MSG Sphere’s latest issue: Blocked views for U2 shows
The MSG Sphere at The Venetian has an overhang issue for “U2 UV: Achtung Baby.”
Updated May 18, 2023 - 11:45 pm
Consider it an uncool overhang alert.
Several seats for “U2 UV: Achtung Baby” at The MSG Sphere at The Venetian have an obstructed view of the venue’s video screens. Hundreds of ticket-holders in the premium, lower-level section have been informed their seats would not have a clear view of the venue’s video screens.
The issue is not with the direct sight-lines to the band on stage. But instead, a seating overhang on the first level partially blocks the view of the video screens.
The obstructed seats are in the venue’s 100 section, or the lowest seated section behind the general admission area. The overhang blocking the view is the platform for next level higher, the 200 section. If you are seated in a seat in the 100 section, the view behind you could be partially obstructed.
The problem was reportedly discovered during a review of The Sphere by venue officials before the first set of U2 dates went onsale in April. The view for some some 800 seats per show in the 17,500-seat venue could be affected. (This is where we say, this operational concern is totally outside of U2’s involvement in the production, so don’t blame Bono.)
The Sphere is offering ticket holders in those sections refunds, or an opportunity to shift their purchase to seats in a different section on a different date.
In a statement, a Sphere official said: “Our fans and their experience are always our top priority. As soon as we realized there was an issue, we worked closely with event organizers to reach the affected ticketholders with several make-good options. We look forward to Sphere’s opening with U2 and their incredible run of shows they have planned for fans this fall.”
Live Nation is production partner for U2’s series at The Sphere. Ticketmaster is the venue’s official ticket-selling platform. The venue is a partnership between Madison Square Garden Entertainment’s Sphere Entertainment Co. and The Venetian owner.
The Sphere’s construction costs are now $2.3 billion. The 100 and 200 sections are considered choice positions to see the show. Wednesday afternoon, tickets in the 100 section were running $2,600-$4,200 on secondary ticket site LasVegasTickets.com. Tickets in the 200 section were going for between $1,700 and $3,100.
Those prices have reflected high demand to see U2 perform live for the first time since December 2019, and also the overarching production quality of the show.
The planned U2 spectacle has been billed as a ground-breaking entertainment experience, largely because of the immersive video technology and advanced audio system. They say you can feel the wind, and hear even a whisper, in this place. The wrap-around LED screen is said to be the highest-resolution screen in the world.
Of course, fans who were fortunate enough to gain access to tickets by registering through Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan presale likely booked rooms and flights for a trip to Vegas. A total of eight dates in December were added last week, bringing the total number to 25.
It is possible the band could continue its venue-launching series into 2024. By then, fans will know the best seats, and best value, to see this show.
In the mix
Hip-hop trailblazer Mix Master Mike of The Beastie Boys has been added to Thursday night’s “Fabulous Commercial Center Block Party” at Historic Commercial Center. The renowned turntablist is performing on event headliner Deadmau5’s Forest House platform, with its lighted trees and 60,000-watt sound system.
A total of 12,000 tickets were issued to the free event in 3½ hours Monday morning. Doors are at 6 p.m., when Nina DiGregorio’s Bella Strings open. Mix Master Mike is at 7 p.m., the Franky Perez Band at 8 p.m. and Deadmau5 at 9 p.m.
The Deadmau5 set is scheduled to end at 10 p.m., as is the entire festival.
What Works In Vegas
David Perrico at the Smith Center. The leader of the Raiders House Band’s Pop Strings Orchestra has sold out Saturday’s night’s show at Myron’s. Perrico’s 68-piece Pop Symphonic orchestra debuts July 14 at Reynolds Hall. Eight vocalists, 32 Raiderettes, and at least one daily entertainment columnist in the mix. …
Cool Hang Alert
The city’s predominant, parody, German-flavored, leather-clad, S&M-tinged, rock-cover band continues to throw it down at Harrah’s Carnaval Court. We speak of The Whip Its, wielding microphones, guitars and also riding crops, play 2 p.m.-7 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Musically superior. Funny. And even a little unsettling. No cover; feel the vibe with this veteran act.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.