U2 just completed its third weekend of residency at Sphere, the newest addition to the Las Vegas Strip—and I was there. Costing over $2.3 billion to build, The Strip is abuzz with Las Vegas residents talking about its breathtaking visuals such as larger-than-life emoji faces and ocean scenes that light up the city sky. 

U2, a band that has spent much of their career in the spotlight as they push the boundaries of music and amaze fans while through their fusion of music and technological feats are the first to perform at the groundbreaking venue. 

The concert was amazing, and I would do it all over again; however, I have one critique—it felt like more of a show than a concert, if that makes sense. Their songs and use of visuals felt performative instead of authentic and took away from the band itself. The abundance of technology stripped their creativity, as they needed to adhere to a specific order of songs. 

They worked with professionals months beforehand to create visuals for each song and even though the visuals were beautiful, they ensured that the band only went through the motions—without a lot of emotion. 

Most of the visuals were awe-inspiring—we watched the Las Vegas Strip get stripped away to nothing but a vast desert, we looked on in awe as all of the world’s extinct animals circled around us, stargazed into unknown galaxies and watched on as the sunset over the mountains. 

Yet, the visual that sticks with me the most is the cheugy visual paying homage to Elvis Presley. An unnecessarily busy visual that moved down from the top of the sphere all the way down underneath the stage created a feeling of vertigo and nausea—so much so that I had to look away. 

Then, because each show is the exact same, their actions felt forced and often monotone, even though it was only their third weekend performing. Without the excitement of touring and performing in different cities, their show lacked intimacy. 

However, it should be noted that Bono just had COVID-19 and I’m willing to bet at the ripe age of 62, he was still feeling its effects. So he simply just might not have been able to give us his all that night. 

Moreso, Sphere encased its viewers in it, created a cold atmosphere and built a divide between U2 and the audience. It often felt as if Bono were singing to the camera that constantly circled him instead of to the audience waiting right in front of him. 

Likewise, the light coming from the visuals lit up the venue in an awkward bright light for most of the show, which ensured that viewers were not able to feel a personal connection with the band on stage. The bright lighting lit up each individual, and instead of feeling like one audience, we felt separated. 

Now I know my review may seem harsh, but I obviously still love U2 and I know it is impossible to open a brand new venue without some imperfections. The warmth and nostalgia that radiated from the band as they took the stage is what will stick with me. 

The best performances of the night included “The Fly,” with its intense guitar riffs; “Until the End of the World” while Sphere accompanied the song with lighting and fire and “Beautiful Day”—a song that lit up Sphere. 

Bono’s reverberating vocals, The Edge’s passionate guitar and Adam’s steady bass stole the show in a venue better suited for movies—not live performances.  

About The Author

-- Junior | Editor in Chief | English/Spanish and Education --

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.