With all of the images and videos that have been shared after the opening weekend of U2's residency at Las Vegas' The Sphere at the Venetian Resort, this has led many to wonder who could possibly pull off a major production next.
On the latest episode of Billboard's Pop Shop Podcast, co-hosts Katie Atkinson and Keith Caulfield discuss Katie's recent experience inside the Las Vegas Sphere during opening night of U2's Achtung Baby Live spectacular, getting into who they think should headline the iconic venue next, with everyone from Phish to Harry Styles in the mix.
Once U2 wraps their 25-show residency in December, quite a large opening will need to be filled out there in the desert. Before you jump up and scream "Pink Floyd laser show," since they've historically been at the forefront of eye-catching visuals in their live performances as well as your hometown planetarium, there are plenty of contemporary artists with big production and creative teams ready to get to work.
Describing the opening U2 show at the Sphere as equally "magical," “striking,” “mind-blowing,” “ambitious,” “massive,” and “dazzling,” which happens within a $2.3 billion (with a b), 366-foot tall space that the Statue of Liberty could fit inside of, Katie's experience from the 100 level turned out to be all-encompassing. "There were moments where I was standing up and just walking in circles looking around at all the things behind me, in front of me, to the side of me," she says. "It was a lot." The audio in the building, Katie says, was also impeccable -- akin to a mastered recording. "Even better than the real thing," she admits coyly, "and that's what anchors it, is the sound."
Naturally, this led the pair to wonder what other artists could possibly bring their own stage shows into the Sphere next. "I want to see every show that goes here because it's gonna be totally different for each artist that performs there," Katie says. Her first wishlist item would be Coldplay she admits, as they're "excellent performers" and have an already impressive stage show. Their latest album, Music of the Spheres certainly lends some credibility as well.
Katie also immediately thought of Adele, because she would absolutely want to hear her sing in such a venue, and believes her massive stage productions could certainly translate to the 360-degree format, with the right visual artists involved. The Rolling Stones were also mentioned on the red carpet by a few attendees, as well as jam-rockers Phish being in conversations for future performances. Fans, Katie says, are fueling some Harry Styles rumblings around the venue, however, she can surely envision Harry and a countless number of others being walked through the Sphere to be briefed. "The possibilities are endless," she says.
Listen to the full episode of Billboard's Pop Shop Podcast above, and follow along as senior director of Billboard charts Keith Caulfield and Billboard executive digital director, West Coast Katie Atkinson offer weekly Billboard chart breakdowns, discuss the hottest music news, and cover the year’s biggest musical events. Casual pop fans, chart junkies, and everyone in between are invited to this weekly half-hour discussion -- now streaming on Audacy.
Plus, if you're heading out to Vegas for U2's Achtung Baby Live residency at The Sphere, find what you're looking for to get you in the mood with U2 Radio and more on the free Audacy app.