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U2’s ‘Atomic City’ video drives to the center of Vegas

Updated September 29, 2023 - 3:09 pm

Some of the prominent Fremont Street signs are blurry. But U2 comes through, clear and loud, in its new song about Las Vegas.

The video of “Atomic City” has been released, overnight Thursday, along with the new single. We’ve come to know the song and video representation well. The video was filmed downtown in a late-night spree on Sept. 17. We expect the song to be performed throughout the “U2 UV: Achtung Baby” production at the Sphere.

The video opens with a kid on a bike in the quiet (you can hear the gears clicking), then he is suddenly distracted by some industrial-fashioned noise and a white light. He shades his eyes as the band kicks into the new song. We see a guy on a light pole taking video, cops pushing the crowd back, a kid kneeling behind a metal barrier and finally the band rolling along Main Street on its flatbed stage.

The video presents a high complement of tight shots of the band (great to see Larry Mullen Jr. hammering away on the drums), with Circa, California, Binion’s and finally the Plaza in the background. The visuals are often obscure. But if you know the neighborhood, you know what they are.

The closing sequence shows Plaza, Oscar’s Steakhouse, Carousel Bar and even Pinkbox Donuts behind the band.

Plaza CEO Jonathan Jossel said the day after the video shoot, “They wanted to honor the coolest part of Vegas, the most inventive part of Vegas, with a song that is about Las Vegas.”

There are no shots of Las Vegas’ most celebrated boulevard. The Strip takes this one off.

The song ends with a combat-sports reference, serendipitous as the Canelo Alvarez-Jermell Charlo bout is Saturday at T-Mobile Arena. “I came here for the fight/I’m front row in Las Vegas/And there’s a big one on tonight.”

The infant from “Achtung Baby” shuts it down with, “This is not a rehearsal.” See you all at the magic globe.

You, too, can enjoy them

The roots of the Las Vegas music community are at UNLV’s Ham Hall at 3 p.m. Sunday, with a show by the terrific UNLV Jazz Ensemble 1. Dave Loeb and Nathan Tanouye direct as the band performs selections from its latest album, “Dreamlike.”

Loeb is often coy about his resume. But the Vegas artist is a master musician who has played keys on Seth MacFarlane’s “Family Guy,” and also on such films as “Ted,” “The Birdcage” and “Pocahontas.” He’s conducted the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, where he accompanied musical artists including Placido Domingo, James Galway, Bette Midler and Jessye Norman. Loeb also served as bandleader for years for George Benson, worked with Doc Severinsen, arranged for the Academy Awards telecast, and has composed for PBS television and Dolly Parton.

Tanouye has written the horn charts for Celine Dion, is a current member of Lady Gaga’s orchestra in “Jazz + Piano” at Dolby Live, and a mainstay in Santa Fe & The Fat City Horns. Those relationships indicate what a special effort is Jazz Ensemble 1.

The concert features special guest vocalists Laura Taylor and Don Cunningham and trombonist Isrea Butler, director of the UNLV School of Music.

The ensemble tied for first place in the Graduate College Large Ensemble category in the 2023 Downbeat Magazine Student Music Awards. Its previous album received Grammy consideration.

Tickets for Sunday’s show are $10 (ridiculous bargain), available at the UNLV Performing Arts Center Box Office, online, or at 702-895-2787.

What Works In Vegas

Morgan Wallen at Allegiant Stadium in a big, bad way. Wallen has added a second date to his “One Night At a Time” 2024 tour stop at Allegiant Stadium. Wallen is now scheduled for Aug. 8-9. Jelly Roll, Bailey Zimmerman, Nate Smith and Ella Langley are also on the bill. Fans can register through Sunday at registration.ticketmaster.com/morganwallen. Once registration closes, fans will be randomly selected to receive a day/time of the presale along with a code that grants them access to the presale.

What Also Works In Vegas

David Spade and Nikki Glaser at The Venetian Theatre. Their co-headlining shows Friday and Saturday have sold out “clean,” in the words of Live Nation exec Billy Conn, who books the venue.

‘AGT’ unleashed!

We can say that, in terms of live entertainment, Luxor is dog-friendly.

Adrian Stoica & Hurricane, America’s new favorite animal act, has won “America’s Got Talent” season 18. That means Stoica and Hurricane are awarded $1 million and the chance to perform in “America’s Got Talent Presents Superstars Live!” production at Luxor. Dates to be announced.

There is also word from Wednesday’s red carpet that the Mayyas, the 36-member, all-female, Lebanese dance troupe that won season 17, really wants to play Luxor. So do we, by gosh. Mayyas haven’t made their way to VegasVille, yet. We predict, doggie first, then dance, in in the “Superstars” show.

Cool Hang Alert

Ryan Baker’s “Big Band Crooners” is back at Italian American Club Showroom at 6:30 p.m. (dinner), and 8 p.m. (show) Sunday. This is a 17-piece band, with a new (for Baker) set of 20 Frank Sinatra songs. Very, very cool hang. Go to iacvegas.com for 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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