Las Vegas Sphere opens its first show with U2 – and it’s a mind-melting cocktail of visual effects, to say the least
The city’s most expensive entertainment venue makes its official debut.
Image: Kevin Mazur / Getty Images
Last weekend marked a significant milestone in live entertainment as the long-awaited Las Vegas Sphere finally revealed itself to the public through two U2 shows that will absolutely blow your mind.
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The shows mark the first in a series of 25 performances U2 will be putting up at the venue through the end of December, all of which are centred around the band’s 1991 album, Achtung Baby.
As you can probably tell from the videos circulating online, the Sphere experience defies easy description: It’s immersive, disorienting, and borderline sensory-overloading for starters, given the massive high-resolution LED screens that wrap around the audience members like IMAX on steroids.
A review on CNN describes those wraparound screens as “impressive, and so dominant that it sometimes overwhelms the live performers.” The overall effect, though, is “both scale and intimacy”, as the projections alternate between close-ups of the band members — who performed on a Brian Eno-inspired turntable stage — and other trippy animations and optical effects.
While U2 were performing The Fly for example, the Sphere transformed into a wormhole-esque tunnel covered in colourful numbers and texts, with a ceiling that appeared ‘fall’ towards its audience. Mind-bending, to say the least.
The video below from TikTok user casinocompwallet also reveals what the LEDs look like up close. According to Sphere Entertainment, each of these 1.2 million LED pucks contains 48 individual diodes and is capable of displaying 256 million different colours.
With a price tag of $2.3 Billion, the Sphere is Las Vegas’ most expensive venue to date and is billed as the world’s largest spherical structure. At the time of writing, tickets to U2’s upcoming shows at the dome-shaped venue are still available for sale, with prices starting at around $500.
Check out videos of the show below.
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