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U2 Christens Las Vegas’ Sphere With ‘Achtung Baby’-Heavy Set

22-song show also featured a four-track block from 'Rattle and Hum'
U2 during opening night of U2:UV Live at Sphere on Sept. 29, 2023 in Las Vegas (Credit: Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for Live Nation)

U2 kicked off its 25-night U2:UV Live residency at the brand new Sphere at the Venetian in Las Vegas, ushering in the world’s most high-tech live music venue with a show dominated by its 1991 album Achtung Baby. The evening began with that project’s first eight songs, including the maiden performance of “Tryin’ To Throw Your Arms Around the World” since 1993, and was followed by a block of four songs from 1988’s Rattle and Hum.

Bono told the audience that this mini-set will likely feature different albums on a nightly basis, somewhat in the vein of the “secret songs” block during Taylor Swift’s ongoing Eras tour. U2 also acknowledged the presence of the Beatles’ Paul McCartney by teasing “Blackbird,” “Love Me Do,” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)” into various songs, and nodded to Vegas regulars Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra with bits of “Love Me Tender” and “My Way.”

The final portion of the 22-song, two-hour-plus show was nothing but hits, with “Elevation,” “Vertigo,” “Where the Streets Have No Name,” “With or Without You,” and “Beautiful Day.” The new single “Atomic City” was played after “Elevation,” having just been released in both audio and video form the day prior.

Opening night brought another milestone of sorts, as U2 performed for the first time ever without drummer Larry Mullen Jr., who is recovering from health problems. He is being replaced at U2:UV Live by Dutch musician Bram van den Berg.

The $2.3 billion Sphere is comprised of 160,000 square feet of video viewing space, referred to as “interior immersive display,” as well as state-of-the-art spatial audio and an exterior exosphere that morphs the building’s look via fully programmable LED technology.

U2 at the Sphere in Las Vegas (photo: Rich Fury).

Here is U2’s set list:

Zoo Station

The Fly

Even Better Than the Real Thing

Mysterious Ways

One / Purple Rain / Love Me Tender

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

Desire / Love Me Do

Angel of Harlem / Into the Mystic / Dancing in the Moonlight

Love Rescue Me

So Cruel


Ultraviolet (Light My Way)

Love Is Blindness 

Elevation/My Way 

Atomic City 


Where the Streets Have No Name

With or Without You

Beautiful Day / Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) / Blackbird

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