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U2 films Sphere finale: ‘Give the future a wave’

Updated March 4, 2024 - 7:41 pm

We’ve wondered for months who would follow U2 into the Sphere. Two bands booked at the bulbous wonder are Phish and Dead and Company.

But what about … U2?

Bono told the sold-out crowd at the band’s 40th and final performance Saturday there would be more U2 Sphere experiences.

“We are filming tonight. This is the show that people will see after we all go home. In the future, people will watch us, watching you … Give the future a wave.”

Certainly, there will be a theatrical experience dedicated to “U2 UV — Achtung Baby.” Possibly, this production will run inside the Sphere itself. It would serve as an effective complement to “Postcard From Earth,” which is still the venue’s anchor production and leading revenue producer.

But I agree with fans who saw U2, especially those who have seen the band multiple times (as I have), who said the band was often overtaken by the Sphere’s breathtaking production effects. I imagine a concert production without the live band, but dedicated to that band’s music and live show. U2 could be breaking ground, again, at the Sphere.

The final weekend brought Larry Mullen Jr.’s reunion with the band. His presence had been anticipated in the days leading to the final weekend. But he was not on stage. Fill-in drummer Bram van den Berg was playing his final Sphere show, too, along with Bono, The Edge and Adam Clayton.

“The rumors that Larry will be playing with us tonight are not true, sadly. But he is here with us!” Bono called out. “That is the man who pinned the note on the notice board at Mount Temple Comprehensive School all those years ago. And we are very grateful that he did, and that he’s here with us tonight. We wish him a speedy, speedy, speedy recovery. We love you, Larry Mullen Jr.”

The front man modified the lyrics to “Beautiful Day” with, “Larry Mullen, you’re beautiful!” Mullen waved to the crowd, chanting his name, and later posted, “What an incredible night at Sphere-So grateful to Bono, Edge and Adam and of course Bram for an amazing job-very emotional night for me personally.”

Not far away, Dave Grohl swing his hair and basked in the music. Wynonna rocked out, too. The band revisited the “War” staple“40” for the first time since 2016.

And the final night featured a virtual duet with Neil Finn of Crowded House, on “Don’t Dream It’s Over.” With a film chronicle of this production, it won’t be.

Songs in the Key of Tick

Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom presented U2 with a Key to the Las Vegas Strip prior to Saturday’s show. Rapture! This transpired after an item in this column noting that Segerblom had attempted to contact the band about receiving a commemorative key, but his message didn’t unlock the door to the band. Not that we’re credit junkies. We’ll just say it was a fab way for the band to close shop in “Atomic City.”

Lopez, Kiss off

The much-ballyhooed plans (at least, I ballyhooed them) for restaurant and bar projects at The Strat from star comic George Lopez, and Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of Kiss, are off.

Lopez’s Chingon Kitchen; and Rock & Brews, a partnership of Simmons and Stanley, were to be open by December. The venues had been planned adjacent to L.A. Comedy Club, just off the casino floor. Instead, cancel the order.

A hotel rep explained, “The partnership between the parties bringing both concepts to The Strat dissolved.”

Veteran restaurateur Michael Zislis and Lopez founded Chingon Kitchen in 2017. Rock & Brews CEO Adam Goldberg founded that company with Simmons and Stanley in 2011. The Strat has no plans to announce for the space.

Smooth sale for Xtina

Christina Aguilera’s shows at Voltaire at The Venetian were reportedly over-sold through the weekend. Demand spiked after Adele’s postponed her March shows at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace. The venue is adding 300 tickets per show, on sale Tuesday morning. Seating can be added to its 1,000 capacity to meet demand. Aguilera returns April 12-13.

Kylie Minogue is back Friday and Saturday ($350 GA tickets still available); the Belle De Nuit shows Wednesday and Thursday (without the headliners) run $75-$110, not including fees. Jason Derulo’s “The Best Show Ever” is on sale 10 a.m. Thursday, which would be “The Best Time Ever,” according to branding.

Two for Tierneys

Michael and Andrew Tierney of Human Nature fulfilled a dream to sing their country’s national anthem at Allegiant Stadium. The brothers performed Australia’s national anthem, “Advance Australia Fair,” prior to Saturday’s Australia National Ruby League double-header. The brothers Tierney have formed a new act, dubbed the Tierney Brothers, and are working up fresh material even as we speak (the anthem is a cover tune).

Cool Hang Alert

The R&B variety band In-A-Fect is back at Arizona Charlie’s Coverall Lounge at 8:30 p.m. Friday. No cover at the venue once known as Naughty Ladies Saloon. Go to arizonacharliesdecatur.com for intel; drop Ron Lurie’s name to show you are a local with a sense of history.

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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