U2 have confirmed the dates for a run of shows where they will play ‘Achtung Baby’ in full at the new Sphere in Las Vegas.
The band first announced the residency back in February during the Super Bowl, and later confirmed they would be playing their 1991 album in full, but not necessarily in order. They will be the first band to play the 17,500-capacity Sphere, which is owned by the company that owns Madison Square Garden in New York. The gigs will be the Irish quartet’s first since 2019.
The shows will take place from September 29-30 and October 5, 7 and 8.
The band said in response to the announcement: “U2 hasn’t played live since December 2019 and we need to get back on stage and see the faces of our fans again. And what a unique stage they’re building for us out there in the desert… We’re the right band, ACHTUNG BABY the right album, and Sphere the right venue to take the live experience of music to the next level… That’s what U2’s been trying to do all along with our satellite stages and video installations, most memorably on the ZOO TV Tour, which ended in Tokyo 30 years ago this fall.”
They continued: “Sphere is more than just a venue, it’s a gallery and U2’s music is going to be all over the walls.”
The Edge added: “The beauty of Sphere is not only the ground-breaking technology that will make it so unique, with the world’s most advanced audio system, integrated into a structure which is designed with sound quality as a priority; it’s also the possibilities around immersive experience in real and imaginary landscapes.
“In short, it’s a canvas of an unparalleled scale and image resolution and a once-in-a-generation opportunity. We all thought about it and decided we’d be mad not to accept the invitation.”
Fans will need to be U2.com subscribers or register for Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan scheme in order to obtain tickets due to high demand. You can register for the pre-sale here – registering will close at 3pm BST on Wednesday (April 26) and the pre-sale will take place the following day (April 27).
Bono and The Edge spoke to Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 about the upcoming shows and were asked what makes Sphere as a venue so special. “It’s not a line we just throw out, but the idea behind U2 is always to make the worst seat of the house, the best of the house,” said Bono. “This changes the whole dynamic on that.
“Most music, over playing a theater, most music venues are sports venues. They’re stadiums, they’re arenas. They’re built for sports. They’re not built for music, they’re not built for art. So this building was built for immersive experiences in cinema and performance. It was not built for, you can’t come here and see an ice hockey game.”
“The sound has been designed as a priority from the beginning. Best sound, I’m sure we’ll ever hear. Really excited about it,” the Edge added.
“…there are no speakers. The entire building is a speaker. So wherever you are, you have perfect sound is the plan,” continued Bono.
Bono also praised the intimacy the venue achieves, despite having such a large capacity. “We can achieve intimacy at a level that we could never, whilst playing to 10,000 or 18,000 people. We work very hard to achieve that intimacy in arenas,” he said. “We get there, we work very hard to achieve that in a stadium, we get there, or a festival. But here, the building’s made to work for the audience, it’s made to work for us.”
U2 will be playing the follow dates on their ‘Achtung Baby: Live At Sphere’ residency:
29 – Las Vegas, Sphere at The Venetian
30 – Las Vegas, Sphere at The Venetian
5 – Las Vegas, Sphere at The Venetian
7 – Las Vegas, Sphere at The Venetian
8 – Las Vegas, Sphere at The Venetian