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"
- "Two Hearts Beat as One"
- "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
- "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:
"Purple Rain" (Prince) /
"Love Me Tender" (Elvis Presley) /
"Paint it Black" (Rolling Stones) /
"Landlady" (U2) /
"Single Ladies (Put A Ring on It)" (Beyoncé ) /
"Sweet Jane" (The Velvet Underground) /
"Walk On the Wild Side" (Lou Reed) /
"Rescue" (Echo and the Bunnymen) /
"Viva Las Vegas" (Elvis Presley) /
"My Way" (Frank Sinatra) /
"Moment of Surrender" (U2) /
"Gloria" (U2) /
Tonight U2 plays their sixteenth night of 25 shows in 2023 at the Las Vegas Sphere. An additional 11 shows will bring the total to 36 with these newly added shows going on sale last week. 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.
Bono sends out thanks to Pauli The PSM ahead of “The Fly” but skips the “Drive My Car” snippet he’s been adding in the last few shows. He asks the crowd instead “Is this a Friday night or what?” Ahead of “Even Better than the Real Thing” as Bono does his “where are we?” and other questions, tonight he knows who Bram is unlike other nights where he’s asked who he is. Tonight Bono calls him Bram Stoker. (Stoker was the Irish writer who wrote Dracula.) Bono is having fun with the crowd this evening, telling the crowd he’s “very grateful” to be alive this evening after speaking about the “Elvis is alive, we’re dead” graffiti spotted in Dublin by he and Guggi when they were just boys. That line made it into Bono’s poem “Elvis: American David” back in 1995.
During “Until the End of the World” tonight, the “Paint it Black” snippet is even more pronounced than previous nights. And like the show on Wednesday, Bono uses the opportunity to go down and visit the front row walking between the stage and the crowd. Also like Wednesday’s show, Bono includes a few lines of U2’s “Landlady” as the band play the intro to “Tryin’ To Throw Your Arms Around the World”. The added graphics of a path around the stage during the song is back again tonight as he takes the balloon for a walk. No one joins Bono on stage during the song, unless you count his cousin / stage manager, AJ Rankin, who gets an introduction during the song.
As the band take a break from Achtung Baby they move into a song from Rattle and Hum as they have each night at Sphere except for two. Bono talks about the marriage between U2 and the fans as the band starts “All I Want is You” quoting Beyoncé, “This might be a moment we put a ring on it”. The crowd sings out loud and clear during the song. At the end of the song Bono offers an invitation, “Everyone welcome here. Whoever you are dressed up as. Whoever you’d like to be. Whoever we are. Everybody welcome here.”
Bono shares that the plan each night has been to play an acoustic set from a different album each night, but it’s turned into more a greatest hits segment, “The plan was we would choose a different album to play acoustically a few songs from every night. I asked Edge I asked Edge what his favourite album was. Our Greatest Hits won. This is a honeymoon song. I’m not sure the last time we played it.”. And then the band stray from Rattle and Hum to play a song not heard very often in recent years, “Two Hearts Beat As One”. The song is done similar to the version on Songs of Surrender with Bono on vocal. The song was played three times in 2015, and once in 1989, but hadn’t been heard regularly since 1985. Bono does the band introductions during an instrumental break in the middle of the song. But perhaps an even bigger surprise is the band playing “Seconds” next. The song is also making its debut at Sphere tonight. It was last performed by U2 in 1985 at Cork City’s Lark by the Lee Festival. A third song from War also makes a debut at Sphere, but one heard far more often over the years since the War album was released 40 years ago. “Sunday Bloody Sunday” is added giving us three in a row from the 1983 album, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. “Sunday Bloody Sunday” includes the new lyrics used for Songs of Surrender. The song is done by Bono and The Edge.
During “Two Hearts Beat As One” Bono stops to comment “This is an awesome bass line”, before moving into the band introductions. He shares, “Ladies and Gentlemen, sitting in for Larry Mullen Junior, because we won’t let him stand. Bram van den Berg. On a song he wasn’t born, when we wrote that.” Moving on to Adam Clayton, Bono says “Adam. Behind his back. I love talking about Adam behind his back. But to be fair, let talk about you in front of your back sir. That’s just a great bass part. Is it not? Is this not our very own Greek? Not Greek God, Roman God. Honey. The Venus, into the Venetian, live, Adam Charles Clayton.” And turning to Edge he appears to be at a loss for words, “I’ve nothing to say about you. It’s good. alright then we should end it while we’re still good…I was going to introduce you as Nero, I don’t know why?” He explains why when the band starts “Seconds”, “This is a bass part. A great Adam clayton bass part. that he has not played for 40 years. From the War album Seconds. And the reason I didn’t introduce you, is because, I was going to ask you to sing it.”
After an extended piece of the remix of “Elevation” they’ve been using, U2 return to the stage, with Bono asking the crowd “are you ready to get elevated?” ahead of starting the song. They play an energetic encore of songs, and Bono has a smile on his face throughout the songs. During the end of “With or Without You” Bono shouts out “We love you” to the crowd as the song comes to an end. Bono thanks the crowd for coming from a long distance to see the show at the end of the song. “Beautiful Day” ends the show with a snippet of U2’s own “Gloria” at the end of the song, which gets the audience to sing along. After the show, Bono sings along to the first song played on the PA, “Glorify” (Vocals by Brittany Howard) as he makes his way off of the stage.
Other snippets of songs included in U2’s own performance tonight? Bono adds a bit of “Purple Rain” to the end of “One” before filling the space between “One” and “Until the End of the World” with “Love Me Tender”. Velvet Underground’s “Sweet Jane” gets a quick reference before Bono switches into Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side” at the end of “All I Want is You”. Echo and the Bunnymen’s “Rescue” gets added during the War segment with Bono sharing it’s from the same year. “Love is Blindness” ends with Bono singing Elvis’ “Viva Las Vegas” over the last moments of the song as he leaves the stage for the encore break. “Elevation” includes an ending with Sinatra’s “My Way”, as the band move into “Atomic City”. U2’s own “Moment of Surrender” is heard over the introduction to “Where the Streets Have No Name”.
Many thanks to Melissa (great stream!) and Caroline for their help this evening.
Initially five shows in Las Vegas were announced, quickly followed by seven more. These all went to pre-sale and verified fan sale at the same time. During these verified fan sales an additional five shows were added on April 27 and went immediately on sale without a pre-sale. This show was one of these five. U2.com did offer a special sale for these shows after the Verified fan sales had happened. All sales outside of the U2.com sales were subject to Platinum pricing. 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.
- 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