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U2 Release New Song and Video "Atomic City" Hours Ahead of Debut at The Sphere

36 years later, U2 are on the same street, in the same town, singing about a Las Vegas from another time altogether

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U2 have released "Atomic City" as a standalone single and video, in tribute to the start of a 25-gig event at The Sphere at The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas.

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Source: YouTube

U2 - Atomic City

Filmed on Fremont Street on the Las Vegas Strip, this is the same location where the band roamed during their 1987 video "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." This time, it's the otherwordly aura of a blinding orb flashing to the band on a flatbed, as the drums kick in. Larry Mullen, Jr. is shown in all angles playing, although word has been that he is not performing The Sphere gigs due to back surgery.

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In keeping with the Achtung Baby persona and theme for the shows, Bono has retained that look for the intercut scenes inside the empty Sphere, replete with bug-eye dark sunglasses and all-leather wear, and switching to purple-lensed glasses and black for the flatbed scenes.

Melodically, the sound is punchy with the band describing it as "an homage to Blondie, Giorgio Moroder, the Clash, 1970s post-punk, '70s punk and the city of Las Vegas." Lyrically, the song is a paean to days of Sin City yore, with a substantial call from Bono to break from life's restrictions, let go and be free. Listing off 'Guitar-shaped pool with strings' and 'Sinatra swings' while declaring 'I’m free… I came here for the fight / I’m front row in Las Vegas / And there’s a big one on tonight' adds a tinge of vintage Rat-Pack days with tech-hip reality.

Source: YouTube

U2 - I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For (Official Music Video)

The Edge, on a recent verbal swing with Mojo, professed his love for the guitar sound yet realized the current trend doesn't sway that way. "Don’t get me wrong — talking to people I know who work at Fender, they’re selling more guitars now than they’ve ever sold," he said. "But in terms of popular culture, there’s been a drift away from the instrument, it would be fair to say." He referenced a Bono statement that the next U2 album will be a "noisy, uncompromising, unreasonable guitar album." Agreeing, he said: "We are turning the amps on. I certainly think the rock that we all grew up with as 16- and 17-year-olds, that rawness of those Patti Smith, Iggy Pop records… that kind of power is something we would love to connect back into."


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