U2 played a surprise show in front of the Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas last night (September 16) while filming a music video, where they played a new song live.
The song, ‘Atomic City’, is believed to be about the very city the Irish quartet were playing in, and contained the lyrics “I’m free, so unexpectedly/I’m free from what’s in front of me!” and “I’ve got the key to the cages, waiting for my dice/I came here for the fight/I’m front row in Las Vegas. And there’s a big one on tonight”.
It is believed the band were performing to around 250 extras, and frontman Bono’s vocals were live but the music was recorded.
The song is reportedly going to be released before the band’s forthcoming residency at the new MSG Sphere in the city. The run of shows, which are the first to be played at the new venue, will kick off on September 29 and will see them play their 1991 album ‘Achtung Baby’ in full.
— John Katsilometes (@johnnykats) September 17, 2023
U2 will be playing the first few shows of their ‘Achtung Baby’ residency without drummer Larry Mullen Jr while he recovers from surgery. Despite this, he was present at the music video shoot.
“He doesn’t follow doctor’s orders,” Bono remarked during the video shoot, to which the audience cheered.
In an interview with the Daily Star newspaper’s Wired column (via Irish Mirror), bassist Adam Clayton said: “The whole band and I’m sure the audience are going to be very sad and miss Larry. He wants to come back, he wants to be able to have a long career and continue his drumming so he’s taking care of those injuries.”
He also explained that, while Mullen continues to recover, Krezip drummer Bram van den Berg will be taking his place and performing at the first run of Nevada shows. This, Clayton continued, was a choice which the band decided on after they were given their bandmate’s blessing.
In other U2 news, last week the band announced ‘Zoo Station’ – an immersive experience for fans, designed ahead of their upcoming shows.
Opening on September 28, the immersive fan portal, called ‘Zoo Station: A U2:UV Experience’ is designed to help fans gather a deeper understanding of the band’s acclaimed album ‘Achtung Baby’.