around the World” Bono shares “Lost me keys, lost me keys, have you seen my keys The Edge, Katrina have you seen my keys, Grace Carter have you seen my keys. (Grace Carter is a singer / songwriter who is present at the show, we aren’t sure who Katrina is, but possibly is Catriona who has worked with Bono in the past.)

Noel Gallagher’s “Live Forever” done with Oasis is played over the end of “All I Want is You”, included because Noel Gallagher is at the show. “Desire” features the band introduction tonight. “The man behind me is too tall and too good looking for this freak show – but I could for this evening give you the type of contortionist, a musical contortionist, because you have sat and stood in for Larry Mullen Jr which is an impossible task, but you’ve made tonight possible sir! Bram van den Berg.” Bono continues with Adam in his sites, “Now, the ringmaster, the first man who believed we could take our show from town-to-town. The first showman in the band. On the bass…Adam Charles Clayton”. Up next The Edge? “Spotlight on one of the great trapeze artists of all time. Not because he attempts death-defying grandstanding acts from showbiz. No! But precisely because he does not. Ladies and Gentlemen, from the sky above, with us on the earth below and the sawdust, The Edge”. About himself, Bono finishes off with “I’m just going to introduce myself as a show pony for this evening.”

In the introduction to “When Love Comes to Town”, Bono shared, “This band wouldn’t be here without Elvis Presley. This building might not be here without Elvis Presley. Following the song he shares, “I’d like to talk about the King and Queen in Rock ‘n’ Roll. Because, Priscilla Presley is in the house, Elvis’s flame, there she is. If I were you I’d turn it on, it’s now a royal box, you might get a wild wave. Thank you we love You”. There is a spotlight placed on Priscilla while Bono talks, and she does come forward and waves to the crowd including to some fans at the back of the floor. To a friend, Priscilla shared, “It was an amazing show! Truly captivating! I do plan on going back soon, to see it again. Yes…it was that outstanding.”

Ahead of “Beautiful Day” Bono recognizes the crowd is an international one. “What a great night. What a great night. Some familiar faces around here. These tickets are too expensive. Do not buy them. Steal them!” and laughs.

“Drive My Car” appears over the start of “The Fly” after a quick thank you to Pauli the PSM. During “Mysterious Ways” Bono uses “Let’s Dance” (at the start) and “My Sweet Lord” (in the song) and “I Feel Love” (at the end). “One” ends with Elvis Presley’s “Viva Las Vegas” as a wedding photo appears of Elvis and Pricilla Presley. Presley attends tonight’s show. “Until the End of the World” includes “Sympathy for the Devil” as well as “Paint it Black” and includes “Red Rain” for Peter Gabriel who is also in the house tonight. During “Elevation” there is a shout-out to Peter Gabriel, “We believe in you, Peter Gabriel, yes we do.” is also later included during “Elevation”. “Landlady” is heard over the start of “Tryin to Throw Your House Around the World”. The next snippet is also for someone who is in the house, “Live Forever” is for Noel Gallagher. He also later shouts out “The Gallagher family, this is for you, you speak Spanish…” as the start of “Vertigo” is heard. “America” is a snippet at the end of “Don’t Dream it’s Over”. “Viva Las Vegas” is done at the end of “Love is Blindness” and “My Way” appears at the end of “Elevation”. “Moment of Surrender” appears at the start of “Where the Streets Have No Name” and both “Gloria” and “Blackbird” appear during the end of “Beautiful Day”.

On October 19, 11 additional shows for 2024 at Sphere were announced. The first 11 announced shows, had a presale opportunity via U2.com which started right away, with requests due October 21, 2023 by 10pm. Vibee packages went on-sale immediately when the shows were announced. General sales started on October 25 with staggered start times. (11am PT for Jan. 26, 27; 12pm PT for Jan. 31, Feb. 02, 03; 1pm PT for Feb. 07, 09, 10; and 2pm PT for Feb. 15, 17, 18.) Ticket pricing at face value included GA Floor at $267.88, seats ranging from $140.13 to $501.35, and (RED) Zone tickets at $600. During all general sales, most tickets were raised in price due to Platinum pricing with the exception of Floor and (RED) Zone. On December 1, 2023, a special sale was held for local Las Vegas College and University students, offering GA tickets for $25 in-person at Sphere box office. VIP / Hotel and Ticket / Hotel packages were once again available via Vibee.


2024-02-17: Sphere, Las Vegas, NV

Songs: Zoo Station / The Fly / Even Better Than the Real Thing / Mysterious Ways / One / Until the End of the World / Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses / Tryin’ to Throw Your Arms Around the World / All I Want is You / Desire / Angel of Harlem / Don’t Dream it’s Over / Acrobat / So Cruel / Ultra Violet (Light My Way) / Love is Blindness // Elevation / Atomic City / Vertigo / Where the Streets Have No Name / With or Without You / Beautiful Day

Snippets: My Sweet Lord / I Feel Love / Love Me Tender / Sympathy for the Devil / Paint it Black / Landlady / Into the Mystic / America / Viva Las Vegas / My Way / Moment of Surrender / Gloria / Blackbird

This show is the 35th of 40 shows that U2 will play in total at Sphere in Las Vegas. This shows, unlike other shows this week falls on a regular night for them. The band and crew work early in the day on some new elements for the capture on film of these show (full filming will take place over the two shows next weekend.)

This was one of the three final shows planned for Sphere, stopping the residency at 36. However, 4 additional shows have been added. Regardless many have decided to stick with their plans to see these shows and the week is one that’s sees hundreds of fans in Vegas for these shows.

Ahead of “Even Better than the Real Thing” Bono does his day of the week routine, “Hello! How are you? It’s Saturday night in Las Vegas at the Sphere. In Las Vegas it can be any night you want, but we’ll take Saturday night, shall we? And we’ll make Saturday night, shall we? So how are you? Where are we? I mean really. Who are we? Yeah! You’re the Edge. Not you. You’re Adam Clayton. And you feel very familiar. Wham bam thank you Bram!” The crowd is loud and loving it. Heading into “Mysterious Ways” Bono does a Paul McCartney imitation as he shows off Sphere and says, “Look where we go to work!”

“What have we got here? I am holding onto a balloon. Believing that its going to get me home. I am holding on to a balloon believing the balloon is going to make everything alright…” shares Bono before singing a snippet of U2’s own “Landlady” over the introduction to “Tryin’ to Throw Your Arms Around the World”. He’s still looking for his keys and unable to find them. “Lost my keys! The Edge, do you know where my keys might be? Dave? Do you know where my keys? Dennis? Catherine? Anyone got my keys?” Not finding his keys, Bono rings the bell. “I got a balloon.” Ringing again, he still gets no response, “Shall i leave the balloon. Alright, I’ll leave the balloon. Just to remind my love, I gave her…”

After “Tryin’ to Throw Your Arms Around the World” Bono tells a few stories, addressing Ali who is in the audience, and speaking with The Edge. “My missus Ali, and your missus, and the girls, went out and met a lot of clever, hard-working people last night, they went out on the town last night. They ended up at a place called Thunder from Down Under. I said it was some sort of meteorlogical museum. Or something like that. Morleigh the same? She did wake up. It was strange for a science exhibition to come home with a T-shirt that said ,‘Thunder Squad’” The Edge shares, “Morleigh, the same!” Bono continues, “On the back of the T-shirt it said, ‘There’s crack in the outback’” He then turns to Ali in the crowd, and says “I can say that! I can say that…” It’s an amusing moment in the show. “Ali didn’t come home last night until very late, and I noticed, she, YOU, seemed to need me even less this morning when I woke up. So I guess the balloon was burst.” (For those unfamiliar with Thunder from Down Under, it is a male dance performance, where clothing is removed.)

“All I Want is You” is dedicated to “every girls night out, and the hard working girls on the U2 crew.” The song is ended with an extended piece of Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic” tonight. After the song he dedicates it “For all the women in our lives. Actually, for all the women in Adam’s life. About 17,000 of them here!” Band introductions are up next. “Not since October 1978 have we played a show without Larry Mullen Junior, who we send our love to this evening. It is only right that I start by introducing the man who really saved the day, and in fact saved our arse, saved our arses, as they were right out the window. The flying while seated Dutchman who is Bram van den Berg.” Bram starts the music for “Desire” while introductions continue. “Now, ladies! Ladies! And some gentlemen! On my left, a Greek god. Pop quiz: Name a Greek god with a magnificent moustache? Name a Greek god, any Greek god with a moustache! There is one. It’s Adam Clayton on the bass.” The Edge is next, “I’m running out of connective tissue of my introductions, so I’m just going to stick with not just a magician in a town full of them, an actual alchemist, turning our shite into gold on a daily basis, our card-playing, card-carrying genius, the Edge.” Bono also gives himself an intro, “at the center of the action, if you’re not talking about him, he ain’t listening, a giant in his own mind, mouth Almighty, Bono Vox!” During the performance, Bono shares they may be a bit rough tonight, because “while the girls were out…” without going into further details.

“Angel of Harlem” and “Don’t Dream it’s Over” fill out the acoustic set list. Tonight, Bono gets political, something we’ve seen little of during these shows in Las Vegas. “Our last busk was in a subway in Kyiv, in Ukraine, just a few months before Putin invaded Ukraine. Edge and I got to stand with some people in that city in Ukraine, as they stood in a train station that was a converted bomb shelter. We got to stand with some of the people of Ukraine as they waited for the train to arrive with the rest of the free world on it. We were proud to busk on that occasion. Busked in more ways than one. They are still waiting for some on that train to arrive. America you are so generous but lets get the people what they need.”

“Next week it will be two years since Putin invaded, trying to destroy the hard-won freedoms found, 41 million people. Next it will be Poland. Next it will be Lithuania. East Germany who knows where this man will or won’t go. These people, freedom is not just a word in a song, for these people freedom is the most important word in the world. So important that Ukrainians are fighting and dying for it. So important that Alexi Navalny chose to give his up. Apparently Putin would never ever say his name. So I thought tonight, the free people, from here, the people who believe in freedom, we must say his name. Not just remember it. Say it. Alexi Navalny.” Bono starts the chant, saying his name twice before letting the crowd take over, and coming in later several times to get the crowd started again. Navalny’s death was announced earlier in the week. Bono goes directly from chanting his name into “Don’t Dream it’s Over” from the chant. Bono finishes the song with some lyrics from Simon and Garfunkel’s “America”.

Intermission tonight includes “Viva Las Vegas” into the new remix of “Elevation” that U2 have been using to take the stage. Bono marks one of the special guests in the audience during “Elevation” singing, “I believe in you, Ashley Judd, yes we do!” “Moment of Surrender” sees Bono on the ground of the stage singing the lyrics as the music for “Where the Streets Have No Name” rises, and the sun rises on the screens in the desert. Throughout the encore, the crowd is going crazy, with fans throwing themselves into the music, and the band returning the energy.

“With or Without You” ends with a thank you to the fans, “Let’s take care of each other. Thank you for taking care of our band for so long. We love you. Will you sing us out of here?” Bono is met with a loud chorus of voices, and exchanges looks with the Edge as if surprised by the response. They stand and listen to the crowd cheering after the song. “The sound. It’s a sound, we love to hear.” Bono continues to listen before “be careful because we’ll milk it! We are indeed at journeys end, thank you for getting us to our destination, those of you who came a long distance, thank you, thank you, thank you for all the trouble.” Bono does a shout out to Sian Procter, an astronaut who is at the show tonight. “Some have come from space! That’s right. Sian Procter is in the house. I wrote a love letter to her in space, she wrote me one back. Give it up for Sian Procter, great, great, extraordinary woman, a scientist. She’s everything!” The band then end the show with “Beautiful Day” which includes U2’s own “Gloria” and ends with “Blackbird”. Along the rail, there are many tears, it was a pretty extraordinary night, and the connection between band and fans was strong. The band seem bowled over by the love shown this evening, and it looks as if Bram has tears in his eyes as he exits the stage.

Bono works in several songs throughout the night. He skips his usual “Drive My Car” snippet but does thank Pauli the PSM in the usual spot. Both “My Sweet Lord” and “I Feel Love” make an appearance in “Mysterious Ways”. “Love Me Tender” is in its usual spot after “One” tonight. Both “Sympathy for the Devil” and “Paint it Black” appear during “Until the End of the World”. “Landlady” is heard over the start of “Tryin’ to Throw Your Arms Around the World”. “Viva Las Vegas” finishes out “Love is Blindness”. “My Way” has its usual place at the end of “Elevation”. “Glorify” is played over the PA, however, Bono does not sing along with the song tonight as he exits the show.

Celebrities spotted at the show include radio DJ and Apple Music Journalist Zane Lowe, as well as actress Ashley Judd, and astronaut Sian Proctor. Proctor shared on X, “U2 has been my favorite band for 35 years!! I first saw them perform Joshua Tree in Rochester, NY on October 11, 1987 when I was 17 years old. Then in 2021, when they told me I had three phone calls from space, I asked if I could talk with Bono and my good friends Kyle, Ryan, and Brantley (who was U2’s photographer) made it happen. I talked to Bono for 20 minutes while orbiting the Earth at 17,000 miles per hour. Definitely one of my favorite space moments! And now I got to see them perform at the Sphere Vegas and it was mind blowing!! Then combine that with a shout out by Bono as the band plays Beautiful Day!! I feel so fortunate to be part of the inspiration4x crew and to be able to share my Space2inspire story and #EarthLight with so many. Big thank you to Bono and U2 for using their beautiful “space” to inspire those around them and beyond!”

On October 19, 11 additional shows for 2024 at Sphere were announced. The first 11 announced shows had a presale opportunity via U2.com which started right away, with requests due October 21, 2023 by 10pm. Vibee packages went on-sale immediately when the shows were announced. General sales started on October 25 with staggered start times. (11am PT for Jan. 26, 27; 12pm PT for Jan. 31, Feb. 02, 03; 1pm PT for Feb. 07, 09, 10; and 2pm PT for Feb. 15, 17, 18.) Ticket pricing at face value included GA Floor at $267.88, seats ranging from $140.13 to $501.35, and (RED) Zone tickets at $600. During all general sales, most tickets were raised in price due to Platinum pricing with the exception of Floor and (RED) Zone. On December 1, 2023, a special sale was held for local Las Vegas College and University students, offering GA tickets for $25 in-person at Sphere box office. VIP / Hotel and Ticket / Hotel packages were once again available via Vibee.


2024-02-18: Sphere, Las Vegas, NV

Songs: Zoo Station / The Fly / Even Better Than the Real Thing / Mysterious Ways / One / Until the End of the World / Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses / Tryin’ to Throw Your Arms Around the World / All I Want is You / Desire / When Love Comes to Town / Peace on Earth / Acrobat / So Cruel / Ultra Violet (Light My Way) / Love is Blindness // Elevation / Atomic City / Vertigo / Where the Streets Have No Name / With or Without You / Beautiful Day

Snippets: Drive My Car / Discotheque / Love Me Tender / Sympathy for the Devil / Paint it Black / Landlady / Sunday Morning Coming Down / Walk on the Wild Side / Viva Las Vegas / My Way / Moment of Surrender / Blackbird / Glorify

This show is the 36th of 40 shows that U2 will play at Sphere in Las Vegas. Due to the President’s Day holiday in the US this is the second Sunday show in the entire run of shows. The last Sunday night show was back in October.

This was at one point the final show planned for Sphere, stopping the residency at 36. However 4 additional shows have since been added. Regardless many have decided to stick with their plans to see these shows and the week is one that sees hundreds of fans in Vegas for these shows.

Going into “Even Better than the Real Thing” Bono stops to introduce the band, “Hello hello hello! How are you? Sunday evening. Let’s start with the positives. I. I’m in a band with The Edge. Who knows a Sunday crowd can be a very transcendent situation. Because we are in Las Vegas, we can go just about anywhere we want to go while we’re just standing here. Right? So how are you? And might I ask where are we? Why are we? Who are we? I got you, Edge. I got you, Adam Clayton. And you. Have I seen you somewhere before, apart from last night? Wham-bam-thank-you-Bram!”

A fan organized event popped up between “Even Better than the Real Thing” and “Mysterious Ways”. Sherry Lawrence brought hundreds of fake moustaches tonight to celebrate Adam Clayton. They are handed out in the GA line up with instructions to stick the moustache on ahead of “Mysterious Ways”. The gesture of love towards Clayton is noticed with smiles from Adam as he sees faces throughout the audience now clad in moustaches. Also sporting the fakes? Members of the crew, and drummer Bram van den Berg are all seen with moustaches, the latter causing Bono to pause, singing “It’s alright, it’s alright” and continues with a “It’s not alright”. “Mysterious Ways” brings some suprising flirtation this evening, as Bono breaks out a short snippet of “Discotheque”, heard for the first time at Sphere since these shows started. “Oh oh oh love. Love. Boom! Cha! Discotheque. Boom! Cha!” Although difficult to confirm, we believe Bono inserted the lyric thanks to the gift of a friendship bracelet earlier in the day that read “Boom cha!” It is known that he received the bracelet from Jenny, part of The Garden Tarts Podcast earlier in the day. They’d made several lyrical bracelets to give out through the weekend. The last time “Discotheque” had been played in full was September 2005 on the Vertigo tour, and the last time it appeared as a snippet was the final show of the U2360 tour in 2011.

Tonight, Bono is still searching for his keys during “Tryin’ to Throw Your Arms Around the World” asking “Edge…my keys. Have you seen my keys? Anyone seen my keys? You seen my keys? Sid? Anyone? Ok. Here goes.” After he speaks about the balloon, “I apologize if the symbolism is a bit obvious there. Yes, the balloon. The head swells up. Big sore head after Saturday night, but there’s always Sunday morning coming down.”

The middle acoustic section is made up of “All I Want is You”, “Desire” and “When Love Comes to Town” from Rattle and Hum. “All I Want is You” is sent out to “all the women in ridiculously difficult circumstances around the world, that we don’t know, and can never know what they are going through.” Bono ends the song with a snippet of “Walk in the Wild Side” sharing, “Everyone welcome here, whatever you’ve been through, whoever you want to be, all welcome!” The band introductions during “Desire”, “It takes a lot of balls to sit on Larry Mullen Juniors’s drum stool, a lot of confidence, in Larry Mullen’s drum stool, to sit in Larry Mullen’s drum stool. On drums, the flying, while seated Dutchman, Bram Van den Berg. Muchos cojones.” Adam Clayton is up next, “Might I say? What a thrill it is to be in a band with you. Just want to say that much. And might I say what a thrill it is to have witnessed this, whatever this is that you have grown upon your being. I mean it really is a magnificent moustache is it not? And one other thing! I mean this…it is said for anything truly great to take place, there requires a long obedience in the same direction, and you have that in abundance my friend, my comrade, four strings is better than six, you have held on to that all of your life, the only thing this man ever wanted to do in his life is…Adam Clayton on the bass.” Edge: “Now on my right, he’s part-scientist, and we are pleased to be one of his experiments. Who am I talking about? Our very own WMD. Weapon of Mass Devotion. That is, the Edge”. Bono skips his own introduction tonight. “When Love Comes to Town” is introduced by Bono asking if anyone had come to Las Vegas on a road trip. “There is nowhere in these United States I would want to fly over. I like driving through. We love to drive through your country. The landscape of America. The desert, very special.” (A Long Obedience in the Same Direction is the name of a book written by Bono’s friend and mentor, Eugene Peterson.)

The acoustic set wraps up with a surprise debut, as U2 pull out “Peace on Earth”. The song was last played in full in November 2001. Tonight, it debuts as part of a political message. Bono has been quiet for the most part through this run of shows, but last night he took on Putin, and tonight he’s looking towards the Middle East. Ahead of the song he’s given lyrics to the song which he tapes down. “This is a song we haven’t played very many times. We’re a Saturday night Sunday morning kind of band. I think it’s ok to confess in this evening’s Sunday service, that how a religion can so enrage us sometimes. To see what the children of Abraham have been doing to each other all over the world for a millennia, as well as this very day, is bewildering. Christians, Muslims, Jews, it’s bewildering. To see the suffering of the Palestinian children, after witnessing the same Israeli children…” Bono is interrupted by cheers when he mentions Palestine and he quickly angers, and tells the crowd to “shut up” quickly getting the attention he wants before continuing. “To see the suffering of the Palestinian children, after we saw the suffering of the Israeli children, it was almost too much. When love looks laughable, I’m sure it is the devil that is laughing. And I understand how ridiculous love thy enemy sounds right now. We can’t live with love thy neighbor, even in our band, in our country. But it is a divine command, and not advice. Easy to say, almost impossible to enact. God help us, in Ireland, we haven’t quite got there, but we have a fragile but beautiful peace that we are grateful for. That’s right! It is an impossible standard, the faithful are called this Sunday evening to pray for the terrorists, as well as the terrorized, to pray for the armies as well as the civilians. It’s a hard call. For me, cause I really really, really, we really, really, growing up in Ireland, cannot stomach non-elected militias, executing people. It’s very hard to say that. But tonight, we pray, for the peace that passes all understanding, knowing what’s impossible can only be made possible by brave, brave, brave, probably politicians, probably people we don’t like. We did it in Ireland, we’re proud of what we did in Ireland, it’s not perfect.” During “Peace on Earth” Bono changes the names of the children in the original song, tonight singing “Gal and Ayat, Hind and Mila”, names of children killed in the recent war in the Middle East.

Bono shares “That’s a Sunday Service” as “With or Without You” starts and then catches sight of the Irish flag, off in the stands, “Didn’t used to believe in flags, but i love that flag now, see that flag over there?” At the end he thanks the crowd, “a lot of us have come a long way to be here, and to get us to our destination, and we thank you. Some of you have come from just around the corner. And thank you for looking out for us while we’ve been in your city. We really appreciate it. You work so hard around it. Waiters, drivers, magicians, sword swallowers.” “Beautiful Day” finishes off the evening, with a snippet of “Blackbird” at the end.

The first snippet of the night is in honor of Pauli the PSM, opening DJ, where Bono sings a bit of “Drive My Car”. “Love Me Tender” appears after “One” in its now usual spot. “Until the End of the World” contains pieces of “Sympathy for the Devil” and “Paint it Black”. U2’s own “Landlady” appears over the start of “Tryin’ to Throw My Arms Around the World” and “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down” by Johnny Cash is included at the end of the song. “Viva Las Vegas” appears at the end of “Love is Blindness” before we hear Elvis’ version on the PA during intermission, followed by a new remix of “Elevation” heard on the PA as U2 return to the stage. “My Way” appears at the end of “Elevation” tonight as it has all through these shows. “Moment of Surrender” is sung over the opening of “Where the Streets Have No Name” as the sun rises over the desert. On the way off the stage, as “Glorify” played on the PA, The Edge was spotted (and heard) singing along to the song tonight.

Celebrities at the show include musicians Julian Lennon, Dave Grohl and Weird Al. Sofia Vergara and Drew Carey are also spotted at Sphere as is Ashley Judd. Businessman and musician Larry Strickland, who was once married to Judd’s mother Naomi, and who once recorded with Elvis Presley is also at the show. Weird Al posts a photo of himself pointing toward the screen when it reads “Everything You Know is Wrong”. Not confirmed but highly rumoured, is that Barack Obama is present at the show as well. There is added security throughout the venue tonight including dog teams, stricter entrance policies, and more thorough metal detection practices, which delay an already late line from entering. Secret service agents are said to be in the building. If Obama was at the show, he watched from some location other than the usual VIP boxes. The new remix of “Lemon” which kicks of the show starts at 8:50 tonight.

On October 19, 11 additional shows for 2024 at Sphere were announced. The first 11 announced shows had a presale opportunity via U2.com which started right away, with requests due October 21, 2023 by 10pm. Vibee packages went on-sale immediately when the shows were announced. General sales started on October 25 with staggered start times. (11am PT for Jan. 26, 27; 12pm PT for Jan. 31, Feb. 02, 03; 1pm PT for Feb. 07, 09, 10; and 2pm PT for Feb. 15, 17, 18.) Ticket pricing at face value included GA Floor at $267.88, seats ranging from $140.13 to $501.35, and (RED) Zone tickets at $600. During all general sales, most tickets were raised in price due to Platinum pricing with the exception of Floor and (RED) Zone. On December 1, 2023, a special sale was held for local Las Vegas College and University students, offering GA tickets for $25 in-person at Sphere box office. VIP / Hotel and Ticket / Hotel packages were once again available via Vibee.

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