Las Vegas Sphere: Inside the world's largest £2bn video billboard

The venue is the world's largest spherical structure and its exterior is fitted with 1.2 million individual LED pucks

U2 made history by playing the first ever show at the new £2bn Las Vegas venue, as Alex Iszatt reports

The world’s largest spherical structure has officially opened, with band U2 gracing its stage for the first time leaving fans in awe.

The Las Vegas desert has been lit up by the Sphere, a brand new £2.6bn live entertainment venue featuring groundbreaking visuals both inside and out.

The bowl-shaped theatre is 35 stories tall (366 feet) and 516 feet wide, while its exterior is wrapped with 1.2 million hockey puck-sized LEDs to create the world’s largest video billboard.

The live concert venue is also home to 160,000 high-quality speakers and 260 million video pixels.

The Sphere was first announced back in 2018 by US businessman James Dolan.

U2 performed in front of an 18,000-strong crowd / Credit: AP

On Friday night, legendary rock band U2 made history playing the first ever performance there, opening their 25-show “UV Achtung Baby” residency.

They’ll call the “groundbreaking” venue their home until the end of the year.

Throughout the night, there was a plethora of enchanting visuals – including kaleidoscope images, a burning flag and Las Vegas’ skyline, taking the more than 18,000 attendees on U2’s epic musical journey.

“What a fancy pad,” said Bono, who was accompanied onstage with guitarists The Edge and Adam Clayton along with drummer Bram van den Berg.

The Sphere was first announced back in 2018. / Credit: AP

He then stared at the high-resolution LED screen that projected a larger version of himself along with a few praying hands and bells.

Bono then paid homage to the late Elvis Presley, who was a Las Vegas entertainment staple.

“Look at all this stuff… Elvis has definitely not left this building,” Bono declared.

“It’s an Elvis chapel. It’s an Elvis cathedral. Tonight, the entry into this cathedral is a password: flirtation.”

Tickets for the show started at $400 (£328).

An array of famous faces were in the crowd for the venue’s opening night, including Oprah, Matt Damon and Orlando Bloom.

There are plans to build a similar venue in east London that could be even bigger – though it’s not yet clear when that might be.

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