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For St. Patrick’s Day, U2 toasts Sphere finale

Updated March 18, 2024 - 10:53 am

U2 calls it “A St. Patrick’s Day Surprise,” but the band is not keeping the secret.

The final performance of “U2: UV Achtung Baby” at the Sphere on March 2 was streamed Sunday on U2 X-radio (Sirius XM Channel 32). The opening act, as it were, is an interview with the band, recorded at Zoo Station at The Venetian.

The March 2 show was loaded with memorable moments. Daniel Lanois, who produced “Achtung Baby,” joined the band for “One.” Neil Finn of Crowded House zoomed in digital for a special version of “Don’t Dream It’s Over.” The encore to the entire 40-night stand was “40,” which not been played live since November 2015.

U2’s last night was also marked by the band receiving the vaunted Key to the Las Vegas Strip. Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom presented the memento prior to the finale.

Two days before the last U2 show, I’d mentioned the commissioner fell short in his attempts to reach the band for such a ceremony. Then it happened. “Your comment might have spurred them to reach out — Thank you!” Segerblom texted the day after the presentation. It took a bit for the official photo to be approved, and it was worth the wait. We now have the cover shot for “U2: Live at The Sphere,” should it ever happen.

Donny & Michael

Donny Osmond and Michael Jackson were presenters at the American Music Awards in 1974, along with child stars Rodney Allen Rippey and Ricky Segall, at the request of show producer Dick Clark.

Famously, Rippey opened the envelope and held up the card reading “The Carpenters” for Best Pop Group, but didn’t read the name aloud. Osmond cut in to call out the winner.

Osmond recalled that night, and his friendship with Jackson, during the recording of “The Naked Lunch” podcast Friday at Harrah’s Showroom. Co-hosts Phil Rosenthal (creator of “Everybody Loves Raymond”) and longtime Rolling Stone writer David Wild asked Osmond about that night.

“After the show was over, Mike and I are backstage, in the wings, and I said, ‘Hey, Mike, are you hungry?’ And he says, ‘I’m starving.’ So I said, ‘Follow me,’ ” Osmond said. “So we get into my limousine. We drive to Jack in the Box, and we order into this clown, and we said, ‘Give us all the tacos.’ So Michael Jackson and Donny Osmond are in this limo, driving down Sunset Boulevard, the moon roof open, wind blowing through our hair, eating tacos, laughing and singing. Being kids. That’s my greatest memory of us together.”

Osmond still plays a clip of him and Jackson from that night, the two teen superstars in tuxes, during his stage show. A bittersweet moment, caught in time.

Osmond in ‘25?

We are encouraged after the visit to Harrah’s that Osmond will be back at Harrah’s next year. Nothing is booked or announced for him at the showroom past November, but the collective vibe is he’ll continue in ‘25.

Tease this …

We’re feeling a major announcement from a major rock band at a major venue, soon. We’ll come back on this one. Biggie.

Cool Hang Alert

Plan ahead on this one: The Windjammers return to The Copa at Bootlegger bistro at 7 p.m. March 27. This is Jerry Lopez’s fantastic yacht-rock band. The crew is also at Rocks Lounge at Red Rock Resort on April 12, and plays Fremont Street Experience every Thursday in May. Lopez’s FB page has all the intel.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on X, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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