Bono and The Edge Tease the Sphere in Las Vegas — “You Can’t Come Here and See an Ice Hockey Game”

Bono and The Edge tease the Sphere
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Bono and The Edge tease the Sphere
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Photo Credit: Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1

Bono and The Edge gave Apple Music an exclusive preview of the Sphere in Las Vegas. The new venue aims to bring immersive sound to the live concert experience.

Bono says the key difference to experiencing music inside the Sphere is that it’s a venue built for sound. “Most music venues are sports venues,” he tells Apple Music 1’s Zane Lowe. “They’re built for sports. They’re not built for music; they’re not built for art. So this building was built for immersive experiences in cinema and performance. It was not built for, you can’t come here and see an ice hockey game.”

Excellent sound design from any seat in the house is the goal. The Edge describes some of the speaker arrays that have gone into creating this unique, immersive experience.

“So you’ve got the main array of speakers is above our heads, but throughout the entire building are speakers that are focused so that you have the capability of placing the audience inside a whole 360-degree sonic spectrum,” he continues. “So in the way that Atmos—I don’t know if you’ve been listening to Atmos mixes now?”

“Well, this can do that kind of Atmos mixing in a live context, which has never ever been possible before. So not only is the visual side of it groundbreaking, but the audio side of it is again, cutting edge.”

Bono says he believes the immersive sound profile of the Sphere will help U2 achieve a more intimate show with the audience, despite playing for 10,000 to 18,000 people. “We work very hard to achieve that intimacy in arenas. We get there, we work very had to achieve that in a stadium or a festival. But here, the building’s made to work for the audience, it’s made to work for us.”

Bono compares the advances in technology through the years, saying that what the Sphere can achieve for music is yet another evolution in stadium rock.

“Think of when the Beatles came to the U.S. So they had a tiny little system, they played in Shea Stadium in New York. Nobody could hear them, it’s just the sound of the crowd. And they invented stadium rock, if you like. And then it took every decade, every generation, we became more able to perform and that people could hear our music and see our band. This is the next level, the next evolution in that. It started with the Beatles in Shea Stadium.”