PHOTOS: I got inside The Las Vegas Sphere. I paid dearly.
Oct 1, 2023, 5:00 PM | Updated: Oct 3, 2023, 2:39 pm
(Jeff Caplan/KSL NewsRadio)
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LAS VEGAS — You’ve probably seen recent videos of the giant eyeball blinking at Las Vegas over the past couple of months. The Sphere has been dazzling visitors with jaw-dropping video visible for miles. However, until this past weekend, they’ve been hiding the interior from public view.
Inside, the 350-foot tall marble is a state-of-the-art concert hall that seats 18,000 people. It was christened by U2 last weekend. My wife and I are not U2 fans, but we paid $700 for two seats in the next to last row- just to be there for a signature event. I can swear to you there’s not a bad seat in the house.
Inside, the Sphere is futuristic and, bathed in a metallic blue light. Like the prices, the seating is steep. We rode escalator after escalator to get to our seats and Bono was little more than a pinprick. EXCEPT: The inside of the Sphere is also a video screen, that swoops around, up, and over. It’s like a 300-foot IMAX on steroids bringing the crowd closer.
Behind the screen, there are 167,000 speakers blasting pristine quality sound directly at you. Bass notes make your chest rumble. Treble was crisp, and whispers on stage were heard almost perfectly. Guitar solos sizzled. Best concert sound I’ve ever heard. But the same marble shape had a reverse effect: It dampened the sound of the crowd cheering.
At first, there was little to cheer about. U2 showed up an hour late (rude!) and got on stage just as the capacity crowd was about to turn ugly. They performed the album Achtung Baby and more, but it seems U2 was unable to create any kind of truly transformative video experience. This massive spherical video canvas they were given wasn’t fully exploited.
I’m sure that will come in future shows by other artists. Plus, “The Sphere Experience” opens next weekend: A tour that will offer a taste of the towering multimedia experience inside, with tickets starting at $49.50. Way cheaper than $700.