'Freedom is not just a word in a song…'

18 Feb 2024

'Freedom is not just a word in a song…'

The 35th show at Sphere was a humdinger, complete with mass sing-alongs, chants, and even a brief appearance by MacPhisto hiss-self who appeared laughing sinisterly as Bono stood in the crowd and sang a snippet of 'Sympathy for the Devil' by the Rolling Stones during 'Until The End of the World'.

'I don't have a birthday', Macphisto hissed, pointing to a woman holding up a 'birthday' sign, as he growled a few bars of the Stones' 'Paint It Black' before disappearing again as the singer returned to the stage for 'Wild Horses'.

If you were at the show in Vegas, add your own review and upload your photos here.

What Bono Said

After 'Angel of Harlem' , recalling busking with Edge in a subway station in Kyiv, Ukraine.

'Next week it'll be two years since Putin invaded [Ukraine]. For these people, 'freedom' is not just a word in a song, for these people, 'freedom' is the most important word in the world, so important that Ukrainians are fightin' and dyin' for it. And so important that Alexei Navalny chose to give his up. Apparently, Putin would never ever say his name. So I thought tonight people who believe in freedom, we must say his name. Not just remember it, but say it. Alexei Navalny. ALEXEI NAVALNY. ALEXEI NAVALNY!'

After pantomiming leaving a rather large balloon outside his partner Ali's front door during Trying To Throw Your Arms Around The World, the metaphor of balloon as male ego (requiring bursting) was pursued. Thanking the clever and hardworking people who create the balloon illusion each night, Bono recalled how last night Ali, and Edge's partner Morleigh, with a posse of girlfriends, had hit the town where they meant a bunch more clever, hardworking people, including those at 'Thunder From Down Under'. 

'Ali said it was some sort of meteorological museum…Strange for a science exhibition to come home with a t-shirt that said “Thunder Squad” and on the back of the t-shirt it said, “There is crack in the outback”… Ali didn't come home last night until fairly late and I noticed that she seemed to need me even less this morning when I woke up, so I guess the balloon was burst'.

After All I Want Is You:  'To all the women in our lives, thank you. 'Actually, for all the women in Adam's life – and you've got 17,000 here…Ladies! LADIES (and some gentlemen): on my left, a Greek god. Pop quiz; Name a Greek god with a magnificent moustache. Name a Greek god, any Greek God with a moustache. There is one. His name is Adam Clayton on the bass'. 

Shout Outs

To  actor and activist Ashley Judd during 'Elevation': 'We believe in you…Ashley Judd … yes we do.'

To DJ Martin Garrix during 'Atomic City': 'Martin Garrix – look at you!'

To Sian Proctor, the American astronaut, Afrofuturist artist, first astronaut to paint in space, and first Black woman to pilot a spacecraft,  before 'Beautiful Day': 'Sian Proctor is in the house. I wrote her a love letter in space, she wrote me one back, give it up for Sian Proctor … a great, extraordinary woman, scientist, everything. She is everything'.

On the Socials

'The concert was beyond every bit of hype I've heard. Sphere makes you feel like it's midday or at an outdoor concert or surrounded by nature. It's incredible. But the U2 world…there is something to be said for being transported in space and time with strangers who sang and danced and talked and cried and hoped together. We get to carry each other…carry each other…' —@LaurenSchwer on Instagram

'That. Was. Crazy. Awesome. #u2sphere #thesphere #thespherelasvegas #u2uvsphere' —@bradfordcoolidgephotography on Instagram

'Bono just casually attempting a scouse accent. I'm dying. This is everything. The Paul McCartney impression needs work but VERY much appreciate the effort.' —@ScoobyGangKid on X

'U2 en @SphereVegas es una barbaridad. Neta no hay palabras para describir lo cabron que está #U2UVSphere' —@ChrisPulze on X

Zootopia/U2 Faniverse

'PIZZA! KEYS! THUNDER FROM DOWN UNDER! PAUL MCCARTNEY! all the essentials'—AVaNiceDAy 

'(I am still shaking from the unexpected ACTUAL MACPHISTO APPEARANCE. HE WAS HERE!!!)' —Canadanne

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