Sphere, Las Vegas, NV
Set List of Show:
- "Zoo Station"
- "The Fly"
- "Even Better Than the Real Thing"
- "Mysterious Ways"
- "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"
- "When Love Comes to Town"
- "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"
- "Love Rescue Me"
- "So Cruel"
- "Ultra Violet (Light My Way)"
- "Love is Blindness"
- "Atomic City"
- "Where the Streets Have No Name"
- "With or Without You"
- "Beautiful Day"
Pre-Recorded Intro Song: "Lemon" (Remix) - U2
Pre-Recorded Exit Song: "Glorify" - Brittany Howard (Vocals)
Pre-Recorded Exit Song: "What A Wonderful World" - Louis Armstrong
Snippets of Other Songs Performed by U2:
"Love Me Tender" (Elvis Presley) /
"Two Tribes" (Frankie Goes to Hollywood) /
"Walk On the Wild Side" (Lou Reed) /
"Shape of You" (Ed Sheeran) /
"Movin' On Up" (Primal Scream) /
"The Promised Land" (Bruce Springsteen) /
"Viva Las Vegas" (Elvis Presley) /
"My Way" (Frank Sinatra) /
"Moment of Surrender" (U2) /
"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (The Beatles) /
"Blackbird" (The Beatles) /
"Glorify" (Vocals: Brittany Howard) /
Tonight U2 plays their eleventh night of 25 shows in 2023 at the Las Vegas Sphere. Last week they have announced they’ll be back in 2024 for an additional 11 shows, bringing the total to 36. The full listing of shows can be found in our U2 show archive. U2 are performing these shows without founding member, Larry Mullen Junior, who is missing due to surgery to repair damage suffered from years of drumming. A Dutch drummer, Bram van den Berg replaces Mullen at these shows in Las Vegas.
During “One”, Bono adds the “Do you hear me coming” additional lyrics that often creep into the song. It’s the first time he’s used them since 2018. The balloon is back tonight, but no fans are pulled from the audience to take a ride this evening. Bono shares he’s not sure of the symbolism of the balloon, “Often have a sense that it’s going to have to be burst, something to do with the male ego”.
There are sound issues with Sphere tonight. There were glitches in the sound being heard in the early part of the show, almost like a feedback noise at times. The problems come to a head during “All I Want is You”. AJ Rankin (Bono’s stage handler and cousin) appears on stage telling Bono there are problems at the front of house, and requesting that Bono leave the stage area. Bono shares, “I’m not really ready to leave. I don’t care if they are having problems with the console, can we sing one more tune at least? I’m just about to get married here.” It looks to the audience that the show may have to end early from the conversations being had, but Bono refuses to leave the stage, saying he has a story to tell. Adam and The Edge continue to play, and eventually after a long introduction which appears to be Bono killing time, they manage to start “All I Want is You”. Feedback noises can be heard ringing loudly through “All I Want is You”. It appears that the mixing desk may have crashed. Finally it appears that the technical crew have managed to reset “the console”, and the show can go on, although additional issues can be heard at times right up to the remix introducing “Elevation” at the encore. With the sound sorted, “Walk on the Wild Side” is added to “All I Want is You”. Bono introduces it by saying, “This is for all those acrobats, dancers, people who have dressed up for you tonight, whoever you are pretending to be, wherever you are”. At the end of the show, Bono gets the all clear, “we’re good!” and introduces AJ to the crowd.
Introducing the band while “Desire” starts, Bono sends the band’s love to Larry Mullen Junior. He then introduces the guy who “saved the day, saved our arse, our arse was quite far out the window. He agreed to play this place,” and introduces Bram. Adam Clayton is introduced as “the first manager of U2, the man who believed we might have a future to manage” and The Edge is introduced as the only one who doesn’t think he’s “the most influential guitar player of the last 40 years” and Bono introduces himself, “if you’re not talking about him, he’s not listening, ever mighty, a giant in his own mind, Bono!” As with previous nights, Bono includes a snippet for one of the guests at Sphere tonight. Ed Sheeran is present for the show tonight, and is seen enjoying himself at the show. And when “Desire” plays, Bono sneaks in a bit of Sheeran’s “Shape of You”.
Tonight the Rattle and Hum segment is five songs long. The band plays “When Love Comes to Town” as they had the previous night, but tonight they also add in “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” as well prior to “Love Rescue Me”. Like the previous night, Bono talks about how BB King lived and died in Las Vegas. Tonight Bono shares that BB King played over 15,000 shows in his lifetime. (At one show per day, that’s the equivalent of 41 years of nightly performances.) Bono talks after the performance of “When Love Comes to Town”, sharing “Just for the record, I hope you know this, this band loves this country, even if it’s an idea that might not exist…” and sharing “all of us are better than any of us” when talking about the difficulties the country faces. The audience sings out loudly to “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” which ends with Primal Scream’s “Movin’ On Up” and a bit of Springsteen’s “The Promised Land”. Introducing “Love Rescue Me” Bono shares, “it’s a prayer of course, at times I’d ask you how to pray, if you don’t pray, do some meditation on what Dr. King called the strength to love, lets pray for peace and the strength to love.” During the song Bono shifts the lyrics to “the ruins to the right of us, looking a lot like us” in a beautiful performance of the song.
The encore goes smoother for the band, and the bugs in the sound appear to be worked out. The version of “Where the Streets Have No Name” tonight sounds amazing, and is opened with Bono singing more of “Moment of Surrender” than most nights (although he has done a few times since these shows have started.)
Other snippets tonight include “Love Me Tender” between “One” and “Until the End of the World”. Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s “Two Tribes” pops up in “Until the End of the World”. “Viva Las Vegas” is heard ending the opening set as the band finishes “Love is Blindness”. In the encore, “My Way” finishes “Elevation” and “Beautiful Day” includes pieces of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “Blackbird” at the end of the song. And after the show, as “Glorify” plays over the PA, Bono returns to the mic to sing a few lines along with the female vocalist on the song that is played each night as the band leaves the stage.
Other than Ed Sheeran, others spotted at the show include Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, Bryan Cranston and Questlove. The show started at 8:40, and runs for about two hours. Many thanks to Roars and Jenna for letting us into the sound over the last three shows.
Initially only the first five shows in Las Vegas were announced. An additional seven shows were quickly added on April 25. (October 11, 13, 14, 18, 20, 21, and 25 were the newly announced shows.) The opportunity to apply for pre-sale tickets opened immediately on April 24, with the initial show announcement. These new shows were part of the same pre-sale, and those who had already applied were given a chance to change to these new dates if desired. Ticket face value ranged from $140.13 – $501.35 at four different price points for seats. A General Admission floor was priced at $267.88, and at each show there was be a (RED) Zone riser at the back of the GA area which will hold 50 people, priced at $600.00. When the ticket sale for verified fans opened on Thursday April 27, Platinum pricing was in effect for the seats in the venue, with most tickets being priced well beyond these original prices. The general on sale, on Friday April 28 was announced to be cancelled by Ticketmaster due to demand, but later the verified fan restrictions were lifted at that time anyway.
- 2023-12-02 Merchandise at the Sphere and Zoo Station (Original Story)
- 2023-10-29 Show Music, Pre-Show, DJ Pauli the PSM, and More (Original Story)
Officially Released Tracks