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U2 dropping ‘Atomic City’ at The Sphere

The new U2 song about Las Vegas is becoming an instant anthem.

“Atomic City” is expected to to be a highlight in “U2 UV: Achtung Baby” at The Sphere. The chronically reliable fan platform U2songs.com reports the song is going to be performed during the encore each night.

“Atomic City” is due for release Thursday morning. Fans who have heard the song over the video posted when band filmed the song’s video at the Plaza have noted the “I’m Free!” is similar Blondie’s “Call Me.”

Band reps say the song is honoring the “post-punk gods that have come before them including Blondie and Giorgio Moroder,” with Bono tossing in The Clash as an inspiration. The song is meant to evoke Las Vegas’ history as an atomic test site in the ’50s.

The set list is to include “Beautiful Day,” every night, confirmed by artistic director Gavin Friday, bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Bram van der Berg confirmed during Friday’s “GF: UV” on U2 X-Radio” Wednesday night. But the anthem “Pride (In the Name of Love)” has been shelved for the series. Van der Berg referred to the decision as a “favor.” Larry Mullen Jr.’s drumming a bear to re-create live.

Rehearsals for the show were expected to close Thursday. Prior to the start of rehearsals in Vegas on Labor Day, the band worked the show out in Monaco and Dublin.

Also, though “Achtung Baby” is being played in its entirety, it won’t be performed in order. The band is planning to mix them in a set that spans the band’s full career. U2 also intends to shuffle set lists. This is not easy at The Sphere, where every song is a multimedia production number.

“Unfortunately, because of the amount of time and expense in creating some of these set pieces visually, it’s quite hard to be as quick on our feet and spontaneous as we might have been on other tours,” The Edge told Rolling Stone. “But we still are determined that there will be sections of the show that will be open to spontaneity, and it will change from night to night.”

Along with “Beautiful Day,” “Vertigo,” “Where the Streets Have No Name” and “With or Without You” have been rehearsed in The Sphere. But “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” has not. The performance at Plaza might be the last time that song is played in Las Vegas.

A night at Al’s

Broadcast great and multiple halls of fame inductee Al Bernstein is headlining at Tuscany’s Piazza lounge at 8 p.m. and 9:30 Thursday.

Bernstein is singing an original, “I Wanna Sing,” which (we predict) will get extensive radio play. Bernstein is also planning tuns from Lionel Richie, Bob Seger, The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt and selections from the Great American Songbook.

Celina Sasso is guest singer, with Kenny Davidsen on keys, Dave Ramirez on drums, Charles McNeal on sax and Dennis Blair (who wrote “I Wanna Sing”) on bass. No cover, as this is an under-card performance for the Canelo Alvarez-Jermell Charlo bout Saturday at T-Mobile Arena. Al is the front man there, too, on Showtime pay-per-view telecast.

Cool Hang Alert

The Rick Arroyo Latin Jazz Quartet is playing 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Thursday at Maxan Jazz, which is now being called “Jazzushi,” for its collab of music and culinary fare. The night is a $25 F&B minimum per person, no cover. Go to maxanjazz.com for intel.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on X, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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