"Atomic City" [04:18]

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Video Information

“Atomic City” was released in 2023 to promote U2’s series of 40 shows at the newly opened Las Vegas Sphere. The song itself is a love song to Las Vegas, and the title is a nickname for the city of Las Vegas, given to it by the Chamber of Commerce in the mid-1940s, when testing of the atom bomb was drawing tourist to the city.

The video for the song was previewed on CBS Mornings on September 28, as part of a segment featuring U2’s upcoming shows at Sphere, and was the first look inside the new venue that many received. The full video debuted on September 29th at midnight Eastern (9pm Pacific in Las Vegas, on September 28, the day before U2’s string of shows were to start.) The video features U2 in the streets of Las Vegas, as well as performing at Sphere on stage. Larry Mullen, who has had to sit out the Las Vegas shows due to multiple surgeries required for injuries sustained drumming, was present for the video shoot, and was with the band for the first performance that an audience would see from the stage. Although unable to perform on stage, Mullen did take in a show at Sphere, attending the performance on March 1, 2024.

The outdoor scenes were filmed on September 16, 2023. They returned to the area on Fremont Street where they previously had filmed the “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” for the video shoot. The video was directed by Ben Kutchins, who also directed the Super Bowl announcement video for U2’s shows at Sphere. The bulk of the outdoor scenes were shot in front of the Plaza Hotel, which has its own place in the history of the city. Prior to the construction of the casino, it was the location of the first train station in Las Vegas, built in 1906. So the video was filmed at the location many tourists coming to Vegas would see first upon arrival, although it’s quite different looking today. The train station was demolished in 1970. Other footage, shot on the back of a moving flatbed truck saw the band moving down to the final video shoot location in the streets of Vegas. Additional footage was also shot of the band members in the area around the final location. More information on the performance for the video is available in our show archive.

This video opens with a storyline of a young boy on a bicycle seeing a glowing object in the sky, which is the Sphere landing in Las Vegas. We then hear “Zoo Station” and then switch to the cops setting up for the video shoot at Fremont Street in front of the Plaza hotel. The bulk of the footage is from the live performance outside the hotel, but there are also scenes from inside Sphere with the light cross display used for “Zoo Station” on the screens. The video ends with U2 on stage at Sphere, before going to the baby on the outside of Sphere saying “this is not a rehearsal”. The video runs 4 minutes and 19 seconds.

Footage from this video was used for four additional edits of the video. Two were shortened versions of the video at 03:38 and 02:06 run times with an alternate mix of the song. These jettison the non-musical opening, and both shortened videos start with the crowd show at 00:44 in the original. Both of these shorter edits end with the young boy on his bike looking at the light in the sky at the end. A third version is the same as this original cut, but was distributed without the non-musical parts at the start. A fourth edit mixes new live footage from the band shot at performances in January 2024 mixed with some of the original footage from September, meaning we see both Bram van den Berg and Larry Mullen in the video. This “live” version of the video was filmed for the 2024 Grammy Awards broadcast and was also released via U2’s social media channels.

Video Shooting Locations

Quick Start - Leaflet

Additional Screen Captures

Video Credits

Directed and Director of Photography: Ben Kutchins.
Creative direction: Tarik Mikou with Moment Factory Music
Creative by U2 + Moment Factory Music
Creative Consultant: Gavin Friday

Produced by Moment Factory Music & HKCORP
Executive Producers: Daniel Jean, David Gitlis
Produced by James Richardson, Lorne Hiltser
Production Designer: Tommaso Ortino
Edited: Lost Planet
Edited by Saar Klein & Juliana Rodzinski

VFX: HULK, Mathematic
Sound design and mix: Fred Bouchard (Troublemakers)
Color and Finish by Company 3
Colorist: Jill Bogdanowicz
Lead Flame: @jasonfreankenstein
Line Producer: Samantha Manalang
Producer: Anis Gji
Project Manager: Matthias Carette
Production Manager: Francisca Zapata
Production Coordinators: Amanda Cubero & Breanne Hamilton
Logistics Manager: Virginie Drouot

U2UV Screens Content Created by Treatment Studio
Director: Willie Williams
Producer: Lizzie Pocock
Featuring samples of ZooTV 1992 elements by Mark Pellington
Design & Animation: Jim Greenslade & Rosalvo Melo
Notch Design: Brett Bolton
U2 Sphere Team:
Production Manager: Jake Berry & the entire U2 Crew who helped support this shoot
Content Playback: Stefaan Smasher Desmedt

U2 Management: Principle Management, Dublin: Kelly McNamara and Nadine King
Full Stop Management, Los Angeles: Irving Azoff, Jeffrey Azoff, Brandon Rieck, Jordan Federman, Kate Rancka