This is a new attraction in a city with no shortage of them: The Sphere. A structure 111 meters high, 157 meters wide equipped with a 53,800 m2 LED screen on its external surface. The hall accommodates no less than 18,600 spectators. This is where U2 began a new residency last Friday. In total, the group will give 25 concerts in this very energy-intensive room: approximately 95,779 MWh per year, or the annual consumption of 20,500 French households. Not bad for a group whose leader, the controversial Bono, spends his time defending the protection of the environment.
It is also the first series of concerts for the group formed in 1976 without their drummer Larry Mullen Jr, who was unable to perform for physical reasons. To accompany this new series of record shows (we remember the gigantism of the Zooropa and Pop tours of the 1990s), U2 have unveiled a new song. Entitled Atomic City, it reconnects with the energy of their beginnings, in the middle of the punk wave. It’s been a long time since U2 excited people this much with a single. However, on closer inspection, Atomic City is reminiscent of a title by the New York group Blondie, Atomic, a huge hit upon its release in 1979. The title also borrows some elements from Call Me, the fruit of the Americans' collaboration with the European Giorgio Moroder, the following year.
However, Atomic City is also the nickname given to Las Vegas, in the heyday of space conquest. A few months after the release of an unconvincing double album of revisited titles from its repertoire, U2 offers almost something new. But it seems obvious that the best is behind.