U2’s return in style in Las Vegas: new song, movie setting and tribute to ‘Achtung Baby’

by time news

2023-10-02 12:13:02

Last Friday the starting signal for the umpteenth triumphant return of U2. That day the first of its twenty-five scheduled concerts was held in the new The Sphere auditorium in Las Vegas, a venue with 18,600 seats that has an immersive 15,000 m² LED screen and 16K resolution inside. The group took the opportunity to present an unreleased song titled “Atomic City.” He did it without his usual drummer, Larry Mullen Jr.who after having undergone surgery for several problems in his neck, elbow and back, has been replaced by the Dutchman Bram van den Berg, a member of the band Krezip.

The first videos shared on social networks this weekend have confirmed what was expected: the residence “U2:UV Warning Baby Live At Sphere” is an ancient history. And not only because of the impressive technological deployment of the Irish, but because they claim a capital album in their career. Published on November 18, 1991, just two months after Nirvana turned the world upside down. panorama musical con “Nevermind”, “Achtung Baby” was one of the greatest reinventions ever seen in rock history. If he had not recorded it, his future would have been very different.

Imagen del ‘U2:UV Achtung Baby Live At Sphere’ en Las Vegas. REUTERS

In 1987, thanks to the success of “The Joshua Tree,” U2 became the biggest and most beloved band on the planet. Back then, their epic stadium rock was unrivaled. But the tables turned just one year later with “Rattle & Hum,” an album that paid tribute to the roots of American popular music and artists like Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley o B.B. King. Even though they sold 14 million copiesthe specialized press had no mercy: it disparaged the work as pretentious and accused the group of having completely lost its identity.

The incendiary reviews, behind the scenes, did not sit particularly well. So much so that on December 30, 1989, when the “Lovetown Tour” stopped at the old Point Depot in Dublin, Bono said before performing “Love Rescue Me”: “We have had a lot of fun in recent months discovering a type of music that we were not very familiar with and that we still don’t know much about. I tried to tell people that the other day, maybe in the wrong way. But this is the end of something for U2. It’s not a big deal, we just have to go away and dream it all over again.”

Imagen del ‘U2:UV Achtung Baby Live At Sphere’ en Las Vegas. REUTERS

On October 3, 1990, the Irish landed in a Berlin that had not yet healed the wounds of the Wall. As David Bowie did in the mid-seventies with his “Berlin Trilogy,” orchestrated by the British Brian Eno, they locked themselves in the legendary Hansa Studios in the Kreuzberg neighborhood and recruited Eno himself and the Canadian Daniel Lanois as producers, with whom they had previously worked on “The Unforgettable Fire” and “The Joshua Tree.” However, a serious problem soon became evident: none of the four, neither before nor after their arrival in the German capital, had a strategic plan in mind. U2 wanted to sound different, but didn’t know how.

The disagreements did not wait long. While The Edge, interested in the budding Madchester scene, electronic music and industrial groups like The Young Gods or Nine Inch Nails, convinced Bono that they should flee from their past and take a more experimental path, Adam Clayton and Mullen advocated for a more classic and conservative sound for fear of losing their fans. In the end the first side won.

The tensions experienced in Berlin, in reality, were on the verge of ending with its dissolution. However, the waters calmed down when working on “Sick Puppy”, one of the first versions of “Mysterious Ways”, they improvised a new song that would end up leading to “One”. The ballad, one of the most beloved in their repertoire, brought them together again. Although during the two months they remained in Hansa Studios As soon as they finished two songs, the experience gave them the necessary encouragement to continue with the sessions in Dublin. U2 finally agreed on the musical direction to follow.

“The Fly”, the first preview of the album, caught everyone by surprise. Mullen’s drums, influenced by industrial music, sounded more metallic than ever. Although what really caught the attention were The Edge’s guitars: their commitment to the darkest and most sinister atmospheres led him to move away from his Gibson Explorer and repeat-delay Fenders in favor of Gibson Les Pauls and eight chained Vox AC30 amps. Taming his more commercial side and modernizing his sound, U2 conquered a new legion of followers.

Imagen del ‘U2:UV Achtung Baby Live At Sphere’ en Las Vegas. EUROPA PRESS

‘Achtung Baby’ shipped 18 million copies (it is their second most successful album after “The Joshua Tree”, which sold seven million more) and was praised by critics. But the metamorphosis was not only reflected in the study. During the pharaonic tour “Zoo TV”what In 1992 he passed through San Sebastián and Barcelona, and a year later through Oviedo and Madrid, the quartet stopped taking itself so seriously. Surrounded by television screens, and flanked by Trabant cars as spotlights, Bono followed in the footsteps of Bowie and Every night he adopted several alter egos: The Fly, an arrogant character who mocked the egomania of rock stars, and MacPhisto, a demonic megalomaniac bent on controlling the world. Will he rescue them in Las Vegas?

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