U2 announce dates for Sphere in Las Vegas Edge calls it a ‘quantum leap’
THE EDGE are usually reserved about U2’s latest plans and are not subject to hyperbole.
But when it comes to the group’s schedule for opening Spheres in Las Vegas this September, U2’s guitarist speaks in an unusually bombastic tone.
“My hope is that this will be some kind of breakthrough in terms of concert possibilities,” he told Rolling Stone.
On September 10th, the group will begin Sphere’s Las Vegas residency, Achtung Baby Live.
Further shows will take place on September 30th and October 5th, 7th and 8th. (Additional shows may be added once the first five nights of him sell out.)
Located on the Strip near The Venetian Resort, Sphere is reportedly costing over $2 billion to build and has been under construction for five years.
Billing itself as “the world’s largest spherical structure,” the Sphere is 160 meters wide and 366 meters high and can accommodate 17,600 people.
U2 first heard of Sphere a little over two years ago.
“We are always looking for new technologies in the world of concerts and audio,” says The Edge.
“We heard about it and started asking members of the team about it.
Given his pioneering live music experience with Zoo TV and PopMart in the ’90s, and more recently with his U2 360° Tour and Songs of Innocence/Experience tour, the band Perfect for Sphere.
However, all of these shows were held at venues dedicated to sports.
“These places weren’t designed for sound, so they struggle with suboptimal acoustics,” Edge says.
“Overcoming the coloration that venues give to audio is a constant struggle.
The gap between what we want to say and what we actually say is often huge.”
But Sphere is designed to create immersive audio and visual experiences for live concerts and bespoke movies.
“You can get the sound you want people to hear without disturbing the acoustics of the building,” Edge says. “It’s a great playground for us.”
This playpen includes the world’s highest resolution LED screen, 10,000 vibrating “immersive seats”, environmental effects like temperature control and cool breeze, and his 164,000 speakers.
Members of the press, including Rolling Stone, were recently brought to a rehearsal venue in Burbank, CA to showcase some of Sphere’s offerings.
“It really gives people the ability to take them back in time, to a world that’s completely computer-generated but completely believable,” he says The Edge.
“It’s a new genre of immersive experience, it’s like a new art form.
What’s interesting for us is trying to imagine what you’re going to do with this technology.
It’s just me. Imagination.”
With an imaginative filmmaker like Darren Aronofsky already making his Sphere-only film, U2 plans a great visual experience of its own, but the focus remains on music.
The show will also feature a full live performance of her 1991 LP ‘Achtung Baby’ and other songs throughout her career.
(The show is unlikely to change significantly from night to night.)
U2 announce dates for Sphere in Las Vegas. Edge calls it a ‘quantum leap’
“Unfortunately, the time and expense it takes to visually create some of these sets her pieces makes it very difficult to do as quickly and spontaneously as we did.
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