Jonathan Jossel initially expected only a photo shoot.
He got one. Oodles of images, actually, social-media pics and videos of history made in downtown Las Vegas.
On Monday afternoon the Plaza CEO was basking like a QB that had just notched a last-second Super Bowl victory. His hotel’s front and center was front-and-center of U2’s video shoot for the new song “Atomic City” late Saturday night. Word is the song will be released Sept. 29, just as “U2 UV: Achtung Baby” kicks off at The Sphere.
“I think it’s it’s validation for all the great things that are happening, not just at the Plaza, but downtown,” Jossel said in a phone chat. “They wanted to honor the coolest part of Vegas, the most inventive part of Vegas, with a song is about Vegas.”
The band climbed aboard a flatbed behind a semi-truck to record scenes throughout downtown, pausing at midnight at 1 Main Street. The original lineup of Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. played the new song four times. They also turned in a measured “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” from the 1987 video video from about the same location.
Jossel’s marketing team took a call from production officials Tuesday. U2 wanted to record video at the Plaza. “I anticipated that meant YouTube, or maybe some photos of the guys walking down Main Street,” Jossel said. “There was nothing about a musical performance.”
Jossel had another meeting Wednesday. More information. That night, just before Oscar Goodman’s dinner-series talk, Fremont Street Experience reps called, asking about the upcoming U2 appearance.
“Now it was getting interesting,” Jossel said. “We started putting all the pieces put together. That’s when we got word that there was going to be a mini-concert or a music video, but we still weren’t told what it really was.”
Jossel and Plaza reps helped coordinate security and permitting through Mayor Carolyn Goodman and Metropolitan Police Department. By Thursday afternoon, it was becoming clear U2 would be in performance in front of the Plaza.
“Once we saw the speakers coming, we knew it was something special,” Jossel said. The sound system flanked Carousel Bar, a spot likely to become famous among U2’s worldwide following.
“They told us they thought the Carousel logo might be too in-your-face, and they asked if they could cover it up at one point,” Jossel said. “We said no, and they said, ‘Actually, it’s perfect. We love it.’ These guys embraced the whole location. They want wanted everything, as-is.”
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 X, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.