U2’s 5 Most Dazzling Moments From Sphere Opening Night
U2 took full advantage of the groundbreaking capabilities of the Sphere on the opening night of their UV Achtung Baby Live Las Vegas residency on Sept. 29, using the new venue's immersive wraparound video system to deliver impressive and sometimes even disorientating visuals.
Below you'll find exclusive photos and some fan-shot videos of some of five of the most dazzling moments from U2's first show at the Sphere.
Instead of launching in high gear, U2 walked onto a nearly bare stage and spent the first two minutes of the show performing an atmospheric a cappella intro. But as Achtung Baby's opening song kicked in, a giant stone wall behind the band began to shake and crack, complete with falling dust. Blindingly white perpendicular lines soon emerged, running across the entire length and height of the venue. A massive patchwork of various TV static patterns and live videos of the band then began taking over for the still-expanding white lights, eventually covering the screen.
Watch U2 Perform 'Zoo Station'
"Even Better Than the Real Thing"
The third song of U2's opening-night set at the Sphere may have offered the best glimpse at the reality-bending capabilities of the venue. Ornate visuals behind the band rotated on a vertical loop throughout the song, making everybody in the audience feel like they were on a giant Ferris wheel. A similar effect was used in the song's original music video.
Watch U2 Perform 'Even Better Than the Real Thing'
"Tryin' to Throw Your Arms Around the World"
Although most of the Sphere's massive video screen was pitch black throughout the song, a combination of animation and practical effects helped create one of the most memorable images of the night. A series of what appeared to be tied-together sheets hung from the digital image of a white balloon perched above the audience. After leading a string around the stage for much of the song, Bono invited a woman from the crowd to swing for a while.
Watch U2 Perform 'Tryin' to Throw Your Arms Around the World'
"Where the Streets Have No Name"
After a 16-song main set dedicated to songs from Achtung Baby and Rattle and Hum, U2 kicked off a six-song encore with a trio of more recent singles: "Atomic City," "Elevation" and "Vertigo." But it wouldn't be a U2 show without at least a couple of anthems from The Joshua Tree: The audience roared in approval as "Where the Streets Have No Name" kicked in. A panoramic time-lapse image of a desert served as a perfectly cinematic backdrop, as the crowd was occasionally forced to remind itself the show was still indoors.
Watch U2 Perform 'Where the Streets Have No Name'
"With or Without You"
U2 played another song from The Joshua Tree, as a rocky island slowly sank into the sea behind them. In the evening's most Pink Floyd-like moment, the group was surrounded by water as a mysterious floating dark orb approached. As it rotated, a white circle resembling the Death Star appeared in the middle and eventually enveloped the entire stage with a series of beautiful patterns.
Watch U2 Perform 'With or Without You'
U2 Sphere Opening Night Photos
Gallery Credit: Matthew Wilkening