The band recorded the song last week
U2 took to Fremont Street in Las Vegas late last night (Sat, Sept 16th) for the world premiere of their new song, “Atomic City.” The band was staged on a flatbed trailer as it rolled through the area with 250 extras and onlookers just before midnight to film a “low budget” video for the track.
The song, which was recorded at Sound City Studios in Los Angeles, was performed multiple times to a pre-recorded track with live vocals.
“We hope you like this song, it was written about you. It’s called ‘Atomic City,’ which is an old nickname for Las Vegas. I don’t know if you knew that. We just recorded this song last week, so we’re making a video for a song that isn’t finished,” Bono shared from the stage. “This is the world premiere of ‘Atomic City,’ a rock and roll 45 in the tradition of late 70s post-punk if you’re interested — Blondie, The Clash, some early 70s Cozy Powell. We’ll take it from everywhere.”
It’s the band’s first performance since The Joshua Tree Tour wrapped in India in December 2019.
The song is expected to drop ahead of the band’s long-awaited Las Vegas concerts at the MSG Sphere called U2:UV – Achtung Baby Live at The Sphere which opens next week for 25 shows through the fall. Drummer Bram van den Berg will join Bono, The Edge and Adam Clayton on stage for the run of shows as Larry Mullen, Jr. recuperates from shoulder surgery.
However, Mullen, Jr. was at the video shoot and recorded drums for the band’s new music.
“Sadly, Larry Mullen will not be with us at the Sphere,” Bono states. “He doesn’t listen to doctor’s orders, neither do many of us. But he’s here tonight and we are so, so proud of our comrade. And wanted to be with us on this occasion.”
Fremont is the same area where U2 filmed the video for “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” in 1987 before the canopy was installed. The group also performed “I Still Haven’t Found” as a country song and “Beautiful Day” as part of the impromptu mini-show last night.
The day before the band kicks off the 25-run of dates, the fan portal, Zoo Station: A U2:UV Experience, will open at the Venetian. The portal was created to support U2’s groundbreaking run of shows, which will see the world’s biggest rock band launch the world’s most state-of-the-art venue in Las Vegas kicking off the next day. Developed in collaboration with Gavin Friday, U2’s longtime creative director, and with direct input from the band, Zoo Station comprises more than 12,000 square feet of interactive exhibit space across two floors and is conveniently located within The Venetian Resort Las Vegas, the only resort with direct access to Sphere.
Zoo Station will serve as a centralized hub/destination for people to celebrate, congregate, shop, view exclusive U2 content, and immerse themselves in the band’s history. The ground floor, home to the U2 Pop-Up Merch Shop, the Anton Corbjin gallery, and interactive installations, will be open to the public and free to enter. Vibee VIP pass holders and Zoo Cinema ticket holders will get priority access to the second floor. The fan portal will be open exclusively to Vibee VIP pass holders from 4 until 6 pm on performance days.
MSG Sphere introduces a new medium of entertainment. Fans will feel the impact of the greatest band in the world’s most experiential venue. MSG Sphere introduces the first 16K screen that wraps up, around, and behind the audience. Sphere Immersive Sound delivers pitch-perfect audio to every seat in the house. 4D technologies will let the audience feel the wind on their face, the heat on their skin and the rumble of thunder. The U2 UV Achtung Baby Live At The Sphere opening series of shows will tap into this exclusive technology, allowing fans to experience something completely new.