U2 at the Las Vegas Sphere: 25 dates, $1m a show and 1,586 speakers to blast out the hits

Friday marks the first of 25 shows as part of the band’s UV Achtung Baby Live at Sphere concert

Rock band U2 will hope they find what they’re looking for as they begin their residency at the Las Vegas Sphere on Friday night. It’s a fresh chapter for the band – Bono, The Edge and Adam Clayton will be performing without drummer Larry Mullen and are following in the footsteps of other Vegas headliners such as Adele, Rod Stewart and Britney Spears.

But is this a sign of creative decline by a group increasingly reliant on old hits? Or a brave new frontier for Bono and the boys? Here’s U2 live at the Sphere in numbers.


The cost of the Sphere, the brainchild of New York entertainment guru James Dolan. Dolan is the chief executive of the Madison Square Garden venue in Manhattan and owner of the New York Knicks basketball team. He’s a combative figure who once ejected legendary basketball player Charles Oakley from MSG after Oakley had criticised him.


The amount U2 are expected to earn per show – factoring in their performance fees and merchandise sales.


81290sq m

The size of the Sphere, the largest spherical building in the world. Yes, it’s even more impressive than the Naas Ball.


The seating capacity of the venue which can be expanded to a standing capacity of 20,000. Of those, 10,000 seats have an “immersive” sound system that allows guests to “feel” sound vibrate. Just what you want when Bono reaches for the chorus of Discothèque (that’s a joke: Discotheque is fantastic).


The number of loudspeakers in the Sphere’s state-of-the-art audio system. It also includes 167,000 speaker drivers and 300 mobile loudspeaker modules. It’s a long way from U2′s early gigs at Dublin’s Dandelion Market, where they had to rely on a rickety PA system.


The top ticket prices to see U2 in Vegas – with prices beginning at the more “affordable” $267.


The running time in minutes and seconds of Achtung Baby, the 1991 LP that will be the focus of the new U2:UV Achtung Baby Live at the Sphere shows. Expect hits such as Even Better Than the Real Thing, One, The Fly and Mysterious Ways.


The number of dates U2 will perform at the venue, from September 29th to December 16th – with an emphasis on the aforementioned Achtung Baby.


The number of years since U2 released an album anyone cared about – 2004′s How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, which yielded the hit Vertigo.


The number of original U2 members playing Vegas. Drummer Larry Mullen jnr is recuperating from back surgery. He is replaced by Bram van den Berg, the 40-year-old Dutch percussionist who has previously played with pop-rock group Krezip.