When U2 was announced as the first act to perform at the Sphere, reaction was a mix of surprise and intrigue. Could the combination of one of music’s biggest acts and a state-of-the-art, multi-billion dollar venue actually live up to the hype?

As fans everywhere quickly learned, the answer was a resounding yes. U2’s Achtung Baby residency at the Sphere managed to blow away even the highest expectations. More than 40 years into their existence, the Irish rockers remain an incendiary live act. Meanwhile, the Las Vegas venue proved to be a technological marvel, with many hailing it as the future of concerts.

Here’s a look at U2’s groundbreaking residency, by the numbers:

Size of the Screen: 160,000 Square-Feet

The Sphere’s 16K resolution wrap-around screen is the largest LED screen in the world. Measuring at 160,000 square-feet, it is a daunting presence from the moment you set foot inside the venue. U2 certainly made the most of the state-of-the-art capabilities, curating otherworldly visual effects to accompany their performances.

Months to Prepare: 18

The planing behind U2’s massive Sphere show took roughly 18 months. The band’s longtime production designer, Willie Williams, worked with an array of other artists to create distinctive, engrossing video that would captivate audiences on the venue’s massive screen. A general theme for the production centered around climate change, consumerism and humanity’s relationship with the natural world. Knowing that the dazzling visuals would garner the most attention, the band opted to keep things simple with their stage design. The stage was made in the shape of a record played, based off a Brian Eno art piece called “Turntable.”

Total Number of Concerts: 40

The initial slate of dates announced was relatively small – only 5 performances were confirmed when the residency first went on sale. Ticket demand was so high that the band soon unveiled further shows. The residency kicked off Sept. 29, 2023 and was immediately met with rave reviews. After 25 gigs in 2023, U2 extended the run with another 15 dates in 2024, culminating with their residency-closing show on March 2.

Number of Speakers: 1,886

The sound system at the Sphere is already impressive, with 1,586 permanently installed speakers strategically located throughout the venue. Still, U2 decided to up the ante (to steal a gambling term), adding 300 mobile modules for a total of 1,886 speakers.

Total Number of Tickets Sold: 661,456

Virtually every U2 Sphere show has been sold out, with tickets regularly going for two to three times their face value on the secondhand market. The band also had several unique promotions during their run, including substantially discounted tickets for local Las Vegas college student, and a selection of VIP tickets which benefited the (RED), the charity co-founded by Bono to fight HIV/AIDS.

Total Amount U2 Was Paid: $170,000,000*

The asterisk on this number is due to limited transparency on the band’s final payout. Reportedly, James Dolan, the head of MSG, paid the band $10 million for the residency. That number is in addition to the $4 million per show the band reportedly earned from Live Nation. Simple math puts the total amount at $170 million, though the band obviously had to pay out plenty of their own staff and team of contributors. Only U2 (and their accountants) know exactly how much money the rockers pocketed.

Number of Different Songs Played: 38

Considering how perfectly timed and scheduled the visual elements of U2’s Sphere performances have to be, there’s very little flexibility within the show for changes. Still, the band has found ways to freshen up their setlist during the run, mixing in deeper cuts and the occasional cover. U2 has performed 38 songs during the residency, averaging 22 songs per performance. That total number includes one-off renditions, like their performance of “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)” on Dec. 15, and their cover of the Pogues “A Rainy Night in Soho,” which was dedicated to Shane MacGowan.

Total Revenue: $256,000,000

Every receipt has yet to be counted, but the estimates are staggering. When all is said and done, U2’s stay at the Sphere is expected to pull in over $256 million in revenue. The success is a windfall for both the band and the Sphere’s parent company, which saw their stock jump 17.3 percent following U2’s residency launch.

Number of Opening Acts: 1

Throughout the entire residency, only one man has opened for U2: Paul Lovejoy, aka Pauli the PSM. The U.K. born drummer, recording artist and producer is best known for his work with the animated rock group, Gorillaz (helmed by Blur’s Damon Albarn). Each night, Lovejoy gets things started with an eclectic DJ set welcoming the U2 audience. It’s the dance party before the main event, as Lovejoy performs from a 1980 East German car that was specially retrofitted and decorated for the residency. “I didn’t really have this on my bingo card for 2023 if ever,” the DJ admitted. “So it’s mad to be in this space now playing music and opening for U2. That just wasn’t something I could’ve ever dreamed of.”

Number of Endangered Species: 26

U2’s encore is backed by an impressive array of visuals dubbed “Nevada’s Ark.” The design was created by artist Es Devlin and focuses on the state’s 26 endangered species. During the sequence, the Nevada desert fills with water, only to reveal an orb floating on its surface. A view inside shows the endangered species, first in sepia tone, but gradually changing to color. These visuals cover U2’s closing songs of the night, “With or Without You” and “Beautiful Day.”

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