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U2 Wrap Las Vegas Sphere Residency With Daniel Lanois, Rare ’40’

Bono and company also sang along with a pre-recorded Neil Finn on a Crowded House classic
U2 at the Sphere (photo: Rich Fury)

U2 concluded its groundbreaking 40-show U2:UV Achtung Baby Live at Sphere residency last night (March 2) with a guest appearance from the album’s producer Daniel Lanois on “One” and a show-closing rendition of the early staple “40,” its first live performance since 2016.

Bono and company also played along with a new recording of Crowded House frontman singing “Don’t Dream It’s Over,” which has popped up several times in U2’s sets since late January. “The other day we got a beautiful e-mail from Neil Finn, who wrote this bewilderingly beautiful song,” Bono told the audience. “Attached to the e-mail was a version of the song he said we could play whenever we wanted. It’s a new version that he did, and we’re going to try and record it.”

The night before, drummer Larry Mullen Jr. appeared in Las Vegas for the first time since the residency began last September. The musician has missed the entire run while recovering from surgery and was replaced by Dutch drummer Bram van den Berg. “That is the man who pinned the note on the notice board at Mount Temple Comprehensive all those years ago and we are very grateful that he did and that he’s with us here tonight,” Bono said, referencing the band’s formation in Dublin in 1976. “And we wish him a speedy, speedy, speedy recovery.”

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. Phish will follow U2 at the venue as part of a multi-year partnership beginning with four shows in April, while Dead & Company will take over the venue in late May.